Slip and fall accidents can be disruptive. They happen fast and without warning, often injuring the person who took a tumble. In fact, slip and fall accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits a year, potentially leading to extensive medical bills and even long-term care costs.
You may be entitled to significant compensation if you’ve been in a slip-and-fall accident. But how much depends on a variety of factors. While slip and fall payouts can help reimburse your medical bills, cover lost wages, and address other accident-related damages, there is no average slip and fall settlement amount. To maximize your claim, it is best to talk to an experienced slip and fall lawyer. A skilled lawyer who understands slip and fall lawsuits knows where to look for evidence to boost your case. They know the suffering you are going through. They have the experience to convey your pain in powerful ways that translate into higher settlement amounts.
If a slip and fall accident has upended your life, the attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner can help. We will coordinate with your medical providers to handle medical bills, deal with insurance adjusters, and help you decide how to keep money flowing while you recover. From the moment you hire us as your Washington State personal injury lawyers, our compassionate team will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
For the purposes of personal injury law, a slip and fall accident occurs when a victim slips, trips, or falls on someone else’s property and gets injured. However, a slip and fall personal injury claim is based on premises liability. This means that not every slip and fall accident will qualify for a slip and fall lawsuit. Nor does slipping and falling on someone’s property automatically mean you are entitled to compensation. Likewise, even if you slipped and fell due to an unsafe condition on the property, it does not necessarily mean the owner was negligent.
What Is Premises Liability?
Successful premises liability cases must prove that the owner of the property where the accident occurred acted negligently regarding their property ownership or maintenance. To pursue a claim, Washington State law and the recent Washington Supreme Court case Johnson v. Liquor & Cannabis Bd., 98726-2, 2021 WL 1916522 (Wash. May 13, 2021), require that, at a minimum, the accident must result from that party’s negligence. Furthermore, dangerous conditions that create a reasonably foreseeable hazard must have caused the accident. Negligence occurs when a party fails to take reasonable actions to prevent injury or harm, and it can happen in a variety of ways. For instance, an auto repair store owner who failed to clean up an oil spill in a customer area may be liable if someone falls. Likewise, a grocery store failing to de-ice its outdoor walkways may be negligent.
Factors That Influence Your Slip and Fall Accident Compensation
The details surrounding your slip and fall accident will determine how much compensation you ultimately receive. Other than negligence, some factors that influence slip and fall settlements include the following.
- Injury type—If you slip and fall and do not get hurt, you are unlikely to qualify for compensation. Conversely, severe or permanent injuries will result in higher settlement amounts.
- Medical Bills—Medical bills constitute the bulk of the money you receive in a slip and fall settlement. Therefore the more extensive and expensive your healthcare costs are, the higher your payment may be.
- Other damages—Aside from medical bills, an injury may result in the loss of current and future wages, pain and suffering, and long-term disability or impairment. Generally, the greater your other damages are, the higher your settlement is likely to be.
- Evidence— If you have strong evidence to support your claim, you are more likely to receive a higher settlement. Evidence that will help support your claim includes photos of the slip-and-fall scene immediately after the accident, witness testimonies, and security camera footage.
- Legal Representation—Notoriously aggressive commercial property insurance companies often defend slip and fall accident claims. For this reason, it is best to have an experienced, knowledgeable legal advocate on your side to fight for the maximum compensation your claim is worth.
After a slip and fall accident, consider calling an attorney immediately so you know how to proceed. The attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner can help you file a claim, examine your evidence, and offer you the best advice.
Kinds of Slip-and-Fall Accident Compensation
Compensation for a slip-and-fall accident can include economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses,
- Long-term care,
- Rehab therapy,
- Medications, and
- Current and future lost wages.
Non-economic damages may include:
- Physical pain and suffering, including chronic pain that can last for months or even years after the accident;
- Emotional pain and suffering, including fear, insomnia, worry, and frustration;
- Loss of consortium in cases where slip-and-fall accidents are fatal; and
- Loss of self-esteem from injuries that result in scarring or permanent disability.
Proving non-economic damages is generally more difficult than proving economic damages. This is because non-economic damages don’t come with accompanying receipts or invoices. Therefore, to prove non-economic damages, you must offer evidence to support your claim, including:
- Doctor’s notes,
- Personal journals that document pain,
- Therapist’s notes,
- Medical bills, and
- Medical prognosis.
While non-economic damages like pain and suffering are often more complicated to prove than economic damages, they can also be more damaging. For this reason, working with an experienced slip and fall injury attorney can improve your chances of receiving significant non-economic compensation.
We Are on Your Side
At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, we fight tirelessly to maximize settlements for our clients. Our Washington slip and fall lawyers are compassionate, knowledgeable, and aggressive when it comes to your rights. From gathering evidence to proving premises liability, our experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure you take all the essential steps toward being compensated. Ready to get started? If you have a slip and fall personal injury claim, we offer free consultations and only get paid when you do. Reach out to us today.