How Much Are Slip and Fall Settlements Worth?
Victims of slip and fall accidents can suffer tremendous harm. When their injuries are caused by a property owner’s carelessness, it’s possible to pursue compensation for medical bills and other losses in British Columbia.
One of the most common questions that injury attorneys get asked is, “How much is my case worth?” The answer is that assigning a dollar amount to a slip and fall case is no simple task.
A number of factors must be considered before putting a value on a claim, particularly the severity of the injury and how badly it has impacted your life.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Vancouver, the injury attorneys at Warnett Hallen can help you determine what a full and fair settlement should be. You probably won’t get a satisfactory settlement offer from an insurance company on your first try. Our attorneys can protect your rights so that you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Call (604) 265-7900 today to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Have a Slip and Fall Case?
Whether you are entitled to slip and fall compensation depends first on whether you have a valid claim.
Canadian law requires that all property owners (known legally as “occupiers”) keep their premises free from all foreseeable hazards. Occupiers may be the physical owners of the property or the ones in charge of caring for it. Examples include:
- Business owners
- Government agencies
- Other entities
If an unsafe condition on the property (e.g., poor lighting, icy sidewalks, unmarked spills) caused you to slip and fall, the occupier(s) can be held liable if it can be shown that they knew of the hazard and did not take reasonable measures to fix the problem.
You should not have to suffer from financial hardships because someone else’s reckless actions (or failure to act) caused you harm. Our Vancouver slip and fall attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to identify who is liable and make sure that they are held accountable for their negligence.
Factors That Impact Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts
Several factors will affect how much your slip and fall settlement should be, including:
Severity of the Injury
Victims suffer from a wide range of injuries in slip and fall accidents, such as broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. While some can expect a full recovery, others who are injured in slip and falls may suffer from permanent disabilities. The worse the injury, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be.
Falling on someone else’s property does not automatically entitle you to compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may share a portion of the fault.
Your degree of fault can drastically affect the amount of compensation you receive for your slip and fall claim. Under the British Columbia Negligence Act, your total amount of compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you are assigned for the accident.
Let’s say you were walking in a grocery store, slipped in a puddle of spilled soap, and broke your hip. You could argue that the property owner should have made sure that the spill was cleaned up and marked with a warning sign.
Property owners can offer several defenses to this claim, such as that they were not aware of the spill or that their employees were on the way to clean it up and place signage.
Next, imagine that you were texting on your cell phone when you slipped and fell in the store. Now you also could be partially at fault. The case goes to court and you are assigned 25 percent of the blame of a $10,000 total award. Your compensation would be reduced by your proportion of fault, and you would collect $7,500.
Because fault plays such a critical role in your overall compensation, it’s critical to talk to one of Warnett Hallen’s slip and fall attorneys before discussing any settlement offers. It’s very likely that the defendant in your case will try to inflate your amount of fault to reduce liability. Our lawyers can ensure that fault is placed on the responsible parties and not unfairly on you.
Compensation for medical expenses in slip and fall cases involves past and current medical costs, but also future ones. Severe injuries may require multiple surgeries over time or long-term nursing care and assistive medical equipment. The more medical and out-of-pocket accident costs, the higher the settlement is likely to be.
Slip and fall victims may never fully recover from their injuries. If you are no longer able to work or to work at the same capacity as you could before the accident, you can be compensated for lost earning capacity.
Similarly, if your injury prevents you from participating in activities that you once loved, your settlement could also include money for lost enjoyment of life.
Slip and fall victims may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement and other damages in Canada.
Our dedicated attorneys work with professionals such as doctors, economists and life care planners who can testify to the impact that the accident has already had on your life (and will continue to have) in the future. Their testimony can strengthen your claim for maximum slip and fall compensation.
Age also plays a role in how BC courts handle slip and fall claims. A young adult is far more likely to bounce back from a fall than an elderly person. The courts recognize that through the Golden Years Doctrine, which acknowledges that age already puts limitations on a person’s abilities, making an injury an even greater insult and perhaps worth more compensation.
On the other hand, the very young also stand to lose a lot when they are seriously injured in a slip and fall accident. A child who becomes paralyzed will not only have ongoing medical needs but is likely to miss out on countless life opportunities that he or she would have had if not for the accident. These considerations are also key when negotiating a fair settlement.
How Is Compensation Calculated?
Compensation in injury cases covers financial losses that you have already incurred or will incur (e.g., medical bills, physiotherapy expenses, cost of prescription medications, etc.) as well as ones that cannot be quantified with receipts. These more subjective kinds of compensation, such as pain and suffering, are usually determined by lawyers looking at what plaintiffs have been awarded in cases like yours and assigning a similar dollar value to your claim.
Our Vancouver attorneys have nearly 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of injury victims throughout British Columbia. We know how devastating a slip and fall accident can be for you and your family. Our mission is to ensure that you receive a settlement that puts you on solid financial footing again.
What If a Slip and Fall Settlement Can’t Be Reached?
Most slip and fall accident claims result in settlements. That’s often the best decision for both parties because it eliminates the need for a more costly and riskier trial.
However, there are cases where settlement negotiations break down. If the defendant in your claim fails to make an acceptable settlement offer, our attorneys will already be prepared to take your case to trial.
Talk to Our Vancouver Slip and Fall Attorneys Now
The injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen combine tough litigation skills and compassion to provide comprehensive legal services to clients in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. We’ll push aggressively for a maximum settlement on your behalf, but also provide personal support to help you through this difficult time.
Contact us or call (604) 265-7900 for a free case review.