When you walk around the mall, the store, or a restaurant, the last thing you expect is to trip and sustain injuries through no fault of your own. However, these accidents happen and can impact your life mentally, physically, and financially.
If you have sustained injuries after tripping in California, you may be wondering what compensation amount you are entitled to if you sue the negligent party. The monetary compensation you will receive will largely depend on the individual circumstances of the case but chances are the average slip and fall settlement in California may end up being several thousand or more!
Since every accident is different, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact compensation amount. However, some factors are used to calculate how much or how little you will be awarded. Some of these include:
The severity of injuries
The main thing that will be analyzed in order to determine the value of the settlement you will receive is the injuries you sustained. Very severe injuries will have a more severe impact on your life physically, mentally, and financially, which means you may be eligible for a larger monetary compensation.
The medical costs
The amount of money you paid for the medical expenses after sustaining injuries in the accident will also affect the compensation amount. If the defendant is found guilty of negligence, they may be held responsible for paying for your treatment costs.
If the injuries you sustained prevented you from working and earning your income, the lost wages will be factored in when calculating your compensation.
Quality of life
The quality of life after the accident is also an important factor that will be put into consideration. For instance, if you are enduring chronic pain and you are unable to enjoy your former quality of life, that could increase the compensation amount you will receive.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering can cause mental and physical issues that hinder your quality of life. Moreover, it can affect your finances. Since pain and suffering are subjective, personal, and hard to quantify, they can even make up the biggest portion of the compensation amount.
Who is liable?
The attorney will need to establish who was at fault for your accident and whether the negligent was fully or partially to blame. If you are partially to blame for the accident, it will lower the compensation amount.
What to do after an accident
After a slip and fall accident, you may feel confused, shocked, and disoriented and may not know what to do. To protect your legal rights, you should:
Seek medical attention
You should seek medical attention immediately after the accident, even if you think you are hurt or not. Some injuries can manifest a few hours or days after the incident. The medical records will be used as evidence later on, so you should ensure that everything you tell the doctor is accurate. Follow the doctor’s directions and recommendations so you don’t hurt your health or the case.
Report to the property manager
When you notify the property manager about the incident, you may be asked to fill out an incident report about the accident. When you do, remember to request a copy that can act as evidence later on.
Take videos and pictures of the area where you tripped to capture the condition of the premises. The footage and pictures can prove that there was a hazardous condition that caused the incident.
Take information from witnesses
You should ask for the phone numbers and email addresses of some of the witnesses so they can provide statements about the incident if necessary. Most importantly, you should keep all the medical bills, a record of how the incident happened, and document the loss of wages. Many insurance companies only negotiate when they see that there is a lot of evidence that is stacked against them.
The truth of the matter is many personal injury cases from tripping incidents never make it to trial. Many of the cases are negotiated outside court by the defendant, the victim, and an experienced attorney.
With that said, you will need to build a very strong case in order to get full compensation for the damages you have sustained. A full and fair compensation should cover all the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium among other damages. Last but not least, if you work with an experienced attorney, you stand a better chance of getting a full and fair compensation amount.