You’re walking along, going about your business. The next thing you know, you’re on the floor and in severe pain. Your injuries are serious enough to prevent work, and require you to see a doctor for treatment. Now you have mounting medical bills and other unexpected expenses.
Slip and fall accidents like this happen every day in Virginia at businesses or on someone else’s property. These incidents result in a type of personal injury case governed by a legal concept called premises liability, which requires owners and occupants to make reasonable efforts to maintain their property’s safety or risk being held responsible for injuries and damages that occur due to dangerous conditions. If your slip and fall occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and losses. But there are many factors that impact fall settlement amounts.
Here’s what you should know about slip, trip, and fall cases, including how The Mottley Law Firm’s exceptional Virginia slip and fall injury attorneys can help you navigate the legal system to recover the compensation you deserve.
What You Have to Prove and What You Could Recover in a Slip and Fall Case
There are specific things plaintiffs must prove in slip and fall premises liability cases to collect damages. Known as the elements of a personal injury case, they include:
The defendant had a legal duty to avoid harming you. In a premises liability case, the defendant had a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to maintain the property’s safety.
The defendant violated their duty of care, meaning they failed to maintain the property to ensure the safety of visitors and guests.
The defendant’s negligence caused the injurious incident.
You suffered injuries or financial damages as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
Virginia law allows slip and fall victims to pursue two main types of damages: economic, which are losses that are quantifiable by a dollar amount; and non-economic, which are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify. Your recovery could include:
- Medical expenses, including the estimated cost of future care
- Lost wages, as well as lost or reduced earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced or lost quality or enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
What Factors Impact Fall Settlement Amounts
There are numerous considerations that determine the value of slip and fall cases in the Old Dominion state. Here are a few examples.
Severity of Injuries
The severity of your injuries is the most important factor in determining slip, trip, and fall damages. Compared to minor bumps and bruises, serious injuries:
- Cost more to treat
- Take longer to heal
- Are more likely to negatively impact professional relationships and opportunities
- Can be permanently disabling
The increase in financial losses, coupled with significant pain and suffering, creates the possibility for sizable settlements.
Statute of Limitations
People injured in slip, trip, and fall accidents—or the personal representatives for the estates of those killed—have only two years to take legal action. If you miss the filing deadline, a judge dismisses your case without review, making it impossible to secure a settlement.
Strength of Evidence and Contributory Negligence
Cases where the evidence clearly shows the defendant is liable typically secure larger settlements than those where fault determination remains murky. Additionally, if the defense can prove that you were partially responsible for the slip and fall, your recovery could be reduced to reflect your degree of fault. For example, if you recovered $50,000, but were 15 percent at fault, your settlement would be reduced to $42,500.
Skill of Counsel
Whether you have a skilled Virginia injury attorney with experience handling the nuances of these cases is another factor that impacts your fall settlement.
How Our Virginia Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys Can Help You
The Mottley Law Firm fights to help slip and fall premises liability plaintiffs in Virginia recover fair compensation. We maximize the value of cases by:
- Conducting thorough investigations
- Gathering evidence to prove the defendant’s liability and provide a clear picture of your injuries and financial losses
- Handling communications with the defendant’s insurer and defense counsel
- Analyzing and negotiating settlements
- Making sure you meet essential court deadlines
We also provide adept legal counsel and peace of mind throughout every step of the process.