It is up to the jury to determine the value of a case in a premises liability lawsuit. The Jury can find the defendant liable to pay for the medical bills and lost wages for concrete damages. For less concrete damages like pain and suffering, predictions are at best an educated guess based on awards in similar cases in the past. Since every case and every jury is different, even the best analysis will still only predict pain and suffering damages within a broad range.
If the damage is serious such as physical disfigurement because of a slip and fall injury, it becomes even more difficult to come to an agreement for a settlement. Both the parties may put very different values on the case and make the settlement more complicated. However, in case of less damage or injury, claims could be for a lesser amount and less complicated when both the parties agree on a settlement without trial.
The jury’s role in a trial is to make sure that the defendant is liable for the slip and fall injury. The judge will ask the jury to determine if the owner of the premises has breached his duty that caused the slip and fall accident. On the other hand, if the jury finds that the defendant has reasonably maintained the property, then the claimant may lose the case. In addition, if the claimant’s evidence is too weak to prove that the owner of the premises is liable for the slip and fall injury, the valuation of the case will be lower.
Factors that can affect the value of a case
How The Injuries Affect The Claimant?
The nature of the injury suffered by the claimant is the key to a settlement. What is also important is how the injuries affect the claimant. For instance, let’s say that the claimant gets injured and is left with permanent damage, and was an avid golfer. The damages based on “loss of quality of life” will likely be higher in the eyes of the jury compared to a claimant that rarely makes out of the house.
A less subjective aspect is the claimant’s ability to earn a living before and after the injury. If the claimant earned a good income, but after the injury will no longer be able to work or earn the same income, then damages would include the difference between what he or she would have earned without the injury and potential earning post injury. If a claimant’s ability to earn a living is unaffected by the injury, the value of the case with a similar injury will be substantially less.
Generally, a lawsuit is filed in the county where the injury occurred. Where the claimant filed the lawsuit is important because residents of that particular county will make up the jury pool. However, depending on the case, there may be other filing options, where the defendant or claimant lives, or where a corporate defendant’s headquarters are located.
It is extremely important to remember that if there is a weak connection between the case and the county where the lawsuit was filed, the court will dismiss the case or order a transfer.
Attorneys Experience And Reputation
If the claimant’s attorney has a reputation of having a low settlement and does not like going to trial, then the defendant is likely to place a lower value on the case. The defendant’s insurance company will try to hold fast at a low settlement offer amount because they know that the claimant’s attorney would rather settle than conduct a trial. However, if the claimant’s attorney is just the opposite, then the defendant’s valuation of the case will increase. Therefore, it is important that the claimant’s attorney is someone who regularly does a lot of work on a case and persuades clients to accept high settlement offers. The claimant must do a background checks before choosing his attorney because the defendant will definitely check the records of the claimant’s attorney.
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident, contact our slip and fall attorneys at The Reinken Law Firm. We will help you in proving negligence of the responsible party and fight for you diligently.