A slip and fall accident is one of many types of accidents that fall under the umbrella of premise liability, which is the legal concept that a premise owner or manager (or others, depending on the contractual arrangement between the owner and responsible party) is responsible for the safety of visitors to their property from injuries caused by unsafe conditions. If you visit someone’s property legally (and, in some cases, illegally) and are injured as a result of a hazardous condition, then you may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party under the legal concept of premise liability.
If you have been injured after a fall on someone else’s property, then you will likely be able to file a claim through the premise liability insurance that the responsible party has exactly for this situation. However, even working with an insurance company can be a frustrating and overwhelming process as the insurance company will be looking for every possible angle to either deny your claim or reduce the final settlement by as much as possible. When you are trying to recover from your injuries, learning your legal rights, and then negotiating with an insurance company is not only something you won’t want to do, it can be bad for your health.
Contact Balkin & Mausner For a Free Consultation For Your New Jersey Slip and Fall Case
Every interaction that you have with the insurance company, property owner, or any other interested party is an opportunity to make incorrect statements, submit documentation that will hamper your case, or otherwise take a step that can seriously impact your final settlement down the road. Instead of worrying about the “right” way to handle the investigation of your claim, hiring a personal injury attorney is arguably the best thing that you can do throughout this entire process.
Contact Balkin & Mausner as soon as possible so schedule an initial consultation, so that we can talk about the support that we will be happy to provide you throughout this entire stressful process, and how we can help you fight for the money that you truly deserve. Insurance companies prefer that victims work alone so that they can use their tried and true tactics in order to reach a low settlement agreement, but when you have the slip and fall law firm of Balkin & Mausner representing your case, you can be confident that we will fight for fair compensation through either a settlement or a lawsuit in the New Jersey courts.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
In order to determine whether or not you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, it can help to know what a slip and fall accident actually entails. Simply put, and as the name implies, this type of accident happens when the victim slips, trips, or otherwise falls as a result of a hazard on property that someone else owns.
In order to ascertain whether or not the owner or manager is liable for the accident, there are a series of details that will need to be examined:
- Did the property owner or manager know about the hazard, or should they have been aware of it? Not being aware of the hazard is not necessarily a legitimate defense.
- Did the owner or manager fail to take adequate action to repair the hazard, or warn visitors of the hazard?
For example: if you are injured after slipping on a wet floor, we will need to look at a range of factors present in the situation, such as why the floor was wet, if the owner or manager took corrective actions, or if it was reasonable that they should have been aware of it and either fixe the root issue or appropriately warned you, such as with a “WET FLOOR” sign or cordoning off the area.
Calculating Damages After a Slip and Fall Accident
When you file your insurance claim (or lawsuit), arguably the most important question of your case will be the question of the money that you deserve. The insurance company will take any possible actions to limit your settlement, which is why it is so important to work with an attorney in order to get the money that you deserve, and not just accept a settlement offer that works for the insurance company’s financial goals.
In a personal injury case, the victim and their legal representation will be seeking compensatory damages, which are intended to provide compensation for measurable losses and damages that the victim has suffered. This is in contrast to punitive damages, which are not included in calculations, and are only awarded to victims in rare cases by a judge or jury at the end of a lawsuit.
Compensatory damages are divided into two separate types:
Economic damages are the easier of the two to calculate and are the basis of your case. They seek compensation for damages that have measurable dollar values, as opposed to the more-abstract non-economic damages that we will discuss below. They include things like your medical costs—hospital bills, ambulance rides, recovery costs, physical therapy, prescriptions, surgeries, copayments, and much more—as well as impacts to your income or your ability to work, such as a diminished earning capacity due to your injuries, missed time at work due to treatment and recovery, and more.
In addition to these two primary areas of economic damages, there are many other details that you and your attorney will go over, such as any services that you have hired in order to assist with ordinary tasks that you would have handled otherwise, such as grocery shopping, driving, cleaning, cooking, and more.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate for damages that do not have measurable dollar values associated with them, and that may be more difficult to quantify at all. These types of damages include the pain and suffering of your injuries, the emotional trauma that you endured during the accident and after, as well as the anxiety, fear, or depression that you may suffer from during the recovery phase.
There are many other non-economic damages that you and your attorney may be able to identify as well, but as with all damages in a slip and fall case, they will be extremely specific to your unique situation. Once all of the damages have been identified, your attorney will then need to go through a complex process of determining a fair, understandable, and reasonable dollar amount for them in order to include these impacts in your settlement negotiations or your lawsuit.