How are Settlements Determined in Slip and Falls
Slips and falls are common. For example, a person can be in a hurry and not notice a sign indicating a wet floor. In addition, someone may accidentally leave behind water after a rainstorm. It’s possible to fall down and simply get right back up. However, a slip and fall can lead to more serious issues. A person may have a sprained wrist, broken a bone or sustained more serious injuries. If someone’s been in a slip and fall accident, the owner of the space can be liable for slip and fall settlements. A slip and fall lawyer Los Angeles can help the person make sure they are compensated fully. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can also help explain how such settlements are determined.
As a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney can explain, many factors go into the final settlement. However, in general, slip and fall settlements are typically determined by answering three specific questions that you will find below. A judge and/or jury will take these questions into account. People want to know which party can ultimately be considered liable for the problem. They also want to know how the party that is considered liable for the accident may have been negligent in some way or contributed to the person’s injuries. Those in charge will also try to determine if the injured party was in some way responsible for the ultimate result.
The Party’s Negligence
Negligence is a specific legal concept that a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can explain. When someone is negligent, they are not considering the safety of others. The law requires people to act in a reasonable, responsible way to prevent unnecessary injury. Many kinds of dangerous situations may exist such as an uneven surface or a large pothole.
The judge and/or jury will need to determine if a reasonable person would have realized the situation was dangerous. They will also try to figure out if the person had opportunities to fix this situation before the person had their injury. Conditions at the location, such as bad lighting, can all be considered part of negligence.
Another factor that a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney can help prove is the owner’s legal responsibility. If the property is owned by more than one person, each person may be held liable. This is why many business owners have insurance. Insurance is designed to protect their interests if such an accident happens. In that case, the plaintiff must file a suit against the insurance company.
In addition to the issue of the owner’s liability, judges and juries will also look closely at the person’s own actions. A slip and fall lawyer Los Angeles can explain that the person may be judged to have some responsibility for their injuries. People are required under law to make every effort to keep safe and avoid problems, such as falls. If, for example, the person chooses to step on ice when it was obvious that the ice was unstable, they can be held liable if they are hurt. A plaintiff should ideally be free of liability in the event of an accident in order to receive the largest possible settlement.
Certain states have what are known as contributory fault laws. These laws assign a certain level of blame to the injured party if it is obvious they were responsible for the outcome. In many instances, it is not possible for people to get any form of settlement in such states if there is any indication that the party is responsible. Other states have what are known as comparative negligence and these laws allow for a settlement. The person is expected to assume a percentage of liability for their injuries. Many actions can contribute to the assumption of partial liability. For example, if the person was walking while talking on the phone and not paying attention to the road, they can be deemed partially at fault if they are hit by a car.
There are different categories of compensation that can be considered when determining a final settlement. Damages can include non-monetary problems. A person can be compensated for mental anxiety, pain and suffering and the loss of a person’s companionship. A judge and/or jury can also award the person funds for other kinds of expenses they might have suffered in the aftermath of a slip and fall. For example, a person may have medical bills and attorney’s fees they need to pay. They may also have medical needs going forward as well as household bills they can’t pay because they were injured. The aim of any court monetary judgement is to make sure the person is given enough compensation that accounts for where they were financially and physically before the accident happened.