Slip-and-fall injuries can result in increased morbidity and mortality, productivity losses, and socio-economic strains on the public. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip-and-fall accidents result in over a million emergency department visits per year.
Those who suffer injuries in an Indiana slip-and-fall accident because of another’s negligence might have a valid compensation claim. The settlement amount for a slip-and-fall case depends on various factors, including the circumstances of the case and the quality of the victim’s injury attorney. If you’re injured in an accident, consult with an attorney to discuss the average settlement for a slip-and-fall claim and how to secure maximum compensation for their damages.
What Is a Slip and Fall in Indiana?
In the legal context, “slip and fall” refers to situations where you suffer an injury when you slip or trip and fall due to a dangerous condition or hazard on another person’s property. In Indiana, slip-and-fall claims are based on negligence and premises liability principles.
Under Indiana law, homeowners, businesses, and landlords must ensure that their properties are reasonably free of potential hazards to residents, customers, employees, and the general public. If you want to recover damages from a negligent property owner, you must prove the following:
- The hazardous or dangerous condition on the property caused the slip and fall;
- The property owner had notice or should have reasonably known of the hazard; and
- The owner failed to warn of or remedy the dangerous condition.
Establishing these elements requires a comprehensive understanding of complex procedural, statutory, and evidentiary rules.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
The NFSI reports that workers’ compensation and medical costs for employee slip-and-fall accidents cost approximately $70 billion annually, and total injuries from falls are around $14 million annually. However, beyond these figures, it is challenging to identify the average slip-and-fall settlement in Indiana because compensation can vary significantly depending on the unique facts and circumstances of the fall and injury.
Further, many slip-and-fall cases are settled without trial, and the outcomes of these negotiations are often kept private. Because we don’t have data for the many cases where the settlement is not reported, any average based only on the reported cases would be significantly incomplete and inaccurate. So instead of thinking in terms of “average” settlements, see a skilled injury attorney so they can assess what your case is likely to be worth.
Types of Compensation Available After a Slip and Fall
According to some studies, slips and falls are among the most frequent accidents leading to injuries. These incidents can cause head and back injuries, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, sprained joints, and even death. Slip-and-fall injuries can result in a slew of financial consequences for you and your loved ones. As a result, Indiana permits slip-and-fall victims to recover economic and noneconomic damages. Further, in certain limited cases, Indiana courts also award punitive damages.
Damages after a slip-and-fall accident could include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses;
- Loss of income and benefits;
- Incidental expenses; and
- Pain and suffering.
Punitive damages might be available in cases where the liable party acted with malice, fraud, or gross negligence.
Factors That Impact Slip-and-Fall Settlement Amount
An experienced injury lawyer can help slip-and-fall accident victims understand the factors impacting the compensation they can expect through settlement or a jury verdict. Various factors can affect the settlement the victim can expect to secure.
Like car accident cases, insurance coverage plays a critical role in premises liability cases, especially when the at-fault party is a business or commercial venue. The company relies on its insurance limits to pay out a victim’s claims, but these limits might not be high enough to fully compensate you for your losses. An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to reach an appropriate settlement amount, and if the insurance coverage limit does not meet your losses, your attorney will know if there are any other avenues for compensation you can take. For instance, if the commercial venue operates on rented property, perhaps you could sue the landowner. A skilled attorney can go over your options with you.
In Indiana, a property owner’s specific duty of care to you depends on your status at the time they slipped. Thus, liability will differ depending on whether you were on the property as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
Severity of Injuries
It stands to reason that the more severe your injuries are, the more medical costs you will have. More severe injuries also tend to negatively impact your life as well. Therefore, the more serious your injuries, the higher your compensation is likely to be.
At-fault parties may claim various defenses to reduce the amount they owe you. Asserting a pre-existing condition to minimize a settlement is a common tactic. Although a pre-existing condition will not bar your recovery, it can decrease the total settlement. If relevant, a slip-and-fall lawyer can help victims establish that the injury worsened a pre-existing condition.
Indiana follows a modified comparative negligence model. Under this system, you can only recover if you are less than 51% at fault for the incident. You can recover relative to your proportion of fault if you are less than 51% at fault. Comparative fault is also applicable in settlement negotiations, as the at-fault party may use this evidence to reduce the amount they owe.
Were Injured After Falling at a Business or While on Another’s Property?
Knowing what goes into the average slip-and-fall accident settlement is a good start, but obtaining a fair settlement requires a skilled attorney who understands these complex cases. If you or a loved one recently suffered serious injuries related to a slip-and-fall accident, reach out to Gerling Law Injury Attorneys for immediate assistance.
At Gerling Law, our lawyers have more than 125 years of combined experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need, deserve, and are legally entitled to. We spend our days helping injured parties obtain fair compensation from those who are responsible for their losses. We offer free consultations to all slip-and-fall victims, during which we will explain your rights and how we can help.