Damages From a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents are unfortunately quite common in Virginia. As dangerous as they can be, slip and falls often lead to debilitating injuries that can change a victim’s life. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages.
One of the most common damages awarded in personal injury cases are medical expenses. This includes: bills from hospitals, doctors, physical therapists, and any other medical costs associated with treating your injuries. Keep track of all expenses related to your accident. This includes receipts and invoices. Your lawyer can help calculate and claim these costs.
In addition to medical costs, you may be awarded compensation for lost income. If your injuries prevent you from working for a period of time, your slip and fall lawyer can work with experts to estimate the value of income and benefits you lose while recovering. Damages can also account for future lost earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous line of work.
Pain and Suffering
Unlike economic damages, pain and suffering and emotional distress are more subjective. However, they account for a significant portion of most personal injury settlements. The severity of your physical injuries, type of medical treatment required, and duration of impairment and recovery time impact the value. Psychological factors like depression or anxiety following an accident are also important considerations.
Loss of Consortium
Injury victims are not the only ones who suffer after an accident. Loss of consortium provides compensation for harm done to your relationships with family members. This covers loss of companionship, intimacy, comfort, and other aspects of daily family life impaired by your injuries. Your spouse may make a claim for loss of consortium as part of your personal injury case.
Punitive or exemplary damages apply when the liable party’s actions were especially negligent or reckless. Their purpose is to punish and make an example of behavior that put you at serious risk. Punitive damages are difficult to obtain in Virginia, but may be awarded in extreme cases where conduct was particularly egregious. Your lawyer can advise if pursuing punitive damages is appropriate.To have a strong claim after a slip and fall accident, working with an experienced attorney is crucial. They understand how to properly value your damages and will aggressively negotiate fair compensation. Do not leave money on the table – a lawyer maximizes your recovery.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
If you are physically able, gather as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. Take photos of hazards that caused your fall, like uneven flooring, debris, pooled water, or damaged steps. Get contact information for eyewitnesses who saw your fall. Take note of lighting, weather conditions, and any other dangerous circumstances. Documenting conditions at the time prevents details from fading and strengthens your claim.
Get Prompt Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor at first, getting evaluated right away establishes you sought treatment promptly. Seek emergency care or visit your doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Delaying could weaken your claim that injuries resulted from the fall. Fully comply with your doctor’s treatment plan going forward. Follow-up care shows the extent of your injuries and need for long-term treatment.
Report the Incident
File an official incident report with the property owner or manager where you fell. This creates a record of when and where the slip and fall accident in Virginia occurred, who was harmed, and hazardous conditions present. If the owner denies fault, do not argue – simply insist the incident be documented. Notify your lawyer who can send a preservation letter requiring the owner maintain evidence like security footage.
Keep Detailed Records
In addition to medical records, keep a personal journal documenting how your injuries impact daily activities. Note struggles with walking, sleeping, driving, and job duties. Track effects on relationships and emotional well-being. Concrete examples of how your life changed after the Virginia slip and fall accident support compensation for pain and suffering.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Settling
The property owner’s insurance company may make a quick settlement offer to close the case. Do not accept before consulting a slip and fall attorney, as the amount may not fully cover your costs and losses. An experienced lawyer negotiates a maximum settlement only after thoroughly valuing your damages. Let your lawyer handle interactions with insurers – anything you say could be used against you.Thoroughly documenting your case and proving liability are key to recovering full damages. A personal injury attorney’s guidance vastly improves your chances of success. Do not leave compensation on the table – retain legal counsel immediately after a slip and fall in Virginia.
1. What are common slip and fall injuries?
Frequent injuries from slip and fall accidents include sprains, strains, fractures, contusions, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and death in severe cases. Knee, wrist, and hip injuries are most common.
2. How long do I have to file a claim in Virginia?
Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, you normally have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim. Exceptions exist for minors and discovery of harm at a later date.
3. What if I was partially at fault for my fall?
Virginia follows modified comparative negligence rules. You can still recover damages if found less than 51% at fault. However, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
4. Can I still get a settlement if there are no witnesses?
Yes, a lack of direct witnesses does not automatically destroy your case. Circumstantial evidence like hazard documentation, medical records, and testimony about changes in your capabilities can prove liability.
5. What damages are available in a wrongful death claim?
Damages in a fatal slip and fall case may include funeral expenses, loss of earnings and benefits, loss of care and support, as well as compensation for grief, sorrow, and loss of companionship.
Choosing a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Virginia
Altizer Law has guided clients through their personal injury cases with a personalized touch. We are here to help you and treat every client with the utmost care and empathy. Call our team of experienced attorneys today at 540.345.2000.