If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, you will likely contact a CT slip and fall lawyer for assistance. Due to the complexity of the laws in this state, it is necessary to have a legal team that understands how to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
One of the most important conversations you will have with your attorney is what your case is worth. The evaluation of your case will consider multiple factors, including many that are not within your control.
Understanding the factors that go into evaluating your slip-and-fall case will help you better understand what you are entitled to. If you have more questions after reading this information, contact our attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers.
Related Article: Most Common Slip and Fall Accident Locations in Connecticut
Evaluating Liability in Connecticut
Not all slip-and-fall accidents support a premises liability lawsuit or insurance claim.
In the state of Connecticut, it is required that property owners and occupiers keep their premises “reasonably free” from hazards that could harm guests and visitors. To file a successful slip-and-fall accident claim, it is necessary to prove that your injury resulted from the negligence of the business or person who is responsible for the property.
There are four elements of negligence, which include the following:
- Duty: Property owners and occupiers must keep their property reasonably clear of potential dangers and hazards. Owners and occupiers include property managers, commercial tenants, renters, building owners, and homeowners. All these individuals have a duty of care to any person invited to the property. This includes clients, tenants, customers, and guests. Property owners and occupiers do not owe this same duty to those who enter the building or on the property without permission or if they go into spaces or through entrances that are closed off.
- Breach: An owner or occupier is considered to breach the duty (described above) if they don’t show reasonable care in identifying and fixing dangerous conditions on their property. It’s worth noting that accidents can occur even when owners or occupiers show reasonable care. Examples of a breach of duty include the following:
- Not identifying a hazard in a reasonable amount of time
- Ignoring the reports of hazardous conditions
- Not warning visitors and invitees about the hazard
- Not fixing or cleaning up the hazard in a reasonable manner or time
- Damage: To receive monetary compensation, it’s necessary to incur some type of damage. While minimal damages can support your claim, they are not always enough to support filing a claim. Usually, the damages that qualify for compensation include the following:
- Lost income
- Medical costs related to the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Evidence of negligence involved: It is important to gather evidence of negligence. Your evidence will increase the possibility of winning your slip and fall accident claim. The property occupier or owner will provide most of the slip-and-fall accident-related evidence. Examples include testimony from employees who saw the incident or knew about the hazard or security camera footage. Your CT personal injury lawyer can use all this to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will evaluate your case to ensure that the four elements of negligence are present. If they are, pursuing a slip and fall accident claim may be worthwhile.
Related Article: Elements of a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Connecticut
Evaluating Damages for Your Slip and Fall Accident Case
Negligence is just one factor that goes into determining the value of your claim. Another is damage.
An injury claim is not a type of “windfall.” You should never expect to receive settlements in the millions of dollars from a minor injury you have recovered from fully.
Instead, the value of your claim increases based on the injury’s severity and how long it impacts your life. Receiving a large damage award or settlement requires you to experience serious or permanent injuries.
When damages are being determined, they will fall into one of two categories:
Economic damages include how the injuries from your accident impact your financial situation. Some of the most common types of economic damages you can receive in a slip-and-fall case include the following:
- Lost income
- Costs related to medical treatment, medication, physical therapy, etc.
- Mental health counseling
- Reduced earning capacity
Economic damages can include other costs too. For example, if you must travel to medical appointments or modify your home or vehicle, you can recover the cost of these things.
Your non-economic damages are designed to help you recover compensation for your reduced quality of life due to the injuries you sustained in the slip and fall accident.
Common examples of non-economic damages include the following:
- Physical pain
- Lost activities
- Mental suffering
Claims adjusters and jurors can use several methods to determine your non-economic damages.
One method is the per diem theory. With this, a fact finder will assign a daily value to your total pain, suffering, and all other non-economic damages. The daily value is then multiplied by how long your injuries last.
The other method used is the multiplier theory. With this method, the fact finder will assign you a factor between 1.5 and 5.0. The factor is determined by the duration and severity of your accident-caused injuries. The selected factor is multiplied by your total economic damage amount, which provides the total damage award you receive.
Related Article: Who Is Liable For a Slip-and-Fall in Connecticut?
Connecticut’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law
Connecticut uses a modified comparative negligence law. This is another factor that impacts the value of your slip-and-fall accident claim. Under this law, a judge or a claims adjuster can reduce the damages you receive by your percentage of fault.
For example, if it is determined that you were 20% at fault for the accident, then your damages would be reduced by that amount. If your total damage award was $100,000, you would receive $80,000.
The Statute of Limitations in Connecticut Slip and Fall Accidents
If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may not realize that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. Your rights to do this do not extend indefinitely.
For Connecticut, you have just two years to file a slip and fall accident claim. The clock starts to tick on the day of the accident. While two years may seem like a long time, it can go by quickly. If you fail to file a claim within these two years, you will lose the right to do so (with some exceptions).
One exception is medical cases. In this situation, you must file a claim two years from the date you first knew about the injury.
Related Article: Premises liability and common reasons for slip and falls
When Should You Settle Your Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim?
It’s important to know what your slip and fall case is worth. This knowledge is something that only comes with experience and something a Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help you with.
An attorney can provide a fair valuation for your case. They can also discuss with you the limitations and obstacles you may face. However, trying to decide when you should settle your claim is personal. While your attorney can provide advice regarding a fair settlement amount, it’s ultimately up to you.
Along with issues related to damages and liability, you must also consider that the litigation process can take a lot of time. For example, if you have received a settlement offer of $50,000 on the table, and you may receive $55,000 if you go to trial, your attorney will likely recommend accepting the settlement.
While you are not receiving the full valuation of your case, the additional $5,000 that you could receive spread out over two years will not be worth it. Also, you may receive an overvalued settlement offer, thanks to your attorney’s ability to write a demand package. You should listen to your attorney’s advice since they likely have a lot of experience with slip-and-fall accident settlements.
Hire an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney to Help with Your Case
Have you experienced injuries in a Connecticut slip-and-fall accident? If so, contact our legal team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We can review the facts of your case and determine a fair value for your losses and damages.
We aim to help you get the most compensation possible for your accident and injuries. We have years of experience in this field and a reputation for helping our clients get the settlement they deserve.
The first step is to call our office and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We are dedicated to your full recovery.