If you are severely injured in a slip and fall, you may be able to get compensation from a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the person who owns the property. Many of these cases go to court, where a jury ultimately decides how much money you can get for your injury. In other cases, the insurance company or the property owner may offer a settlement to end the case without going to court. Calculating these settlements for slip and falls is one of the jobs that a Fayetteville slip and fall lawyer like Ken Kieklak performs for clients. If you were injured, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today for a free consultation on your slip and fall case.
What is My Slip and Fall Worth in Fayetteville, AR?
Calculating how much you should be entitled to for an injury case is difficult, especially for those with no experience with insurance or lawsuits. This means that injury victims and jurors alike may not have a very good idea of what injuries cost. Some elements of the calculation are simple once you know what to look for. Others are based on the typical results of other, similar cases, and an attorney can help you with them.
First, you must look at the types of “damages” available for a personal injury case. If you are hurt because of someone else’s negligence, such as in a slip and fall or a trip and fall case, you may be entitled to three typical areas of damages:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Pain and suffering damages.
Medical expenses are typically simple enough to calculate, because you have records of these expenses. By the time that a settlement is paid or a court case ends, you may have already received most of the medical care, and may have a good estimate of the cost of ongoing or future care. Bills and bank records can be used as evidence to convince a jury or a defendant to award you with enough money to cover those expenses.
Lost wages are more difficult to calculate, and may require an expert. Establishing the cost of wages you already missed is relatively simple using evidence of your typical pay. Your bank records and pay stubs would work can help calculate the total that the defendant owes you for work you already missed. However, calculating future lost wages may require the help of an expert. Financial experts can establish the effects of inflation, missed promotions, and other things that would affect future wages you will miss if your injury is long-term or ongoing.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Settlements from a Fall in Arkansas
The hardest part of calculating a settlement or damages is determining the amount you deserve for your pain and suffering. Unlike lost wages or medical expenses, you cannot put a price tag on the human experience of pain. Because of this, pain and suffering damages are considered “non-economic damages.” In Arkansas, there are no limits or “caps” on these damages, and you can receive whatever the jury thinks you are entitled to. However, if you seek a settlement rather than going to court, the defense may not be willing to award you high damages for pain and suffering. In addition, insurance companies like homeowners insurance often will not pay for pain and suffering. This should be taken into consideration when deciding between accepting a settlement or pressing the case in court.
Pain and suffering is different for every person. The primary way to prove your pain and suffering is by testimony about how the injury felt, how it affected your life, and what your mental process was like. Keeping a diary of your experiences can help prove this later in court.
Understandably, more serious injuries often mean higher damages. In a slip and fall, you can break bones. More serious falls may cause spinal cord injury or back and neck injuries. However, in very serious cases, hitting your head could cause traumatic brain injury.
Broken bones often heal and create no long-term effects, meaning the pain and suffering may ultimately be lower. Spinal cord injury and even bone and muscular pain in your back can be something that lasts for the rest of your life. Even if the initial injury is not particularly severe, the pain and suffering damages may be high because of the long-term effects. However, brain injuries may be excruciating when they occur, and may create long-term effects and lifestyle changes that need to be compensated. This can often mean very high compensation for the pain and suffering alone, let alone the costs of medical care and lost wages.
Fayetteville Slip and Fall Lawyer
Ultimately, talking to an attorney about your specific injuries can help you might be entitled to in a settlement, and if you go to court. Fayetteville personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak can help you file injury claims and fight to get you compensation on your slip and fall case. For a free consultation, call (479) 439-1843 today.