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Average Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts in California

While the average cost of a slip and fall injury is somewhere between $30,000-$60,000, slip and fall cases in California have known to settle for hundreds of thousands – and even millions – of dollars, based upon the severity of the injury, the extent of the negligence on the part of the premises owner, and the quality of the plaintiff’s slip and fall attorney.

The reality about evaluating your slip and fall injury claim is that every case is different. There is no fixed value for a given injury, and no way to immediately predict what your claim might be worth. Thankfully, a consultation with experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney Sean Salamati will provide insight into what to expect from your claim. In preparation for your consultation, we have reviewed some examples of what you might experience with your slip and fall claim below.

How common are settlements?

The reality of slip and fall injury claims in California is that very few of them go to trial. While a small number are dismissed voluntarily or by the courts, the vast majority of these claims come to a close through a negotiated settlement.

That said, not every settlement is equal. To obtain the compensation you deserve it is vital that you build the strongest case possible. Many insurance companies will only negotiate in good faith when they see that the evidence is stacked against them. With the help of a dedicated personal injury lawyer, you might be able to build a winning claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

Factors that impact the value of your claim

A printed out medical bill with a stethoscope on top

Multiple factors go into the potential value of your slip and fall injury claim. These include:

  • Severity of your injuries. The severity of your injuries is the major factor that will determine the strength of your claim. While seemingly minor injuries could still result in significant medical bills, more severe injuries such as hip fractures or traumatic brain injuries often have higher consequences.
  • Your medical bills. If your injury is the result of another person’s negligence, that person is liable for any expenses you incur resulting from your injury, including medical bills.
  • How your injuries impact your life. Your quality of life is also an important factor. If you are dealing with chronic pain or unable to enjoy your previous quality of life, that could increase the value of your claim.
  • Lost wages. The inability to work is a common consequence of serious slip and fall injuries. You can seek damages for lost wages now and loss of future income.

Can I Get a Slip and Fall Settlement Without Surgery?

Yes. Surgery is not a requirement to obtain a slip and fall settlement. However, while it is possible to recover compensation for slip and fall injuries that don’t need surgery, a serious medical procedure will increase your settlement.

Because surgery requires additional medical care including hospital stays, medication, and post-surgical rehabilitative therapy, the costs for these services are factored into the final settlement amount.

If you need time off work for surgery and recovery, the income you lose while you cannot work is also considered part of your damages and added to your settlement.

How To Maximize Your Settlement

Slip and fall injury report on a table.

If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you deserve financial compensation for your physical injuries and emotional hardship. The steps you take following your accident will be essential in determining if you are able to recover the full value of your injury claim. Unfortunately, in some cases, mistakes or missteps could result receiving less than the full amount of damages you sustained.

Our team at Salamati Law can help you maximize your settlement.

In the meantime, consider the following:

  • If possible, in the immediate aftermath of your accident, take pictures of the hazardous conditions that caused your fall. For example, at the grocery store, you may have slipped on a spilled container of milk. An image of this can be crucial evidence because it can be easily mopped up and thus disappear.
  • Make sure to document the clothes you are wearing, particularly your shoes.
  • Follow doctor’s orders. Following the care plan set out by them is important for your health and the outcome of your personal injury settlement. If you do not follow the treatment plan, you could be placing your injury claim at risk.
  • Any delay could work against you. In some cases, you could lose your chance to secure a settlement if you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
  • Talk to us at Salamati Law. We can help you avoid common pitfalls in the legal system.

Common Slip & Fall Settlement Types

Cracked and broken cement steps

Where do most slip and fall accidents happen if they do not occur at home? You can slip and fall just about anywhere that you go in the course of the average day.


Apartment owners and occupants have a right to a safe place to live. Unfortunately, some property owners do not uphold their responsibility to maintain the safety of communal apartment complexes. Loose handrails, cracked pavement, and poor lighting are just a few hazards that cause slip and fall accidents and injuries at apartment buildings.

Grocery Stores

Visiting groceries and other types of retail stores is a regular part of our everyday routine. Yet grocery stores are a common site of slip and fall accidents. Employees and customers can trip on slick floors, spilled food and drinks, freezer and refrigerator leaks, and debris blocking aisles.

Retail businesses cannot always prevent these hazards. But they should be alert and rectify them in a timely manner to keep shoppers safe.


Slip and fall accidents at hotels and motels fall under premises liability law. According to these laws, property owners and operators have a duty of care to protect visitors and guests from dangerous situations.

Again, not all of these hazards are entirely preventable. But if an employee becomes aware of an issue that poses a risk, they must address it quickly, or at the very least, warn others of that risk. Uneven or broken pavement, poor lighting, wet floors, and defective elevators and escalators may lead to hotel slip and fall accidents.

Parking Lots

Parking lots are another frequent site of falls. Parking lot hazards not only increase the risk of falls, but they also contribute to motor vehicle accidents. Dangers in these locations include inadequate lighting, missing signage and pedestrian crossings, uneven payment, and potholes.

How Long Does a Slip and Fall Case Take to Settle?

An hourglass with blue sand running through it sitting on a calendar

It is understandable to want clarity regarding the timeline for favorably resolving your slip and fall case. However, an attorney can’t promise you a specific outcome for your case, which includes guaranteeing that it is resolved by a specific date.

At Salamati Law, while we cannot guarantee when your case might settle, we can help you understand the factors that could speed up or slow down the process. Avoidable delays are one of the biggest issues that can make your case take longer. The other side benefits when your case drags on. Our attorneys could help ensure that you avoid this whenever possible.

Some issues that could impact how long it takes to settle your slip and fall case include the following:

  • Liability. Whether or not the property owner accepts liability in your case will play an essential role in how long a settlement takes. Accepting liability could result in a quick settlement while rejecting liability will create delays.
  • Ongoing medical care. The longer it takes to treat your injuries, the longer it can take to settle your case.
  • Complexity. When there are complex legal issues, your case can take longer to resolve.

Is There a Maximum Settlement Limit in California?

If you were injured in a slip and fall in California, there is no maximum settlement limit on what you can recover by taking legal action. This is good news if you are dealing with a debilitating injury and mounting medical bills from a preventable accident.

California does not impose caps on damages from personal injury claims—with one important exception. Medical malpractice cases are the only personal injury claims subject to limits on non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life.

Are Slip and Fall Settlements Taxable?

Generally, the state of California does not tax the entire portion of your personal injury settlement. Instead, the state taxes only the portion that compensates you for economic damages.

Economic damages are clear, quantifiable financial losses. Lost income is a common example. For this compensation, the state applies the highest marginal tax rate, which at this time is 13.3%.

Keep in mind, there are several exceptions regarding what is considered taxable compensation. For example, settlements for medical malpractice claims and accidents related to workers’ compensation cases are generally not taxable in California.

But medical expenses that are paid for more than a year that were claimed as itemized deductions on the previous year’s taxes are taxable.

While they are rare in California, punitive damages must be reported as income for tax purposes.

Tax laws regarding slip and fall accident settlements are highly nuanced. A consultation with Salamati Law Firm can offer some clarity for your individual case.

How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Maximize My Settlement? 

A slip-and-fall lawyer can maximize your financial settlement by doing the following: 

  • Investigating your fall. A thorough investigation is one of the best ways to strengthen your case. Your attorney can identify all the at-fault parties for your accident. They could also develop a theory of negligence that holds each party accountable.  
  • Compiling your proof of damages. Before settling your case, you need to know the value of your claim. An attorney could help to thoroughly document your losses to ensure you seek everything you are owed. This includes everything from your medical bills to statements about how your injury has impacted your life.  
  • Aggressive negotiation. A skilled attorney can negotiate a fair settlement in a slip and fall injury case, advising you when to accept an offer and when to reject it.  
  • Trial preparation. Most slip and fall cases are resolved through settlement negotiations. However, your attorney can improve your chances of success by treating each case as if a trial were a certainty. This helps ensure you are prepared if your case results in litigation. This approach can also demonstrate to the insurance company that delay tactics will not be successful. 

In the end, it takes two parties to reach a settlement. Despite your lawyer’s best efforts, there are situations when the at-fault party is unable or unwilling to reach an agreement. In those cases, your best option is to take the case to trial and seek a verdict from a jury of your peers. Our team can help you with every aspect of litigating your case while continuing to work toward a fair settlement.  

Learn about the strength of your claim during a free consultation

Businessman shaking hands to seal a deal

Although there is no guaranteed formula to help you identify what your claim is worth, use your out-of-pocket costs as a starting point. It is vital that your injury claim covers all of the medical bills you have accumulated due to the slip and fall accident. However, your injury claim could be worth far more than your current medical bills, due to your future medical needs, pain and suffering, and other types of compensation.

While no one can guarantee a specific amount of compensation for your claim, a consultation with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can provide you with a fact-based estimate of the strength of your case and the chances of success. To discuss your options, schedule a free consultation with Salamati Law as soon as possible.

No Obligation, No Fees Guaranteed, Unless We Win

We are committed to negotiate your case aggressively, strategically and creatively. Personal injury lawsuits are retained on a contingency fee agreement, and plaintiffs will pay no legal fees unless the firm is able to recover damages on your behalf.

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