Yellow sign that alerts for wet floor in airport.Yellow sign that alerts for wet floor in airport.

Whether you have slipped and fallen in a shopping mall, a parking lot, or even in a government building, the factors that affect the settlement value will be the same. This does not mean that a settlement amount will be easy to calculate because each slip and fall injury will have a unique set of facts that will impact the damages. At the Salamati Law Firm, our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys understand slip and fall cases and have helped victims of negligence throughout California obtain maximum compensation for their injuries.

Factors affecting slip and fall lawsuit settlement amounts

Some clients want to know if there is an average settlement for a slip and fall injury. There is no standard calculation that can determine the value of slip and fall compensatory damages. However, California law recognizes the right of a person injured by someone else’s carelessness to be made whole. This means they may recover compensation for many categories of losses so they may be restored to their prior condition.

Categories of slip and fall damages

The simplest way to understand the categories of damages in slip and fall cases is to break them down into economic losses, non-economic losses, and in rare cases, punitive damages.

Economic losses, also called special damages, include losses for which a dollar sign can be easily assigned. They include both losses that have already occurred and those that are reasonably anticipated. This category includes:

  • Medical bills – both past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Medications, medical supplies, and related out-of-pocket costs
  • Cost to replace services that cannot be performed due to injury

Non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages, include recognized losses that do not have a clearly-defined value. Instead they may be estimated by techniques like multiplying the economic losses by a number that reflects the severity of the injury. Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Lost earning capacity

Slip and fall punitive damages are uncommon but in certain cases they are obtainable in California. Some things to keep in mind:

  • A plaintiff must be able to show conscious disregard of the hazard by the defendant
  • Settlements are voluntary and defendants generally do not agree to pay punitive damages
  • As a matter of public policy, an insurance company will not pay punitive damages so they are harder to collect and defendants ordered to pay them often drag out the process by filing an appeal

Other factors that will come into play in slip and fall compensation amounts include:

  • The plaintiff’s prognosis for recovery
  • Whether the plaintiff was partially at fault for the fall – this does not prevent recovery but can reduce the amount available

Slip and fall out of court settlement amounts

Settling out of court can save the parties the time, expense, and stress of trial. However, it may also prevent a plaintiff from receiving full compensation.

If you are injured in a fall on someone else’s property, there is a good chance an insurance adjuster will contact you very early on to sign paperwork and receive a settlement check. But that paperwork will contain a release – that means if you have more medical bills or disabilities caused by the injury that you were not yet aware of, you can never recover those from the at-fault party. An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate the situation to determine whether an out-of-court settlement takes into account all of the reasonably anticipated bills. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, Sean Salamati is prepared to go to bat for you in court.

How long do slip and fall settlements take

The timeline of a slip and fall settlement in California truly varies from case to case. A settlement can take place very quickly, within weeks of the accident, or the process can take several years.

It may be tempting to accept an early offer from an insurance adjuster but know that these come with strings – when you sign a settlement, you agree to release any other claims against the other party that are related to the claim. This means if you discover after you settle that your sprain is really a fracture and you will suffer some degree of permanent disability, you cannot go back to recover more compensation.

The Salamati Law Firm puts the needs of clients first. We never waste time in getting clients a settlement but we make sure that settlement takes into account the full scope of the injuries. And if necessary, we are willing to go to trial to ensure clients get what they deserve.

Speak with a lawyer about slip and fall compensation in California

A slip and fall injury can set you back physically and financially. That is why we aggressively fight for your rights and ensure that a settlement encompasses all of the losses you have and will suffer. Call 1-888-259-4060 today to schedule a free consultation with a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles from Salamati Law to find out how we can help you.

Additional slip and fall settlement resources:

  1. ABA Journal, Jury awards $1.6M to man in supermarket slip-and-fall, including $1M in punitives,
  2. California Legislative Information, Civil Code § 3294 Exemplary Damages,