How the Value of a Premises Liability Case is Determined
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Wayne D. Parsons with Wayne Parsons Law Office.
The estimated value of any personal injury claim, including a premises liability case, may influence a person’s choice to pursue compensation. However, estimating the value of a claim is easier said than done. There are a variety of factors that go into calculating the value of a premises liability claim, and some of them may require expert evaluation to identify. In fact, without legal assistance, it is common for people to overlook what otherwise would have been considered compensable damages. Additionally, when people accept a settlement offer without first seeking legal counsel, they often find themselves stuck further down the road when the settlement offer fails to account for future related damages in addition to the presently identifiable ones.
A variety of factors influence the estimated value of a premises liability claim, including but not limited to:
- Medical bills: Were medical bills incurred? If so, what was the value of those bills? Do your doctors predict future medical expenses related to the injury?
- Medical treatment: What kind of medical treatment is required? Is it a particularly expensive or high-risk procedure?
- Mileage: How far will you have to travel to receive the medical care or rehabilitative services needed?
- Rehabilitation: Will your injury require rehabilitation therapy, physical or otherwise?
- Permanence of injury: Is your injury a lasting or permanent one? If so, what kind of additional aid might you need to function in daily life similar to how you did before the injury? Does your injury qualify you for disability benefits?
- Wages: Did you lose wages during time spent receiving medical bills and during recovery?
- Impairment of earning capacity: Will your injury prevent you from earning the same income you did before the injury? Will you be able to continue working in your chosen profession?
- Pain and suffering: Did your injury cause traumatic levels of pain and suffering to you and/or your loved ones?
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Will your injury prevent you from engaging in your daily life in the ways that brought you joy before? For example, will you still be able to pick up and hold your child or throw a football, or will the injury prevent such activities?
Some of these damages are more easily calculable, and are considered economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and those damages with a finite value. However, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life can be much harder to estimate and can benefit from the attention of an experienced professional. Additionally, in rare and specific situations, punitive damages may also be applicable.
Some premises liability accidents are more common than others. These include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Water accidents
- Lack of security
- Inadequate lighting
- Exposure to dangerous substances
- Elevator, escalator, and stairway accidents
- Amusement park ride accidents
- Fires and smoke inhalation
If you or a loved one were injured in one of the above or a different premises liability accident, seek medical care immediately.
It’s important to document where, when, and how the premises liability accident occurred.
Waiting to seek medical care can actually have a negative impact on your case should you choose to file later down the road. If possible, it’s also important to take pictures of the location where the accident occurred, any factors which contributed to the accident (i.e. an icy walkway or cracked sidewalk), as well as the injury itself. Additionally, if there were any witnesses to the accident it’s a good idea to collect their contact information. For help estimating the value of your premises liability claim or to learn more, seek legal counsel from a premises liability attorney.