How Are Accident Claim Settlements Determined in Court
Do you often hear about people getting rich after stepping on a grape in a store and suing the company? You’ve probably heard a story of someone getting millions of dollars for losing their footing and it may sound too much, but you might find more reason behind it once you know how the settlements are actually determined.
Whether you fall into your work place, slip in the store, or there was an obstruction on the path that tripped you, the owner of the property might be liable for your injury. And, after some time spent with your lawyer, you just might get a hefty settlement. So, we bet you wanna know how these settlements work.
These are the most important factors to be considered?
Without pursuing them legally, you cannot expect anyone to offer you any settlement so, expect to at least threaten with a lawsuit. But, you cannot sue someone who is not liable for the injury and prove that they are.
The first fact that you need to show is that they are really legally responsible for the property and anything that happens on the property in question. Commonly, if you do have a case, liability lies with the owner of the property, or, alternatively, owner of the business where the injury happened.
However, owners can relieve themselves of the liability in question by having liability insurance. An insurance company that has sold the liability insurance to the owner assumes the liability and, in the case of slip and fall accidents, are the ones to be sued in the place of the owner of the property or business the injury took place in.
Another important factor when it comes to filing a lawsuit after a slip and fall accident is negligence. As long as the liable person is careful and did everything a reasonable person would do to avoid people being injured, they are safe from any and all law suits. In order to successfully sue them, you need to show that they were negligent.
Plaintiff’s level of fault
In slip and fall accidents liability can be portioned between the owner of the property and the plaintiff. To put it simply, if the plaintiff is guilty of causing their own injury, there will be no liability for the defending party. So, if you see a puddle of water on the floor in the supermarket and intentionally fall over it to sue, you will simply have no case in court. In fact, the older system (that is still being used in some states) would ban the damaged party from receiving compensation if their own behavior had contributed to the accident that happened.
Nowadays, the most common method has the judge modifying the compensation by the amount of the responsibility the plaintiff carries. On the other hand, if the responsibility of the plaintiff is over 50%, they will not be allowed to recover any damages.
The actual amount
And finally, we are at the pure level of compensation. There are 2 main categories of compensation:
General and special compensatory damages. So, what can we tell you about them?
General Compensatory Damages
These are the most likely to be awarded in cases including injuries from slip and fall accidents. They serve to compensate the injured party for any damages that are not monetary. General compensatory damages usually include damages for pain and suffering, mental anxiety, and loss of companionship.
Special Compensatory Damages
Special damages are awarded in a case where the injury caused the injured person to have monetary expenses. That means that the goal of special compensatory damages is to restore their financial situation that was influenced by the accident. This can be done by demanding the defending party to pay for medical bills, attorney fees, household bills and necessities that have gone up due to the accident, and any cost of medical services that may come up in the future.
If your idea is to settle outside of a courtroom, you would do well for yourself to have everything in writing. Every expense that you had due to the injury and a written note from your doctor depicting both the nature of your injuries and how severe was the pain that the injury caused you. This can lead to you demanding damages for each day that you have spent suffering.
And remember, it is not about getting rich, it is about being justly compensated for the injuries you sustained.
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