Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts in Alberta
Slip and fall injuries can lead to a wide variety of settlement agreements. Some are worth no more than a few thousand dollars. Others can be worth over a million dollars.
It is up to your lawyer to negotiate the best settlement they can possibly get for you.
Here’s what you need to know about how an Alberta slip and fall settlement works.
What is the average settlement for an Alberta slip and fall?
There truly is no such thing as an average settlement.
Everything depends on the facts of the case.
A settlement is determined by the extent to which you were injured, the amount of your medical bills and expenses, the extent to which the injury impacts your life, and your lawyer’s negotiation skills.
It’s also determined by the manner in which the injury came about: whether you are deemed to have had some liability or responsibility in your own case.
If the case goes to court the eventual award amount can be even more unpredictable, as jury reactions vary wildly.
What is a fair settlement for an Alberta slip and fall?
When evaluating a settlement you need to consider both general damages and pain and suffering. A fair settlement will cover both.
General damages are easy to calculate. You just add up all your medical bills and lost wages. If you have had to take advantage of other services during the course of your injury, like housekeeping services, you’d add in those bills as well. Medical equipment, prescriptions, and services like physical therapy or dental bills would go here, too.
In the rare case that a slip and fall has resulted in the inability to work in the future it may also include a more negotiated loss of earning capacity award. If you’re likely to need long-term, future care your settlement might include these damages, too.
Finally, any slip and fall case will include a pain and suffering amount.
How much is pain and suffering worth in an Alberta slip and fall?
Pain and suffering amounts are highly negotiable. There is no set schedule or guideline for how much a pain and suffering award may be. There are caps on the amount you can receive, based on the type of injury you received.
If you received a minor injury, described as a soft-tissue injury that does not cause a severe impairment, then your pain and suffering damages are capped at $5,296.
Major injuries are capped at $370,000.
Note these are only caps. You won’t necessarily receive $370,000 for a major injury. You could as easily receive $200,000 or $300,000 or any amount up to the cap that your lawyer can negotiate for you. This is one reason why it’s vital to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. The better your lawyer’s ability to work a deal, the better off you are, financially.
What can reduce an Alberta slip and fall settlement amount?
Alberta is a comparative negligence province, which means the courts will evaluate your own actions as well.
If you knowingly took a risk that resulted in your slip and fall or engaged in some sort of dangerous or ill-advised activity then you can be assigned a percentage of fault.
For example, the property owner might be found 90% at fault for failing to repair a staircase railing, but you could be assigned 10% of the fault for choosing to take a staircase that looked obviously, visibly dodgy.
In this case, you might be given a $500,000 award, but you’d only receive $450,000 of it. That’s because your slip and fall award will have been reduced by that 10% of fault that you bore for the accident.
This is one of the most important points to understand about personal injury law.
Personal injury cases do not exist to give you money because bad things happened. They compensate you when someone else’s negligence has resulted in an injury. In effect, you’ve been wronged because someone did something they shouldn’t have done, or failed to do something they should have done. Their actions don’t rise to the level of a crime, but they still took an action that hurt you in some way.
Alberta law is structured to reduce your ability to recover when you were negligent as well.
Even a few percentage points can cost you major money. This is yet another reason why having a good lawyer is so vital to the ultimate outcome of your case. A good lawyer can argue down the importance of your own actions and argue up the importance of the property owner’s action or lack of action.
Is it better to settle an Alberta slip and fall case, or is it better to go to court?
Almost any lawyer will tell you it’s almost always better to settle out of court.
Litigation is unpredictable. Judges and members of the jury can be capricious, even if you have a very strong case. You might walk away with far more than you’d get in a settlement, but you can also walk away with far less. Or nothing at all.
Perhaps more importantly, a settlement is final. Litigation opens your case up to appeals, which means lengthening the process, delaying your payment, and even, potentially, reducing the initial award that the jury gave to you.
The truth is both plaintiffs and defendants have some idea of what your case is likely to be worth and can go to the negotiation table with both a high figure and a low figure in mind. Your lawyer can probably give you that ballpark very early on. As long as the proffered settlement falls somewhere within those ranges its usually a good idea to go ahead and take the money without forcing the issue.
Sometimes litigation is unavoidable, but it should never be pursued lightly.
Why trust us with your Alberta slip and fall case?
Each of our lawyers has over two decades of experience handling slip and fall cases in Calgary, Alberta. Our team is known for our courtroom litigation skills as well as our sharp negotiation skills. We know slip and fall cases inside and out, and we know how to handle insurance companies while protecting your rights.
We’re known for being kind, responsive, and easy to deal with. We keep you in the loop, answer all of your questions and concerns, and do everything we can to make the process run as smoothly as possible. We’ll even handle the insurance companies on your behalf!
Don’t try to handle your slip and fall case alone. Your call is risk-free. Call (403) 225-7777 to set up a consultation today.