In a premises slip and fall case in Fall River, MA, the value of your case will be determined by how and why you fell and the extent of your injuries. Filing a lawsuit for a premises slip and fall accident will only make sense if the value of your case is high enough. This means that you have to consider whether after paying your slip and fall lawyer, you will have enough left to justify going through the lengthy trial process.
Settling Your Premises Slip and Fall Case
Discussing a settlement with the insurance adjusters means you accept a little less than you are willing and the insurance company pays a little more than it’s willing. This means that you all reach a compromise. In order to get a fair settlement, you have to calculate special damages, also known as economic losses. They include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
Calculating past economic damages is easy if you have a record of medical expenses and lost wages. Make sure you also have a record of every doctor that you visit and all medication that you took because of your injury.
Calculating future economic damages on the other hand is not so easy. This is because determining future medical expenses and lost earning capacity can be very tricky. Calculating future damages will depend on a lot of factors. Your lawyer will most likely hire a medical expert to calculate your future medical expenses as well as an economic expert to determine your future lost earning capacity.
Unfortunately, as much as we would like the negotiation process to go as smoothly as possible, this is not always the case. It’s not uncommon to hear that the plaintiff and the insurance company cannot reach a settlement.
This usually happens when the insurance company won’t offer a reasonable settlement amount or the plaintiff asks for too much money. Once you file a lawsuit, your case is in the hands of the jury. Going to trial doesn’t guarantee that you will win your case or get the compensation that you want. Juries are unpredictable and they might decide that you shouldn’t be compensated.
How Your Case is valued by the Jury at Trial
As mentioned earlier, some damages are easier to calculate like lost wages and medical bills. He jury and the judge won’t have a difficult time estimating how much the defendant should pay you in special damages.
For less concrete damages like pain and suffering, the jury might award you based on awards in similar cases in the past. However, you should remember that every jury and every case is different so it’s impossible to give an accurate prediction of how much the jury will award you for pain and suffering.
If your injuries are very severe, subjective damages can be much harder to calculate. Your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer may end up putting very different values on your case, making a settlement much harder. If your claim were much smaller, without any complications, it would be easier to agree on how much you should get.
You should also remember that during trial, the jury would also determine if the accident was the defendant’s fault or not. The judge will inform the jury what duty of care the owner of the premises owed you. The jury will then decide if the defendant breached that duty of care.
They will be given instructions on how to determine if the defendant breached their duty of care. For instance, they will determine if the way the property was maintained was reasonable or not and how it contributed to your accident.
They will also analyze how strong your case is. If you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the way the defendant maintained the property is what led to your accident then the potential damages you’ll be awarded could be high.
How your injuries have affected your life will also be taken into consideration. If, for instance, you enjoyed playing tennis before your accident but now you can’t because you tore your rotator cuff after slipping and falling down the stairs, the jury will award you a higher amount based on loss of “quality of life”.
To find out how much your slip and fall case is worth in Fall River, MA, you can visit our Kevin P Landry Law Offices today to talk to one of our slip and fall lawyer. All our initial consultations are free.