The settlement value of a slip and fall personal injury case that involves surgery is typically higher than cases without surgical intervention. The inclusion of surgery adds significant medical expenses, pain, and suffering, which are crucial factors in determining the settlement amount. However, as each case is unique, it’s challenging to provide an exact figure, and the actual settlement will depend on various factors such as:
- Type and Extent of Surgery: The nature of the surgery, its complexity, and the extent of the procedure will influence the settlement value. Major surgeries with longer recovery times generally result in higher settlement amounts.
- Medical Expenses: The total medical expenses related to the slip and fall injury, including surgery, hospitalization, follow-up treatments, rehabilitation, and medications, are considered when calculating the settlement.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical and emotional pain and suffering endured due to the slip and fall injury and the surgery are significant factors in determining the settlement value.
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings: If the surgery caused you to miss work or impacted your ability to earn in the future, compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity may be included in the settlement.
- Long-term Effects: If the surgery has left you with long-term or permanent disabilities or impairments, the settlement value may increase to account for ongoing medical care and potential life-altering effects.
- Liability and Negligence: Establishing liability and proving that the property owner or another party was negligent in causing the slip and fall accident is crucial in determining the settlement amount.
- Insurance Coverage: The available insurance coverage, both from the liable party and your own insurance policies, can also impact the potential settlement amount.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney is vital in such cases, as they can assess the full extent of your damages, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you have undergone surgery due to a slip and fall injury, seek medical attention immediately and consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and options. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and provide a more accurate estimate of the potential settlement value based on the unique circumstances involved.
What Is a Settlement?
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand what a settlement is and what it means for you. Generally, a settlement is an agreed-upon amount of compensation that occurs outside of court. It is negotiated between the parties without the need for judicial intervention. A settlement will also typically dispel the defendant of any further liability or responsibility. Most cases resolve in a settlement, and only a small percentage go to trial. It is possible to negotiate a settlement on your own, but if you are inexperienced at negotiating with insurance companies, there is a high likelihood that you will not get the adjuster to give you what your case is worth. Insurance adjusters work to save their company money and pay you as little as possible. Therefore, it is best to have an experienced personal injury lawyer deal with the insurance company or defendant. Settlements will vary widely from case to case, not just in the amount but also in the type of settlement. Settlements can be in the form of lump sum payments or incremental payments.
While there is no precise settlement calculator, several factors will be considered when determining slip and fall settlements. These include the following:
- The severity of your injuries,
- Present and future medical costs,
- Lost wages,
- Insurance policy limits, and
- Applicable law.
A jury or judge will use these same factors when rendering an award should a case proceed to trial.
Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries
There are a plethora of injuries that could occur as a result of a slip and fall, some more severe than others. Common slip-and-fall injuries include the following:
- Broken bones,
- Other traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord and neck injuries,
- Wrist injuries,
- Cuts and scrapes,
- Hip fractures, and
- Chronic pain.
A slip-and-fall accident can result in multiple injuries at once. Many of these require extensive medical treatment, including surgery and rehabilitation. In addition, many slip-and-fall injuries are not immediately apparent but manifest over hours, days, or weeks. If you are a victim of a slip-and-fall accident, it is imperative to seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Types of Damages
There are generally three types of damages in slip and fall cases: economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are intended to cover actual, calculable costs incurred due to your injuries, including medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are subjective or intangible losses that compensate you for the negative impact your slip-and-fall injuries have on your life. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. While it is common for plaintiffs to recover economic and non-economic damages, only a tiny percentage recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for particularly egregious conduct. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence standard, allowing a plaintiff to recover damages only if their percentage of fault for the fall is less than 51%. If a plaintiff is more than 51% at fault, they will likely be barred from compensation altogether.
Slip-and-Fall Settlements with Surgery
With the type of damages in mind, it is reasonable to conclude that slip-and-fall accident settlements will be larger for people who require surgery than for those who do not need surgery. Since economic damages are intended to cover the plaintiff’s medical bills, treatment requiring surgery is likely to have a higher price tag. Typically, injuries requiring surgical repair are relatively severe. For instance, a broken hip requiring hip pinning is much more severe than a couple of bumps and bruises that merely require over-the-counter pain medication. Slip-and-fall injuries resulting in surgical repair are also more likely to increase your noneconomic damages, mainly because of the extensive recovery period. You may be unable to work, engage in household chores, or participate in the social activities or sports you enjoyed before your injury. The inability to participate in these activities may be temporary or permanent, depending on the extent of your injuries. Still, it can undoubtedly lead to emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.