If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a business or person’s property, you could suffer serious injuries that require expensive medical treatments and force you to be off work for months or longer while you recover. You may be able to hold the property or business owner responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
You will have to decide whether it is worth it to file a claim with their insurance company. One of the considerations in your decision should be how much your claim is worth.
Unfortunately, there is no precise answer on how much you will receive in your settlement because every case is unique. However, there are a number of factors that go into valuing a claim that can help you get an idea of how much your claim is worth.
Types of Compensation You Can Recover in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
The first step in determining how much compensation you should recover in a settlement with the owner’s insurance company is to figure out the amount of compensation you can recover under Arizona law. In our state, slip and fall accident victims are entitled to their past damages, along with future damages—if they have not fully recovered from their injuries or suffered a permanent injury that will require long-term medical care and will affect their ability to work.
While some types of compensation are relatively easy to calculate, others can be complicated to put a monetary value on. Types of compensation you should request when filing your claim include:
- Medical expenses. You should recover your past and future medical expenses in your settlement. Hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and medications are some of the treatments you may need to treat your injuries and should be reimbursed for by the negligent business or property owner.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you must take time off work while you recover, you should receive your lost wages, sick and vacation time, and other perks of your job that were lost. You may be able to recover lost earning capacity damages if you must switch careers and take a pay cut or become permanently disabled.
- Property damages. You should receive the cost to repair or replace any property damaged in your fall, such as your cellphone or tablet.
- Pain and suffering. You are also entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering and emotional distress you experience due to your injuries and how they affect your life. If you suffered a long-term injury, the amount you should receive could be substantial. You will need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to value this portion of your claim.
Five Factors That Can Affect Your Claim’s Value
Once you determine the amount of damages you could recover under the law, you need to weigh factors that can strengthen or weaken your claim and affect its overall value. Here are a few common factors that could impact how much you can realistically expect to recover:
- Disputes with the insurance company. If there are legitimate disputes with the insurance company over their insured’s negligence or the seriousness of your injuries, this could weaken your claim. You could be forced to accept less money in your settlement.
- Serious injuries. The value of your claim would be higher if you suffered long-term injuries since you will incur more medical expenses, be off work for longer—if you can return at all—and will experience more pain and suffering.
- Your fault. If you were partially at fault for causing your injuries, this could reduce your claim’s value. Under Arizona’s comparative negligence laws, the amount of compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing your injuries.
- Mistakes. If you made mistakes in your case, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement or signing the insurance company’s medical release authorization, this could affect the value of your claim. Serious mistakes can hurt your case and how much your claim is worth.
- Insurance company. Some insurance companies have a reputation for being hard to work with and fighting longer and harder to deny a claim or pay a victim less than they deserve. This can negatively impact how much you can reasonably expect to recover in a settlement.
What’s the Best Way to Increase the Value of Your Claim?
One of the most effective strategies to increase the value of your slip and fall accident claim is to retain a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your fall. Some of the ways an attorney can strengthen your claim include:
- They will collect the evidence needed to prove your case.
- They will advise you on mistakes to avoid that could weaken your case.
- They will take over all communications with the insurance company.
- They will have a network of qualified expert witnesses if you need to hire one.
- They will go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve and will have strategies to defeat their arguments regarding why they are not liable to compensate you.
- They will file a lawsuit on your behalf if the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon or the insurance company refuses to be reasonable.
Were you or a family member injured in a slip and fall accident in Northern Arizona or Flagstaff? Start a live chat or contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your rights and how we can help you obtain justice and the damages you deserve for your injuries.