Slip-and-fall accidents can cause a host of injuries such as broken bones, sprained wrists and ankles, cuts and abrasions, neck pain, and soft tissue injuries. Thus, if you've been injured on someone else's property, you can claim damages for your injuries. Compensation for slip-and-fall injuries can range from nothing to thousands of dollars. How do you know how much your claim will be worth? Here are the key factors determining how much you can receive after an accident.
Cause of the Accident
To receive compensation after a slip-and-fall accident, you must prove that the accident resulted from the owner's negligence. For example, if you fell on a patch of ice that a retail store owner failed to clean up, you can sue for your injuries. Similarly, if you tripped because of a carelessly installed extension cord, you can file a claim. However, your claim may be denied in the following instances:
- Getting injured while trespassing on private property
- Getting injured in an area that was clearly marked as dangerous
- Getting injured due to an unpredictable event
As the plaintiff in this claim, the burden of proof lies on you and your legal team. Thus, you must prove the negligence of the property owner. Luckily, even if the owner wasn't aware of the hazard, they will still often be considered legally liable.
Cause of the Injuries
As the plaintiff, you must show that your injuries resulted from the fall. The other party is only obligated to offer compensation for injuries related to the accident. For example, injuries such as cuts, abrasions, broken bones, and sprained ankles and wrists can be easily tied to a slip and fall. However, if you had back or neck pain before the accident, you may be unable to claim compensation for the injury. For you to claim damages, you must show that the fall aggravated the condition.
If you were slightly responsible for your slip-and-fall accident, you might receive lower compensation. This is known as comparative negligence. The other party may use the following negligent factors to argue for less compensation:
- You were texting while walking
- You were wearing low-traction footwear on slippery floors
- You were in restricted areas of the building
The other party may argue that the conditions leading to the accident should have been obvious. For example, if there was a visible power cord on the floor, you should have seen and evaded it. In this case, you will receive damages based on the percentage of negligence of the defendant. For example, if the total damages are $5,000 and the store owner was 80% negligent, your compensation amount will be $4,000.
Contact a personal injury attorney at a law firm like Leisawitz Heller for professional representation in a slip-and-fall accident case.