The damages for a slip-and-fall are the same as for any other case. We describe damages as falling generally into two categories: (1) personal injury damages; and (2) property damages. The most compelling of these, by far, are the personal injury damages. You can get past medical expenses, past lost wages, future medical expenses, future lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. If there is a permanent injury, you want to have an evaluation done to determine whether the person will be as employable in the future as they were prior to their injury. If they’re not, you’ll get an assessment of the impairment of their earning capacity. This is in addition to lost wages. Also, where there has been such permanent injury, you’ll want to look at having an assessment of their lifelong medical needs. These are objectively measurable based upon the medical records and future demands. In addition, and perhaps the most compelling, are the human losses that should be compensated. This is compensation that is typically categorized under “pain and suffering” and “emotional distress,” but it can best be described as loss of enjoyment of life. The fact is, people with permanent limitations and permanent pain face the prospect of living the rest of their life at less than full capacity. There may be activities or experiences that they most enjoy in life that they can no longer do. In all such cases, what activities they can do are less enjoyable because of their pain and limitations.
There could also be property damage and incidental expenses, that result from someone else’s negligent acts. In most cases, these are negligible or non-existent, and usually have been settled before the client seeks legal help. But that is not always the case. In a slip-and-fall case, these are not going to be as substantial as in a car crash where there are damages to your car. These will include damaged items that were damaged or destroyed in the fall. Generally, these are not substantially disputed once the liability decision is clear. However, clients rarely agree with the used value that an insurance company places on their used (depreciated) property – whether it is a totaled vehicle, a damaged iPad, or a ripped pair of jeans.