It’s very common to want to know exactly what your case is worth. Unfortunately, the classic lawyer’s answer applies: “it depends.” Still, we can tell you what will go into that determination, and why. To receive some guidance on your case, please reach out to top-rated NYC slip and fall attorney David S. Leigh https://leighlawoffice.com/new-york-slip-and-fall-lawyer/.
Liability in a Trip and Fall
The first thing a slip and fall lawyer must prove in any slip and fall case is whether someone was liable for your injury. To do that we have to show the following:
- There was some sort of dangerous defect, like a hole in the sidewalk, a broken step, a faulty fire escape, a loose stair rail, or a spill.
- The defendant, or the owner of the property, should have known about the problem. This means the problem had to have been there long enough for a reasonable person to notice it and address it. It may also mean providing proof that the defect had been brought to the owner’s attention in the past. Or proving the defendant “caused and created” the problem, which can happen. For example, an employee may cause a spill and fail to clean it up.
Sometimes the insurance companies will contest liability. They could do this by making one of three arguments:
- Showing the owner of the premesis didn’t have adequate notice of the problem, which means he or she can’t be expected to address it.
- In some cases, the insurance company may argue that someone may have been negligent, but it wasn’t their client. For example, a recent case involved an out-of-possession landlord who was not contractually obligated to repair the premesis in a snow and ice case. That case is still being battled out in the courts, but it’s a nice example of one in which defendants are attempting to shift responsibility to other parties.
- Yes, the problem was there, but the plaintiff (you) were somewhat negligent of your own safety in some way. For example, if you saw a spill on the floor but continued to walk back and forth over the spill to bring items to your car without pointing the spill out to any employee then your own negligence can be said to have played a role in the slip and fall.
If the insurance company successfully argues the first then the case is worth nothing, because no case exists. Remember, personal injury cases aren’t there to mitigate the risks of bad luck. They’re there to hold people accountable for negligence. If there was no negligence, then there is nobody to hold accountable and all that’s left is for you to absorb the consequences of your bad luck as best as you can. “Comparative negligence” is the term used when both the plaintiff and the defendant bear some responsibility for the accident. The jury will make a decision about the percentage of fault each person holds in the case. For example, they may find the defendant to be 65% negligent while finding you to be 35% negligent. The amount you can recover would be reduced by your percentage of negligence.
Damages for Bronx Slip and Fall
The second thing we have to figure out is the number of damages. It’s hard to know this figure until the full course of treatment has been completed. If you had a broken bone, then we’d know what the hospital is charging you in about six weeks, when the cast comes off. A broken bone may or may not stop you from working until it’s well; if it does, we’d look at lost wages. If you have some sort of permanent or prolonged injury we’d have to wait until you reached maximum medical improvement to reach that figure. But at that time we may also be looking at lost income and wages. Documentation is the key to fair compensation. Make sure you save every medical bill, follow your doctor’s orders, and document every visit. You should also get a job description and pay stubs. The issue of pain and suffering can be a lot more complex. It could be a factor in your slip and fall case, and if it is, you may be eligible to receive more money. Punitive damages are complex as well. Some slip and fall cases result in wrongful death. When that’s the case we would pursue damages on behalf of a spouse or immediate family member.
Personal Injury Attorney Help in New York City
This is a highly overlooked factor. But the sad truth is some people walk away with an insurance company’s low ball offer. It only covers a fraction of their bills and expenses. And it happens because they did not consult with a personal injury lawyer. A truly good lawyer who investigates the case, who is willing to bring in experts, and who is both a good negotiator and a good litigator can make all the difference. While some clients grow nervous about contingency fees it’s important to remember that you’ll typically walk away with far more money than you would have alone, even when all fees are accounted for. Call today to discuss your slip and fall case. We’ll work hard to make sure you recover as much as you can. See also: How Personal Injury Trials Work in NYCIs it Ethical to Pursue a Personal Injury Case?What Are Punitive Damages in a NY Personal Injury Case?