What aspects of an accident on someone else’s property do insurers view as noteworthy?
There are 2 types of damages that any person might suffer, as the result of an accident on someone else’s property.
Objective: Those that have an obvious monetary value. A physical injury would represent that type of damage.
Subjective: Those that do not have an obvious monetary value. A victim’s pain and suffering would belong on a listing of subjective damages.
Guidelines for insurers that need to value a slip and fall incident:
Check to see what juries have awarded in the past, for the plaintiffs in similar cases. It is important to obtain details on the nature and extent of the reported injury. A permanent injury would cause the injury-creating incident to receive a higher value.
What impact did the injury have on the victim’s life? Did it impede the chances for advancement in the career that the victim had chosen to pursue? Would the fall-related injury make it difficult for the fallen victim to earn a living?
Learn where the lawsuit has been filed. Juries tend to provide the plaintiff with a smaller, a more conservative award, when a case has been tried in a rural community.
What is the track record for the plaintiff’s attorney? Has he or she advocated for a client in other courtrooms? Some injury lawyers in Northbrook prefer to settle, even if their client has to accept a smaller compensation package. Any one lawyer’s approach might appear to reflect serious concerns about the plaintiff’s suitability as a witness.
How might the defendant’s lawyer try to reduce the value of a slip and fall claim in the eyes of a jury?
The same lawyer would seek information on the sort of footwear that the plaintiff had chosen to put on, the morning of the slip and fall incident. The lawyer’s questions during the deposition and again during the trial would attempt to highlight the direction of the plaintiff’s eyesight during the minutes that preceded the falling incident. For instance, the plaintiff might be asked if he or she had been looking down, or at some object on the wall.
The defendant’s attorney might also ask the plaintiff to give the name of the doctor that was overseeing the treatment for the fall-related injury. If the plaintiff had chosen to see a chiropractor, then that would reduce the value of the slip and fall claim.
A lawyer’s approach might focus on earlier cases, if known, where the same plaintiff had claimed an injury, after falling on someone else’s property. A jury seldom chooses to order a large award for a plaintiff that has sought money from other property owners, after having fallen on their property.