It varies widely depending on your damages. The more significant your injuries are, the more your case will generally be worth.
You should expect to seek enough compensation for all your medical bills (current and future), as well as lost wages for any days you couldn’t work due to your injuries.
You may also have additional damages, including:
Whether or not surgery is required isn’t the only factor that affects the settlement amount. A person can have severe injuries without surgery or have minor surgery and recover relatively quickly.
“Surgery” can range from repairing a small tear in a tendon to correcting a brain bleed.
Additionally, a patient who doesn’t need surgery could still develop a permanent, life-altering disability.
For example, let’s say that Bob slips and falls at the grocery store. He hits his head on a display case and suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in difficulties with speech and language.
Doctors determine that surgery would not help and refer Bob to speech therapists instead. Despite their best efforts, Bob’s improvement is minimal, and he still struggles to communicate most of the time.
As a result, he can no longer work and requires assistance for many daily tasks, like shopping or interacting with others. In this case, Bob’s damages are considerable – his medical bills are high, he’s lost the ability to earn income, he sustained a significant and permanent impairment, and even his relationships may be affected.
Although he never needed surgery, his damages would be substantial, possibly six or seven figures (depending on other factors).
So far, we’ve talked about what your damages are worth. Your slip and fall attorney will work to ensure they cover all your damages and help you determine a fair amount of compensation.
However, in some cases, the injured person (or plaintiff) decides to settle for a little less than the total amount they requested. More than 95 percent of all personal injury cases end in a settlement in which the plaintiff accepts a certain amount of money from the defendant (or their insurance carrier) rather than continue to trial.
There are three common reasons why some people settle for a lower amount of damages than they initially asked for:
People dealing directly with the insurance company sometimes accept the first settlement offer because it seems fair.
This is because it is very difficult for the average person to calculate what their damages are worth.
The insurance company’s first offer is frequently too low. The insurance adjuster knows they can extend a larger offer later, but many people simply accept the first offer because they don’t realize what their case is worth.
To avoid this situation, speak with a North Carolina slip and fall attorney before you accept any insurance company offers.
This is also true for the insurance company, so in many cases, both parties are willing to negotiate. A court case can be emotionally exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive for both sides.
If the insurance company is willing to pay a reasonable amount, even a little lower than you wanted, it’s worth considering their offer. Of course, it may be hard to know if the insurer’s offer is reasonable, so having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side is helpful.
It’s always your decision whether you want to accept an offer, but we can answer questions and help you figure out whether the amount is at least in the ballpark of what your claim is worth.
North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state. This means that you can’t collect damages from another party if they can prove you were even 1 percent at fault for your own injuries.
Even in cases where there is substantial evidence that the defendant was negligent, there may be some evidence that the plaintiff had at least a small percentage of responsibility.
For instance, if you slipped and fell in a mall, your attorney might argue that the mall failed to clean up a spilled drink in a timely manner. But the mall’s insurance company could argue that you probably would have seen the puddle if you hadn’t been staring at your phone while you walked around the food court.
Also, they have a video of your eyes glued to the phone screen right before you fell. A jury might find that the mall was still 90 percent responsible, but that 10 percent could cost you the opportunity to recover any damages.
In such a situation, the mall might offer to settle for a lower amount so they don’t have to put time and money into a trial, and you might agree to avoid the risk of receiving nothing.
As you can see, average settlement amounts can’t answer what your particular claim is worth. If you want to know how much to expect in damages, please contact Tatum & Atkinson at 800-LAW-0804 for a free consultation.
If we take your case, you won’t pay any fees until we win or settle it.