Slips, trips, and falls remain among the leading causes of significant injuries. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) emphasizes that more than one million people are rushed to emergency medical centers each year with slip and fall accident injuries. If you were hurt in a slip and fall, it is crucial that you have access to the financial compensation that you need to pay your bills. Everything from medical expenses to missed wages can be included in your claim.
This raises a fundamental question: What is the average settlement in a slip and fall accident injury case? In North Carolina, there is no true “average” settlement—instead, injured victims need financial compensation for the full extent of their damages. Within this article, our North Carolina slip-and-fall accident lawyers at Paynter Law highlight the key things you should know about getting a settlement.
A Slip and Fall Settlement Should Include Compensation for Your Actual Damages
In North Carolina, a slip-and-fall settlement should be compensatory. In effect, this means that a slip and fall settlement should include compensation for the actual damages you have suffered due to the accident. These damages can be divided into two primary categories:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages refer to any actual, tangible losses you have sustained as a consequence of the slip and accident. Among other things, these damages include emergency room treatment, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.
- Non-Economic Damages: The term non-economic damages refers to the intangible harm that you have suffered as a consequence of the slip and fall accident. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental distress, and permanent disability or disfigurement.
It is imperative that you thoroughly document your slip and fall accident damages. If you fail to do so, you will not be in a position to receive a full and fair settlement. The more evidence you have that establishes the severity of your injuries—and the extent of your economic and non-economic losses—the better position you will be in to maximize your settlement.
You Must Prove Liability to Get the Maximum Settlement Offer in a Slip and Fall Case
To receive a maximum settlement offer in a slip-and-fall claim, you must be able to prove liability. In effect, this means that you prove the legal responsibility of the property owner or property occupier (business). In North Carolina, slip and fall claims fall under the umbrella of premises liability law, which holds property owners and occupiers responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. Premises liability law also includes language for warning visitors of any known hazards.
To prove liability in a slip and fall claim, you must show that the property owner or occupier owed you a duty of care, that they breached this duty, and that their breach caused your injuries. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor in a grocery store, you would need to show that the store had a duty to keep the floors safe and dry. Then, they failed to do so. That they could and should have rectified the property hazard, but through negligence, they did not.
Injured Victims Cannot Rely On Insurance Companies to Protect their Interests
Most slip-and-fall accident claims are filed against businesses or other property owners. Commercial property insurance companies handle the vast majority of these claims. Unfortunately, injured victims understand that they cannot rely on insurance companies to protect their interests following a slip and fall accident. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are primarily concerned with protecting their own profits—not looking out for your best interests.
You do not have to take on an aggressive commercial property insurance company alone. Professional guidance and support can make a difference. A top North Carolina slip-and-fall accident lawyer will be able to:
- Review your case
- Investigate your accident
- Gather and prepare relevant evidence
- Take action to present the most robust slip-and-fall accident injury claim possible before the insurance company
Call Our North Carolina Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys for a Free Review of Your Case
At Paynter Law, our experienced North Carolina slip-and-fall accident attorneys go above and beyond to help injured victims maximize their settlement or verdict. We understand how important it is to obtain the most compensation possible from an injury claim. Our legal team has secured more than $500 million in total compensation for our clients across our practice areas. Contact us now to arrange a free, no-commitment case review.