How to Determine the Value of Your Slip and Fall Settlement in Texas

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, “Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.”

When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you need experienced slip and fall accident lawyers to ensure maximum value for your slip and fall settlement. Contact our team of experienced injury lawyers at Thompson Law today for a FREE CONSULTATION!

One of the biggest challenges in most slip and fall cases is determining fault, and if the property owner should be held responsible for some or all of the blame based on their inability to provide safe conditions. If you are injured on the job this is a different scenario than if you were injured while at a store or on someone’s personal property.

You need a team of experienced slip and fall attorneys to help get you the slip and fall settlement you deserve. Contact us today for a FREE CASE REVIEW. We don’t make a penny unless we are able to obtain a slip and fall settlement for you.

What Determines the Value of a Slip and Fall Settlement?

A variety of factors will impact the value of your slip and fall settlement. The amount you receive for a slip and fall settlement depends on factors such as the negligence of the owner of the premises, the severity of your injuries, and the manner in which the injuries impact your life.

Further, the size of the insurance policy in place dramatically impacts the value of your claim, is more for the property owner and insurance company at risk. For example, a slip and fall at Walmart is likely worth more than a slip and fall settlement at a small neighborhood store.

Factors that are considered when determining the value of a slip and fall settlement include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Personal property damage
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium (in wrongful death claims)
  • Size of the insurance policy in place

The types of personal injury damages above are typically broken down into two broad categories:  economic damages (also known as monetary damages, or special damages) and non-economic damages (also known as non-monetary damages, or general damages).

Economic Damages

Economic damages are easy to quantify because they refer to a specific expense you have incurred, a debt you owe, or an expense you will incur. Examples of economic damages in slip and fall settlement claims include:

  • Medical Bills:  Medical bills can include the cost of emergency services, hospital stays, physician visits, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, medical devices, and similar expenses directly related to the treatment of your injuries. They can also include related costs, such as the money spent to install a wheelchair ramp at your home. If future treatment of your injuries is expected, you can also include the cost of future care provided by a physician and reviewed by an expert in what is reasonable and customary for the cost of that future care.
  • Lost Wages:  Anytime someone is forced to miss work due to injuries or obligations that were caused as a result of an accident, part of the settlement includes payments for lost wages. There is a major distinction between work that has already been missed vs work that will still need to be missed. We cover some calculations for projecting future lost wages here. Basically, if you can still work but can’t do your previous job, your settlement will be different than someone who isn’t able to work at all anymore, or someone who can’t perform their old job right now but will be able to in the future.
  • Reduced Earning Capacity:  When your injuries prevent you from returning to work in the same occupation in which you were previously employed, a claim for reduced earning capacity can be made in your slip and fall settlement. For example, if you used to work in a manual labor job making a higher wage, and your injuries have forced you to take a desk job, you may have a claim for reduced earning capacity. That claim will be presented and reviewed to estimate the loss of earnings up to retirement age, and then discounted back to present value to account for the time value of money.
  • Personal Property Damage:  These claims are fairly straightforward. For example, if your mobile phone or tablet was broken in your in accident, you can make a claim for the value of that property at the time of your accident.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Physical Pain and Suffering:  Pain and suffering is difficult to prove and quantify, but it refers to the physical discomfort you experienced due to your injuries and the healing process. When the pain is ongoing or permanent, there can also be a claim for future pain and suffering in your slip and fall settlement. There are many ways to prove pain and suffering damages, but it is typically captured in your medical records and documented by your physician and physical therapist.
  • Mental Anguish:  Mental anguish is a component of pain and suffering that relates to the mental trauma following your accident. Examples of mental anguish also should be documented in the medical record if a claim is to be made, and can include things like difficulty sleeping, anxiety or depression requiring medication, elevated blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and stomach pain that required you seek medical attention.
  • Disfigurement:  This refers to any visible scaring or other physical changes or ailments. Examples can include scarring from burns, surgical scarring, loss of limbs or digits, scars from lacerations, and similar outward signs of a change to the body. Generally, the more obvious and severe the changes are to a person, the more weight a disfigurement claim holds.
  • Diminished Quality of Life:  For a diminished quality of life claim to be presented, typically a victim will need to prove that they have suffered a permanent injury that affects their daily living and prevents them from doing things they used to enjoy. As an example, a claim for diminished quality of life could apply if an injury victim used to run marathons, but an injury to their back or leg has prevented them from running anymore.
  • Loss of Consortium:  Loss of consortium is a type of personal injury claim that is brought by the surviving spouse or close family members when an injury victim passed away as a direct result of their injuries suffered in an accident. Loss of consortium claims are intended to compensate for the close family members being deprived of the close intimate or familial relationship with their deceased loved one.

When you find yourself in a slip and fall accident in Texas, you need to get the best personal injury lawyer with experience handling slip and fall settlements. Slip and fall accidents are often overlooked or brushed off by employees. However, it is important to get the proper medical treatment so that you have a basis to start your claim, and an attorney with a track record of strong results handling slip and fall settlements.

If you believe that you have a basis for making a slip and fall claim, contact our accident lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION. We will ask some questions about your accident, answer any questions you may have, and can have an attorney working on your flip and fall settlement claim today.

How Do You Prove Negligence in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Negligence is slip and fall accidents is often difficult to prove. Generally, three facts must be in your favor to have a strong slip and fall case: 1) the dangerous condition which caused your accident was not “open and obvious”, meaning it is not something a reasonable person would have seen; 2) the owner of the premises had knowledge of the dangerous condition on his or her property; and, 3) the property owner did not take reasonable steps to repair, replace, or restrict the area so visitors or guests on the property would not be harmed.

Slip and fall accidents are a subset of premises liability cases. For negligence to apply as it relates to the owner of the premises, your slip and fall attorney will have to prove four elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care:  The defendant was owner, lessor, or renter of the property on which you were injured, and owed you a “duty of care”
  2. Breach of Duty:  The defendant breached that duty of care owed to you
  3. Causation:  Breaching the duty of care led to your injury accident
  4. Damages:  You suffered financial consequences as a result of the accident

A slip and fall settlements attorney will be able to help prove up all of these elements with your help. We will be able to investigate and prove who the owner of the property was at the time of your accident, although sometimes obtaining that proof requires filing of a lawsuit.

We will establish whether a duty of care was owed to you based on the type of “visitor” you were on the property, with invitees having the highest duties of care due to them, and trespassers the least. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding the dangerous condition to prove up knowledge by the owner, and your medical bills and other damages will prove up your financial consequences.

If you were injured on someone else’s property in a slip and fall due to the dangerous or defective conditions on their property, call our slip and fall attorneys to discuss your slip and fall settlement options. We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS and charge NO FEE unless we are able to obtain a recovery on your behalf.

Are Slip and Fall Settlements Taxable?

The IRS has compiled an information sheet to break down some basic instances of how to determine if all or part of your settlement is taxable. The general rule of thumb is that any compensation directly related to the physical damages incurred will not be taxable. So generally subsequent injuries and ongoing mental anguish or trauma as a result of the accident may be taxable. These are all just very loose rules of thumb and if you want to read all about the tax implications of your settlement you can visit the IRS page dedicated to this topic.

slip and fall settlement lawyer

Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace

Slip and fall accidents in the workplace are very common and account for 16% of all claims according to workers comp statistics from ITT-Hartford Insurance Company. Falls from elevation are generally more dangerous. Falls from elevation comprises approximately 40% of compensable fall cases. Fatalities due to slip and fall accidents are not common. However, approximately 10% of occupational fatalities are a result of a slip and fall accident.

Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace

  • Wet floors or recently waxed floors
  • Lack of proper maintenance or repairs causing a walking surface to be uneven or unsteady for someone to walk on
  • Unmarked or uneven steps
  • Missing handrails
  • Improperly secured ladders
  • Poor lighting
  • Torn, loose, folded, or bulging carpets, rugs, or mats
  • Potholes or drastic changes in elevation in parking lots and on sidewalks
  • Broken, deteriorated, or cracked flooring or stairs
  • Obstacles on the floor that are not easily visible
  • Improper footwear for the job being performed (if instructed to wear these shoes you are not at fault). Please wear the proper foot protection that your employer asks you to wear. This will ensure that you can’t be held responsible

If you suffered injuries related to a slip and fall in the workplace, call our accident injury lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Texas Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accidents

If you or a loved one were a victim of a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of someone else, you are entitled to file for a slip and fall settlement for the damages and pain incurred. Often people who are victims of slip and fall accidents in Texas pay for their medical expenses out of pocket. Or even worse take the low-ball settlement offers that insurance companies try to pressure you into following an accident.

Oftentimes, insurance companies or the individual(s) involved in causing your accident will try to get you to take a lower settlement than what you are entitled to. You have up to 2 years to pursue legal action in our great state of Texas. The Texas statute of limitations that applies to slip and fall injury claims is the same statute that is used for all personal injury cases, specifically Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003.

Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

Contributory negligence is a concept that you want to be familiar with if you are a Texas resident. Texas follows comparative negligence common law. This means that if a slip and fall case goes to trial in Texas, the state’s “modified comparative negligence rule” will determine how much you can still receive from the property owner for your slip and fall settlement.

The modified comparative negligence rule is relatively simple. Whatever percentage of blame the jury finds the victim of the accident guilty of, is reduced from the settlement. For example, say you got into a slip and fall accident in Texas and your settlement was worth $100,000. Then the jury found you 30% responsible for the accident. That means that you would be entitled to $70,000 because your settlement would have been reduced by $30,000 due to proving your 30% negligence.

Negligence laws vary by state, and the relevant laws that apply are the state in which your accident occurred. As you can imagine, insurance companies and corporate legal teams will do everything they can to try to increase the amount of negligence that can be blamed on the victim. Don’t let the insurance companies push you around!

Do not let insurance adjusters take advantage of you or your loved ones after a slip and fall accident. Call Thompson Law for a free consultation. Let us go up to bat for you. We have experience navigating the clever and shady tactics of insurance companies, and a proven track record of success for our clients.

Slip and Fall Settlements: The Thompson Law Difference

Our firm’s Managing Partner, Ryan Thompson, has been ranked in the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers and is a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years, so if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding your slip and fall settlement. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation.

Don’t hesitate, call us and get your free case evaluation today! There’s no fee unless we win a slip and fall settlement for you.

No Win No Fee for Personal Injury Case

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State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.