How to Get a Million Dollars in Your Slip and Fall Case
It takes more than falling in a public place to get the big pay off.
You probably have heard the story about the thief that got trapped in the garage and lived on nothing, but dog food.
After he was rescued he sued the home owner and got a multi million dollar settlement.
These myths are common, and I am of the opinion that they are fabricated by big business and insurance companies.
For years stories like these have been popping out, and people believe them without questioning them.
When there is an actually injury the public likewise thinks there was no injury and that it is just another frivolous lawsuit.
Some people are excited to be involved in some sort of an injury causing event they think they have won the lottery.
They often call attorneys and are in total shock to find that an attorney will not state what the value of the case is and that in most instances the attorney will not accept the case to begin with.
Contrary to popular belief the vast majority of lawyers only accept cases with merit.
Occasionally attorneys accept cases that are marginal, but it is usually because they erred in their judgment or somehow the case got through.
What usually happens is that the attorney withdraws from the case and the case never makes it to trial.
To prove a case there are generally three to four factors.
The plaintiff has to prove the defendant did something wrong.
The standard is what a reasonable person would do in that specific situation.
Sometimes the standard of care is set by statute sometimes it is set by case law and sometimes by other means.
For example driving 55 in front of a school zone would be considered unreasonable and therefore the driver did something wrong.
The second factor is that there a connection between the conduct of the wrongdoer and the injured person.
If the driver is driving 55 and you fall on the wet school floor, then there is no connection.
The third factor is that you have to suffer injury, it could be economic injury or physical injury or psychological injury or a combination of these.
Once again there has to be a connection between the injury and the wrongful conduct.
Last you have to prove the severity of the injury.
Hurt feelings are usually not compensable.
Occasionally you will see what are called nominal awards, where the plaintiff is awarded $1 to show that he won.
So how do you get a million dollars on a slip and fall case ? You have prove the defendant did something wrong, that the conduct or omission caused you injury, you have to prove the injury, and the defendant actually has to be able to pay.
To get a million dollars on a slip and fall case you would need to prove that the defendant did something wrong.
If you fell at a supermarket for example, you have to show that the store operator did something wrong.
It is not enough to say there was spilled milk and you fell on the spilled milk.
You have to prove the milk had been in the floor a very long time.
Usually slip and fall accidents occur because of another customer's negligence, such as when they spill liquids or food products that lead to injury to another customer.
The store operator usually has set schedules where the store is swept or mopped with regularity.
If you can in fact prove the milk had been on the floor for say four hours, you then have to show you were injured.
The standard of proof for these cases is high and proving these claims is difficult.
In most cases there are no witnesses and when they are video cameras, the tapes are mysteriously unavailable.
Assuming you can prove that the store operator did something wrong, you then you have to prove the injury was very severe.
If you are paralyzed from the shoulders down you now have a million dollar case.
This of course does not mean you will get a million dollar award.
There is still the issue of ability to pay.
Your corner liquor store is not likely to have a million dollars or a million dollars of insurance coverage.