Being seriously injured in a slip and fall accident can be a very traumatic experience because most of the time it is such a surprising incident. Most people are not expecting to fall and strike the ground so hard. As we go to stores and commercial establishments, we expect that the property is going to be safe. We expect that the property owner takes the time to inspect the property on a regular basis and remedy any defects or dangerous conditions. But sometimes this does not happen, and property owners are negligent in their maintenance of their properties.
When this happens and someone gets seriously hurt, they can file a lawsuit against the property owner. These cases can be very difficult because the injured party’s own carelessness sometimes comes into play. But having a lawyer experienced in personal injury on your side and fighting for your rights will go a long way in recovering the full and fair compensation for which you are entitled.
Categories of Personal Injury Damages
The categories of damages that you can receive in a slip and fall case is the same that you can receive in any type of personal injury case, whether it be a medical malpractice case, car accident, defective product, or some other type of injury case. The following categories of compensation would apply to every one of these types of cases.
The categories are divided into two groups of damages. First, there are economic damages. This group of compensation covers the out-of-pocket money that you have lost or will lose going into the future caused by the injuries you suffered in the incident. The second group of compensation is called non-economic damages. This category is more esoteric, and there is not a simple equation that you can use to calculate. This is where the benefits of a knowledgeable and skilled slip and fall lawyer comes into play. That lawyer will be able to demonstrate those non-economic damages in a way that a jury will be likely to award a fair amount to compensate the injured person.
The following are the economic damages that you can seek in a slip and fall accident case:
- Past medical bills: If you have unpaid medical bills from the treatment related to the incident, you can place that number into the trial and in front of the jury. You should be reimbursed those unpaid bill amounts.
- Future medical bills: If your medical condition has not healed and resolved itself and you have the need for ongoing treatment, the at-fault party is responsible for the payment of future medical treatment. For example, if the medical experts state that you will need another operation five years from now and it is related to the original slip and fall injury, the reasonable cost of that future surgery can be put into the trial. Your lawyer can add that amount into the total amount that they request when they give their final arguments in front of the jury.
- Past lost wages: This is a simple category to calculate. If the slip and fall injury prevented you from working for six months, you are entitled to receive six months of your wages reimbursed by the at-fault party.
- Future lost earning capacity: This category is a little more complicated to calculate because it covers the lost wages and lost earning capacity you lose if your slip and fall injuries cause ongoing disability. If the slip and fall injury creates a physical disability that affects your ability to earn money going into the future, that amount must be determined. Also, it is not just adding up your current wages up to the point of your retirement at age 65. It has to include concepts of raises, changes in jobs such as promotions, cost of living raises, and many more factors. That is why this category often needs a financial expert who will go over everything and come up with a final number that reflects your future lost earning capacity. It would be this number that is put in front of the jury.
The following are the non-economic damages that you can seek in a slip and fall accident case:
- Pain and suffering: This category of personal injury damages is designed to compensate you for the actual pain you experienced from the injury. Every case is different, and every injury is different. That is why you need an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can evaluate the actual pain suffered and give you an idea as to a reasonable value. This value depends on the facts of the case; the amount of medical treatment; the type of injury; and, surprisingly, the geographical location of the accident and trial.
- Loss of life’s pleasures: This category is designed to compensate the victim for the inability to do the things that give them joy, such as hobbies, going out with the family, vacations, and other pleasures.
- Loss of consortium: This category of compensation is designed to compensate the plaintiff’s spouse. Therefore, if the injured party is married, their spouse would also be a named plaintiff in the lawsuit. Loss of consortium compensates the spouse for the lack of services and companionship that they would have normally received from their injured spouse.
A last category of damages that is rare in slip and fall cases, but is certainly possible under the law, is punitive damages. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant for their outrageous behavior. Punitive damages are allowed only in cases that are more than just mere negligence. The at-fault party’s actions have to be intentional or outrageous in order to have a valid claim for punitive damages.
Mount Laurel Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Help Clients Recover from Slip and Fall Accidents
If you have suffered serious injuries from a slip and fall accident at a commercial establishment, you may be entitled to recover compensation. But you need to hire a law firm that focuses on these types of cases, which can be difficult. The Mount Laurel slip and fall lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman have been helping injured clients for decades. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Mount Laurel and surrounding areas.