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Understand the True Value of Your Slip and Fall Claim

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2019 | Personal Injury, Safety, Slip & Fall |

Your claim might be worth more than you imagine

Every year more than a million Americans suffer slip and fall accidents, and more than 17,000 die from their injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Jersey offers civil compensation in both cases — personal injury damages for those suffering injury, and wrongful death damages for close family members of victims who die from their injuries. The experienced New Jersey slip and fall lawyers at Lomurro Law help you collect every dime of compensation for your injuries you are entitled to.

The great majority of slip and fall claims are resolved through private settlement with an insurance company (a homeowner’s insurance company, for example). The harsh reality is that few claimants receive anything like what their claim entitles them to. It is almost impossible to collect the full value of your claim, of course, if you are unaware of how much it is actually worth.

A slip and fall claim typically includes several components

Following are the primary components of a typical slip and fall claim:

  • Past medical bills – All medical expenses you have incurred up to this point. You can only recover for expenses you have documented, and the defendant or the insurance company might challenge some of your medical expenses as unnecessary.
  • Anticipated future medical bills – If you anticipate long-term or lifelong medical treatment, it is absolutely critical that you accurately calculate your future medical bills. If your calculation underestimates your actual expenses, you will have a problem because you won’t be able to come back later and ask for more money — you’ve got to get it right the first time.
  • Lost earnings – Lost earnings are calculated as the amount you lost while you missed work — time you spent in the hospital or recovering at home instead of working.
  • Lost future earning capacity – If you suffer permanent disability, you may lose your career, be forced to retire early, or have to be switched to a less demanding (and less lucrative) job. It is extremely important that you accurately calculate the amount of earnings you will eventually lose due to your injuries.
  • Incidental expenses – Incidental expenses include child care while you are busy recuperating, travel expenses to and from hospitals and clinics, etc.
  • Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering damages compensate you for physical pain as well as psychological suffering — depression or anxiety, for example. These damages are usually calculated as a percentage of your total medical expenses, and they typically range from 50% to 500% of medical expenses.
  • Punitive damages – Punitive damages are awarded only occasionally. They are designed to punish the defendant, not to compensate the victim. You probably won’t be awarded punitive damages unless the defendant injured you through gross negligence while intoxicated, intentionally pushed you off a ledge, or some similar circumstance where the defendant’s conduct was outrageous.

Of course, not every claim includes every single one of these components. Most claims, for example, do not include punitive damages.

Wrongful death damages are calculated differently from personal injury damages

New Jersey wrongful death damages differ from personal injury damages because they compensate different parties — personal injury damages compensate the victim, while wrongful death damages compensate the victim’s probate estate and immediate family members. Wrongful death damages typically include compensation for:

  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship, comfort, and guidance
  • Loss of value of household services, and
  • Medical, funeral and burial expenses.

Although compensation for emotional distress is not included in a New Jersey wrongful death claim, under certain circumstances family members may be able to file a separate claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Contact us if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident

The suffering that inevitably accompanies a serious slip and fall accident is difficult enough to bear, without the additional burden of dealing with lost work time combined with catastrophic medical bills. At Lomurro Law, our experienced New Jersey slip and fall lawyers understand the profound sense of frustration and disorientation you are facing during this difficult time. We maintain offices in Freehold and East Brunswick. Contact us today at 732-482-9285 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with us. If you are seriously injured, we can meet at your home or in the hospital.