When taking a walk or running an errand at the store, the last thing you expect is to slip or trip on something and injure yourself. What seems to be a simple slip and fall can easily result in injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, or even worse.
If you have experienced an injury from a slip and fall, you may wonder how much you might be able to recover for an average slip and fall settlement. Many case-by-case-specific factors will affect your unique slip and fall settlement value in Texas. An experienced Texas slip and fall attorney will be able to review these factors with you and help you evaluate your case.
Slip and Fall Legal Claim Basics
In Texas, you could bring a slip and fall accident claim against a negligent property owner under the legal concept of premises liability. In a premises liability claim, you must show that the owner was aware or should have been aware of a dangerous condition on the premises but did nothing to fix it or reduce the harm it could cause. You must prove:
- The owner knew or should have known about a condition on his property;
- The condition posed “an unreasonable risk of harm;” and
- The owner did not reduce or eliminate the risk of harm that the condition created.
An example of a slip and fall claim based on premises liability would be a patron at a grocery store who slips and falls on spilled juice. If the spill had been there for only two minutes, the patron would not likely have a valid slip and fall claim because the store didn’t have enough notice of the spill or time to clean it up. However, if the spill had been there for an hour or two, then the store should have known about it and cleaned it up. If they could not have cleaned it up quickly, they should have at least warned about it with a “wet floor” sign. In that case, the patron would likely have a valid slip and fall claim based on the store’s responsibility to its customers.
Slip and Fall Compensation Available Under the Law
Understanding how to calculate a slip and fall settlement amount requires understanding what types of compensation are available. You can seek economic and non-economic compensation in a Texas personal injury case. Slip and fall compensation may include:
- Lost wages,
- Medical bills,
- Emotional distress,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damages.
No two slip and fall cases are the same, so assessing how much compensation you are entitled to requires the knowledge of a seasoned attorney.
Factors Affecting a Slip and Fall Settlement Value in Texas
Every case is different, and any “average” amount doesn’t account for your case’s unique factors. Settlements can range from a couple of thousand dollars into the millions for severe cases. Several factors affect the value of a slip and fall claim.
Severity of Injuries
The severity of your injuries from the slip and fall will affect the value of your claim. This is fairly easy to understand, as it stands to reason that more severe injuries require more costly medical treatment and typically result in more time lost from work.
Where you fall can also make a difference in your compensation. If you slip at a business, they likely have insurance to pay for your damages. However, if you slip at someone’s home, the owner may or may not have insurance that will cover your fall because homeowners insurance isn’t required in Texas. These factors could affect compensation.
Also, if you slip and fall at work, you may be able to get compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This is a different type of claim, and we can discuss that with you when assessing your options.
In Texas, your ability to recover any award is limited by whether you played a role in your injury. For example, if you played a small part in causing your injury, a court could assign a percentage of fault to you. It would then reduce your recovery based on your percentage of fault. Also, you will not be able to recover anything if you are 50% or more at fault for your injury.
The Average Slip and Fall Settlement in Texas
You may see people on the internet claiming specific amounts for “average” slip and fall settlements, but there really is no such thing as a meaningful average. This is due to a couple of reasons. First, not all settlements get published. So any supposed average would not be able to take those unpublished figures into account, thereby skewing the numbers. Second, as we’ve said, each case is unique. We’ve seen that multiple factors affect a settlement amount, and those factors shift in every case. The bottom line is that only a seasoned attorney knows how to properly assess your unique case and provide you with a meaningful settlement estimate.
Two similar sets of circumstances could result in two very different settlements. Let’s again use the example of slipping down the stairs. Suppose Sara and Bob fall down the same stairs under the same conditions. One might think these accidents are close enough to warrant a similar settlement.
But suppose Sara breaks her ankle, and Bob fractures his neck and hits his head. Sara heals within eight weeks and is only out of work for that period of time. Bob must undergo surgery and cannot work for several months.
Further, suppose that Sara makes minimum wage, whereas Bob is an executive who makes six figures. You can see how the medical costs and lost wages will come to significantly different amounts when these individual factors are considered. Sara’s light injuries and low wages would likely result in far fewer financial losses. Bob’s severe injuries and higher lost wages would likely result in a significantly larger compensation award.
Hire Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Help Value Your Slip and Fall Claim
When you are injured, the last thing you need is to navigate your potential legal claims from a slip and fall. Insurance adjusters and their lawyers know how to fight your claim and try to give you as little money as possible. You need an experienced attorney who will fight for the compensation you deserve. The Hartley Law Firm is here for you. We can help you evaluate your potential slip and fall settlement, and we will litigate the case if the property owner doesn’t settle. Contact us today for a free consultation.