What Is the Average Slip and Fall Settlement in Indiana Lawsuits?
There are more than half a million slip and fall injuries in the US each year- totaling around $14 million in damages annually. Slip and fall cases cover a wide range of circumstances and injuries- and the settlements awarded are also very different from claim to claim.
As a victim in these types of personal injury cases, a person may be wondering how much compensation they are entitled to- and what the average settlement is in Indiana. Many things influence the amount awarded in a slip and fall claim- and as such, the total payouts are diverse.
The best slip and fall lawyers in Indianapolis can help victims after a slip and fall accident to maximize their claims and ensure every avenue for compensation is explored.
The average personal injury settlement for a slip and fall accident in Indiana is hard to pinpoint because of just how varied these cases are- but somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 is a reasonable estimate.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
According to Indiana law, a slip and fall accident is when somebody slips or trips- causing them to fall over on someone's property. People who have this type of accident are not automatically entitled to claim compensation- even if they end up injured. Contact Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for questions like, "What is the difference between slip and fall and trip and fall?"
Indiana requires a case to pass the premises liability principles and have clear negligence on the part of the property owner- and the victim cannot be seen to be more at fault- for the claim to be valid.
What Compensation Applies in a Slip and Fall Case?
When a case does meet the requirements, a victim can claim on several fronts.
Medical expenses: The cost of medical bills and other hospital or treatment-related expenses for a fall injury can be recovered.
Lost wages: Lost income during recovery and lost future earning capacity are considered in a claim.
Pain and suffering: A monetary value is applied to the emotional suffering an accident causes- as well as the long-term impact it may have on the victim's life.
Other out-of-pocket expenses: Minor incidental expenses such as travel and parking costs for hospital visits or legal appointments may also be claimed.
Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may apply punitive damages if there was malicious intent or gross negligence from the liable party.
How Are Slip and Fall Damages Calculated?
First, the tangible expenses are considered- meaning the costs that have specific dollar amounts attached and receipts to prove them. These include medical bills, lost wages, and legal costs.
Secondly, the non-economic damages are considered (pain and suffering), and a reasonable figure is given to cover them. This is subjective, so there are likely to be negotiations to settle on a final number.
If punitive damages are applicable, the court will set them separately from the rest of the settlement figure.
What Factors Influence a Slip and Fall Accident in Indiana?
The final amount of compensation is decided through settlement negotiations- but first, there are some things to consider to decide where the negotiations begin- and whether or not the claim is even valid.
Liability and Fault
Indiana law is clear that a slip and fall case only applies if the accident occurred because of an unsafe condition that the owner knew about and did not take reasonable measures to rectify. These rules come under premises liability laws- which are quite complex but exist to avoid anyone being able to sue people every time they slip or fall.
The next thing that determines whether or not a person has a valid claim is fault. Comparative fault is when both the defendant and the plaintiff had some part to play in an accident- meaning the victim was also partially responsible. Courts will decide what percentage of the fault lies where- and if the injured party is found to be more than 51% at fault, they cannot claim compensation.
Type of Injury and Medical Treatment Required
Like in most personal injury claims, the types of injuries suffered make a big difference to the settlement amount. First, serious injuries tend to incur much higher medical expenses- and are more likely to have a long-term impact on a person's life.
Traumatic brain injuries or slip and fall victims who are left with a permanent disability are likely to receive much higher settlements than someone with a minor injury.
Past, present, and future medical expenses are considered in the claim- and the pain and suffering the injury has and will cause.
To recover compensation, the victim must have evidence to prove negligence. Without proof of a dangerous condition and neglected duty of care, it can be difficult to achieve a fair settlement.
The stronger the evidence, the more likely the negotiations are to go in the victim's favor. It is essential to prove a clear duty of care, a breach of that duty, and that the victim does not share the blame more than is allowed.
Insurance limits can impact settlements in cases with significant compensation. If an insurance company cannot or will not pay the amount owed, other avenues need to be explored.
One tactic often used by the defendant to reduce the settlement offer is claiming the victim had a pre-existing condition that contributed to their fall. If the court agrees and believes it is more than half of the reason they fell, they could lose out on financial compensation completely.
Summary of Average Settlements in Slip and Fall Personal Injury Cases
Slip and fall settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands- it all comes down to the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. As long as the case passes Indiana's premises liability and comparative fault laws, the biggest influence on the settlement amount is the severity of the injury. More severe injuries lead to larger settlements, generally speaking. Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on questions like, "What is the open and obvious doctrine in Indiana?"
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help victims reach the maximum compensation available for their claims. Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to war for injured parties with a slip and fall lawsuit in Indiana- fighting for fair compensation for everyone.