It only takes a moment for a slip and fall accident to happen, yet that moment can have lasting consequences. A fall can cause broken bones, torn ligaments or traumatic brain injuries that require surgery and/or extensive rehabilitative therapy. Furthermore, if you are unable to work while undergoing treatment, your family may experience financial difficulties
If the accident was caused by negligence on the part of a property owner or other responsible party, you may be entitled to recover damages for the physical and emotional harm you suffered. Victims often wonder whether filing a lawsuit is worthwhile. This is why it pays to consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer to evaluate your situation and determine how much compensation you can expect to receive. While every case is different, slip and fall settlements are based on the following general guidelines.
Do You Have a Case?
Slip and fall accidents are more complicated than they may appear. To sue the responsible party for compensation, the victim must meet the following conditions:
However, property owners are not automatically responsible for every dangerous condition. To prevail, the plaintiff must prove the property owner was responsible for the fall. In brief, this means demonstrating the person or entity “knew or should have known” about the hazard and failed to take care of it in a timely manner.
Because these cases involve several complicated legal issues, it is important to consult an experienced slip and fall lawyer to receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Recommended reading: Who Is Responsible For A Slip And Fall Accident On Ice?
Because compensation is based on many factors, there is no one-size-fits-all settlement. In general, compensation for personal injury cases is based on the extent and severity of the injuries and associated damages. Plaintiffs who require long-term care or extensive rehabilitation therapy typically receive larger settlements than those whose injuries are less severe.
Compensation for a slip and fall claim consists of two parts: tangible economic losses such as medical bills and lost income and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. In Michigan, however, victims who are more than 50 percent at fault for an accident cannot receive non-economic damages.
typically include the following:
Victims who sustain serious, long-lasting harm usually receive compensation for intangible damages such as pain and suffering. These non-economic damages, which typically comprise the largest part of a personal injury settlement, can be several times higher than economic (or direct) losses listed above. These damages can include the following:
Recommended reading: How To Know If You Have Grounds For A Slip And Fall Injury Claim
Yes. Like many other states, Michigan follows the doctrine of “modified comparative negligence,” MCL 600.2959. This means your compensation may be reduced by the degree you were at fault.
If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may be considered partially at fault from a legal standpoint:
Here’s an example of the way modified comparative negligence works in a personal injury case:
Suppose your attorney negotiates a settlement of $100,000. However, you were determined to be 30% at fault because you were using your cell phone when you tripped. In that case, your settlement is reduced by 30% and you would receive $70,000, or 70% of the amount you won.
Recommended Reading: How the Open and Obvious Law Affects Michigan Slip and Fall Cases
The first step toward recovering damages after an accident is hiring a slip and fall lawyer to file suit against the responsible party.
Once all the information is obtained, including medical records, your attorney may send a “demand package” to the responsible party. This includes the specific amount of compensation you are seeking and the supporting documentation. From there, the two parties may begin negotiations.
While the majority of cases are settled out of court, some are scheduled for trial if the parties cannot reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Nevertheless, the property owner may attempt to settle the case before the court date arrives. In this instance, a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer is best able to determine whether the plaintiff should accept an offer or proceed to court.
The amount of compensation depends more on the strength of the case than on whether it goes to trial. However, it is better to hire an attorney with extensive trial experience, one who is not afraid to go to court if necessary. Often, a defendant is more likely to offer a fair settlement when up against a lawyer who is willing to fight for the compensation you deserve.
However, it is never a good idea to accept an out-of-court settlement without consulting an experienced slip and fall lawyer. Many insurance companies offer hasty and often low-ball settlements before a victim has time to thoroughly assess the damages or obtain legal advice. And, once a settlement agreement is signed, the victim cannot ask for additional compensation if the injuries turn out to be more serious.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, we can help. Don’t let the legal clock run out. The experienced lawyers at The Sam Bernstein Law Firm understand the legal complexities of slip and fall cases and we will fight to win the compensation you deserve.
Slip and fall law is complicated, but finding the right slip and fall attorney is simple.
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