Slip and fall incidents are some of the most common causes of accident-related injury and death in the United States. According to the official statistics reported by the National Safety Council (NSC), slip and fall accidents rank second on the list of injury-related deaths in terms of overall mortality. In 2020 alone, nearly 43,000 people lost their lives in slip and fall incidents, with the most deaths recorded in the elderly segment of the population. Data suggest that most such incidents occur in residential areas and are 100 percent preventable if adequate care is taken to ensure that there are no unattended safety hazards at the property.
According to the experienced slip and fall accident attorneys at Friedman Levy in NYC, if you or your loved one gets injured in such an incident in New York, you might be able to sue the negligent party to obtain compensation for your damages. Slip and fall accident compensation depends on several factors that are unique to the circumstances of each incident, and no two cases are alike. It is why expert legal counsel is crucial to ensure that your legal rights will remain protected throughout the process of filing a lawsuit. An experienced attorney will help you get justice for your accident-related damages through a successful legal strategy.
Types of Compensation
When you file a civil lawsuit against the negligent party to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, the compensation you obtain can cover multiple types of damages. These damages are calculated keeping in view the circumstances of your incident and estimating the present, past, and future damages that might result from your accident and related injuries. While your legal team can use any prior slip-and-fall incidents with similar circumstances as precedent to assist with this estimate, the exact amount of compensation awarded by the court or obtained through settlement varies between different cases. The information below will contain overviews of the types of damages you can demand financial compensation for in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Medical bills form one of the most important components of your slip-and-fall settlement. All the hospital visits and costs of medical and surgical treatment for injuries related to the accident form a part of the demand letter your legal team sends to the defendant. Your medical expenses also include the expenses for imaging modalities like X-Rays, MRIs, CT scans, and laboratory work pertaining to your treatment.
Cost of Future Medical Care
When it comes to physical injury, no one can predict the course of treatment. Even if you receive the best medical care in the world, you will have to prepare yourself for future medical expenses related to your injury. The anticipated cost of future medical treatment and physical therapy will also be included in your demand for compensation.
Besides physical rehabilitation, some victims of slip and fall accidents might require occupational rehabilitation to adjust to their existing job or, if their injuries do not allow them to return to their prior jobs, train for new forms of employment. Since these expenses stem directly from the incident and injury, you can seek compensation for them as part of your slip and fall lawsuit.
Incidental expenses include all the costs that arise secondary to the accident and injury but are not covered by any form of insurance. Transportation costs like cab fares or fuel expenses for medical appointments at the hospital to tend to your injury are included in these expenses and can be sought compensation for.
Loss of Income
If you were employed at the time of the accident, you might not be able to return to your job for some time due to your injury. While resting and recovering from your injury is crucial for your health, you are likely to lose income due to your sick leave. Additionally, if the injury does not follow the expected path of recovery or leaves you with residual loss of function, you might lose future wages.
Your slip and fall lawsuit will include your current and past lost wages as well as an estimate of the future earning potential due to injury resulting from your slip and fall incident. The total amount is calculated using your average income at the time of the incident and the period for which you remain unable to return to your place of employment.
Most slip and fall accidents occur in the elderly subset of the population. Since injuries in old age tend to heal slowly and incompletely, there is a significant risk of residual disability even if an individual manages to somewhat recover after receiving medical and surgical care. If a person has to rely on assistive tools like wheelchairs, their home and vehicle might require disability modifications. The expenses related to such modifications can be included in the amount sought as compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Emotional Pain and Suffering
Although it is not possible to quantify the emotional pain and suffering resulting from a traumatic accident, your legal team will try their best to obtain fair compensation for the mental anguish and emotional trauma caused by the negligent party in your slip and fall incident. Most states use a multiplier to compute the compensation for pain and suffering, depending on the extent and severity of your physical injury and financial loss.
If your slip and fall incident resulted from egregious misconduct or willful negligence on the part of the defendant, the court might award additional compensation as punitive damages. These damages are awarded in rare cases where the misconduct is so severe that it warrants the court making an example out of the offending party so that such negligent behavior does not repeat in the future.
If you or your loved one got injured in a slip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have a legal right to sue the negligent party for the compensation of your physical and financial damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and reinforce your legal strategy with the requisite evidence to ensure that you will receive fair compensation for your injury. It is advisable to get in touch with a reputable law firm for legal representation immediately after your accident to safeguard your rights.