Other than the embarrassment of it, slipping and falling in public doesn’t seem like a big deal. You just pick yourself up and move on.
Unfortunately, that belief is a naïve one. Far from being harmless, falls can result in broken bones, bruised tailbones, head injuries, and more. Before you know it, your “simple” slip and fall can cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills. On top of that, you may suffer in other ways, including not being able to work, drive, or possibly even leave the house – all due to someone else’s negligence.
In a personal injury case, you can put a number to all of these damages and ask for compensation. But how do you find that number? Let’s look at an example. For one woman, a slip and fall at the Maitland RDV Sportsplex Center was worth about $15,000.
A Costly Fall
On September 6, 2013, Dana Hill entered the RDV Sportsplex Center and allegedly slipped and fell violently near the entrance of the complex. The entrance was a glossy surface covered in a liquid. Hill alleges that the Orlando Sportsplex Limited did not adequately maintain the floor area where she slipped. She also alleges that the Sportsplex failed to correct the situation.
Because of this, Hill is suing the Orlando Sportsplex LTD for negligence and asking for $15,000. The $15,000 will compensate Hill for the following alleged results of her slip and fall:
- Bodily Injury
- Significant Scarring
- Mental Anguish
- Loss of the Capacity for the Enjoyment of Life
- Expense of Hospitalization and Medical Care
- Loss of Earnings
- Aggravation of Previously Existing Condition
How Did She Get to $15,000?
So when you slip and fall and rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills, how do you decide how much to sue for, and who to sue?
Let’s look at Dana Hill. She is dealing with a premises liability case. The Orlando Sportsplex LTD is the owner of the RDV Sportsplex Center in Maitland where Dana had her accident. This company, like any other property owner, has the responsibility of keeping the property safe for guests, which Hill alleges they did not do. Orlando Sportsplex LTD is liable for injuries that occur on the premises, so they become the defendant.
Then comes the issue of money. If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury or premises liability case, you may ask for a dollar amount pulled from many different factors. Just look at Dana Hill’s.
Hill asked for $15,000 due to things like bodily injury and expense of hospitalization and medical care, which can easily be pulled from her hospital bills after slipping and falling. However, there is more work to be done when considering things like loss of earnings and aggravation of previously existing condition. Costs can get even more abstract when it comes to things like mental anguish or loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life. You can use resources, including the following, to come up with the final number:
- Your insurance company
- Your lawyer
- Past cases
- Damages calculators or formulas
Keep in mind that every case is different. It’s important to speak with experienced professionals (multiple opinions maybe helpful) in order to find a number that not only covers your damages, but is reasonable for winning your case.
It Starts with Contacting a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
We don’t realize how many areas of our life an injury can impact until we experience a traumatic injury ourselves. If you are injured, you have options for receiving compensation relating to different types of damages or losses accrued from your injury.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to come up with the final number yourself. Contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to walk you through the types of damages you can ask for, what is reasonable, and what will give you the best chance at a favorable settlement or ruling.
About the Author:
A partner at Lawlor, White & Murphey and a distinguished personal injury lawyer, Ben Murphey tries complex disputes that include civil appeals, maritime and admiralty claims, wrongful death, and labor disputes. Mr. Murphey has been recognized for his excellence in the area of personal injury litigation by being rewarded with a 10/10 Avvo Rating and named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for the last four consecutive years (2011-2014). Mr. Murphey regularly tries cases in state and federal courts around the country, being admitted to practice before all Florida courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.