What Damages Can I Recover After a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you or someone close to you experiences a slip-and-fall incident due to another person’s carelessness, it can significantly impact your physical and emotional well-being, as well as your financial stability. Knowing the full range of economic compensation you’re eligible for is vital to filing a successful claim.
The better you understand what financial aid you are entitled to throughout the legal process, the better your chances of receiving a maximized settlement offer. Below, we’ll tackle a few of the most common categories of damages victims of slip-and-fall accidents seek compensation for.
What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall accident occurs when someone slips and falls on another person’s property because of the property owner’s negligence or wrongdoing. Injuries in a slip-and-fall accident can range from minor cuts and bruises to major injuries, such as concussions, bone breaks, or lifelong disabilities. Slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere— from a person’s private property to a public place like a grocery store. Some of the most common reasons for a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Tripping hazards like loose carpet or uneven flooring
- Broken sidewalks
- Poor lighting
- Missing Handrails
- Uneven steps
What are the Types of Non-Economic Damages I Can Receive Compensation For?
In any slip-and-fall case, a victim can receive economic and non-economic damages. While economic damages include losses that have an exact dollar amount attached to them (such as medical bills), non-economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for the intangible losses they have suffered because of the accident. Economic damages are tangible and measurable, non-economic damages are subjective and more challenging to quantify.
Some of the potential types of non-economic damages a victim can potentially sue for include things like:
Pain and Suffering
The term “pain and suffering” refers to the physical discomfort and agony that the victim experiences as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, as well as any injuries sustained. It encompasses both the immediate and long-term pain that results from the incident.
Slip-and-fall accidents can have a significant emotional impact on the victim. Emotional distress often includes psychological side effects such as anxiety, depression, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, sleep disturbances, or mood swings resulting from the accident.
While similar to emotional distress, mental anguish strictly refers to the psychological suffering experienced by the victim. It can include feelings of grief, humiliation, embarrassment, shock, or psychological trauma caused by the slip-and-fall accident.
Loss of Enjoyment
If someone experiences a slip-and-fall accident that affects their ability to enjoy hobbies, sports, or social interactions, they may be eligible for compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life, including the inability to participate in recreational activities or pursue personal interests.
Loss of Consortium
If a slip-and-fall accident causes serious injuries that affect the victim’s relationship with their spouse or family members, they may also pursue a claim for loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of companionship, support, affection, intimacy, or the inability to maintain a normal marital or familial relationship.
Disfigurement or Scarring
If the accident results in visible scarring, disfigurement, or permanent deformities/disabilities, a victim may be eligible for compensation for any factors that subsequently diminish their self-esteem or quality of life.
Non-economic damages can vary by jurisdiction, and some states may impose caps or limitations on the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases. Thus, it is highly recommended to consult with an attorney to receive an accurate estimate of how much your non-economic damages may amount to.
Types of Economic Damages in a Slip-and-Fall Case
Aside from non-economic damages, victims of slip-and-fall accidents are entitled to compensation for a variety of economic factors, including things such as:
Medical expenses are one of the main categories of economic damages in slip and fall cases. This refers to all reasonable and necessary medical costs incurred due to the accident.
Medical expenses can include emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and any future medical expenses associated with ongoing treatment or permanent injuries.
Obtaining compensation for lost wages and income is a crucial aspect of recovery in a slip-and-fall claim. In the event of a slip-and-fall accident, injuries can leave a victim unable to work for either a temporary or permanent amount of time and can, in turn, lead to the loss of a person’s primary source of income.
Fortunately, recovery for economic damages includes compensation for any wages and benefits a victim would have earned during their recovery period. Additionally, if the injuries affect their earning capacity or prevent them from returning to their previous occupation, they have the right to seek damages for future lost wages.
Home Modifications and Accommodations
Severe slip and fall injuries can lead to long-term or permanent disabilities, requiring home modifications or assistive devices to enhance mobility and accessibility. This category includes any costs attributed to necessary home modifications, such as installing ramps, handrails, or increasing wheelchair accessibility.
Transportation and Medical Expenses
If you’ve been in a slip-and-fall accident, seeking medical attention is essential. Your recovery may require multiple appointments and therapy sessions, which can add up in transportation costs. Luckily, you can include expenses like ambulance fees, medical transport, and mileage reimbursement for driving to medical facilities as part of your economic damages.
Other Economic Damages
Additional economic damages may include expenses related to hiring household help, childcare services, alternative transportation costs, and any other reasonably incurred costs directly attributable to your injuries and recovery.
Understanding the potential economic and non-economic damages available after a slip-and-fall accident is crucial for obtaining fair compensation for your losses. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other related damages may be recoverable in slip-and-fall cases.
Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in slip and fall accidents is one of the best things you can do to assess the full extent of your recoverable damages and to help guide you through the legal process. A knowledgeable legal professional will help you build a strong claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Remember, the law is on your side, and pursuing your rightful economic damages can aid in your recovery and provide the financial support needed during this challenging time.