Slip And Fall Lawyer

Should There Be a Cap on Slip and Fall Awards?

Slip And Fall Lawyer

Each year, thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents. Sometimes, injuries sustained from these accidents can be severe, particularly in instances where an individual has preexisting medical problems, say in his or her hip. In certain slip and fall cases, the damages sustained can be staggering.


Because slip and fall cases can result in such serious injuries, lawsuit payouts following these cases can rack up some high sums. It’s not uncommon to see slip and fallawardsreach six figures, or even rise to the millions.


In one case, Marriott International was ordered to award $1.2 million for injuries sustained by one of its hotel guests. In this case, the court had to consider not only the case of the guest’s shattered ankle and the two surgeries that followed the fall, but also the arthritis that had developed in the ankle, the fact that the woman now walks with a limp, and countless other problems that tie in with emotional and physical suffering. Marriott International plans to appeal the $1.2 million verdict.


When payout amounts get so high, it’s common for major companies to argue and try to appeal these verdicts. During those appeal cases, the question inevitably arises: Should there be a cap on slip and fall awards?


What Would a Slip and Fall Cap Mean?


To individuals who sustain injuries following a fall, high slip and fall payouts seem fair. For defendants, though, high payouts are rarely as appealing, especially when the award numbers climb into the multiple thousands or millions.


When award prices get this high, one of the first arguments that people jump to is that there should be a cap on these types of awards. In injury cases, this debate has been going on for years. Usually the cap people advocate for relates to the amount that can be paid towards “non-economic” damages (that is, damages that are difficult to put a price tag on, such as emotional trauma). In almost all cases, a cap would not apply to “economic damages” (namely, those that include set amounts, such as hospital bills).


In many states, non-economic caps are already in place. Usually, the cap is set somewhere around $250,000 to $500,000. This means that, regardless of the details of your claim and your level of suffering, you will never be awarded more than the set amount.


The Business Perspective


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Aside from the obvious benefits that award caps would have for defendants in slip and fall cases, it has also been argued that limiting damage payouts can reduce liability insurance losses in the long term. Some say that capping non-economic damages means that insurance companies will not have to fork over large sums, which means they won’t be trying to recuperate the losses from citizens by increasing premiums.


It has also been argued that capping damage payouts would lessen medical expenses across the board. Advocates claim that damage caps would allow doctors to be less fearful of being sued, meaning that they would no longer need to practice so much “defensive” medicine. (“Defensive” medicine refers to the practices of ordering an excessive number of tests and procedures to effectively cover all possibilities and lessen the likelihood of a lawsuit.) If defensive medical practices decrease, the cost of health care would go down,as well.


Damage Caps: Who Do They Benefit?


Contrary to the findings noted above, information from a 2006 report from the Confessional Budget Office showed that,“Lower premiums alone would not cut overall health care costs.” According to this report, malpractice costsare, in fact,marginal when considered in light of the wider realm of health care spending, which means that lowering them would have very little impact on overall health care costs.


In the above article, Chris Mather, the Communications Director for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, states, “There’s nothing to back up the correlation between the high cost of premiums the doctors pay for medical malpractice insurance and lawsuits. This is about the insurance company wanting to pay the least amount possible for injury. … The civil justice system, the courtroom, is [the victims’] last resort. It’s the last place they can go to get what they need.”


Since damage caps likely will have no significant effect on health care costs, it is very unlikely that you or anyone who files a slip and fall claim would see any benefit from these caps.On the contrary, damage caps would only work against you.


The Victims’ Perspective


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First, caps could discourage slip and fall victims from filing lawsuits. Lawsuits can be exhausting and expensive, so if the possible award amount is not substantial enough, individuals with legitimate cases may choose not to go all the way.This is unfair, as all injury victims should be entitled to plead their case.


Furthermore, if an injured individual decides not to file a suit, the responsible parties will be let off the hook.Not be held accountable for their actions means they may continue to endanger others’ lives through their recklessness or negligence.


Lastly and most importantly, if you’re the party injured in a slip and fall accident, you might not get what is due to you.Every slip and fall case is different, and the legitimacy of your claim should not depend on a cap that was set in place by people who have no knowledge of you or your claim. Caps like these would essentially concede that your injuries and your accompanying emotional and physical suffering are worth no more than whatever pre-determined amount has been settled on as a cap.


You deserve more.


Victims of slip and fall cases are entitled to financial reparations for their pain and suffering . Calls for caps are essentially calls to sweep these claims under the rug, claiming that victims’ injuries are invalid or not worth adequate compensation. But you deserve to be treated with fairness and respect. If your injuries exceed the cap’s value, you should receive the total payment that you are justly entitled to.



Slip and fall Lawyer

Could a Slipperiness Index Help Reduce Slip and Falls?

Slip and fall Lawyer

We all know that there are all kinds of different reasons that a person might fall down and injure themselves. Uneven walkways can cause people to trip. Spills that haven’t been properly cleaned or marked in stores and other areas are known to put people on their backs. And, of course, the weather can cause a significant uptick in the number of falls that occur.


Unlike other areas, of the country, Floridians don’t really have to worry about snow and ice causing more falls. But that doesn’t mean we’re exempt from weather related problems. Instead of the cold, we have to fear the wet from hurricanes, thunderstorms, and the like.


Now, plenty of information is out there telling you what to do after a fall. But while it’s incredibly useful to know what you should do if you suffer a fall yourself, there’s something else that’s even more helpful – learning how to avoid a fall altogether. Naturally, there are plenty of things that you can do to take better care when you’re out and about, buta new University of Michigan study has come up with a way to tell you when you shouldn’t go outside at all – a Slipperiness Index.


What Exactly Does the Slipperiness Index Tell You?


Injury Lawyer

The idea behind the Slipperiness Index is to let people know when the weather outside mathematically increases their chances of not just suffering from a slip and fall, but actually suffering a fracture. The Michigan study was able to create a scale from 0 to 7 and determine how much more likely people are to get hurt at different points along the scale.


For example, if you knew that your risk of falling and breaking a hip was going to go up 21 percent because the Index read 4 for that day, you might decide to stay home and go out the next day. In this way, it is similar to how the Air Quality Index uses numbers from 0 to 500 to tell you how polluted the air in your area is (anything over 300 is generally considered bad), or the smog alerts used by environmental agencies in many cities.


Fewer Falls Favors the Aging


If this kind of thing catches on and cities all over start using it, there’s a chance that it could significantly lower the number of falls that plague our country – almost 9 million as of 2011. Fewer falls will mean fewer injuries and less time spent in the emergency room repairing broken bones.


This is especially important to Florida’s burgeoning elderly population, because older people are far more likely to experience a significant injury if they fall. By creating a sort of “early warning system” like the Slipperiness Index, more senior citizens will be able to avoid the most dangerous days and stay safer.


No Index to Warn You About Others’ Negligence


Unfortunately, while many slip and fall accidents are caused by inclement weather, a lot of them are due to the negligence of people and organizations in your area. So far, no one has ever heard of any researchers coming up with an index to warn you about times when negligence is going to be worse than others, which means you just have to be wary. And if you do fall because someone else created an unsafe environment, make sure that you contact us  as soon as possible so that we can work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve.


Slip And Fall Attorney

Slip and Fall Accidents Often More Serious for the Elderly

Slip And Fall Attorney

Nobody ever enjoys falling—it can take you by surprise, cause both immediate and long-lasting pain, and bruise both your body and your ego. However, if you’re young and spry, you can heal relatively quickly from a lot of slip and fall injuries. Elderly people, on the other hand, are more likely to encounter complications and require medical treatment after this kind of accident.


According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 1 in 3 adults 65 and over fall each year, and between 20% and 30% of those people suffer hip fractures, head lacerations, and head trauma. Those injuries can result in costly medical treatment and, if the elderly adult has been living on their own, sometimes makes it difficult for them to continue doing so.


Why Fall Risk Increases as We Age


One of the most obvious reasons that fall injuries become increasingly likely as we age is because we become more susceptible to breaking bones and don’t heal as quickly as younger people. As you get older, your bone density decreases, making your bones more prone to fracturing on impact.


Of course, that’s not the only reason the elderly are more at risk for slip and fall injuries. There are a wide range of risk factors, including:


  • Difficulty balancing. There are a number of different balance disorders, such as vertigo and labyrinthitis, which become more common as you age. Dizziness or difficulty maintaining a center of balance can lead elderly people to fall more easily.
  • Limited physical activity. Although some elderly people do make a conscious effort to exercise on a regular basis, others become more sedentary as they age. A lack of regular physical activity leads to muscle atrophy, decreased strength, and loss of flexibility—all of which puts people at greater risk for falls.
  • Vision problems.If an elderly person has difficulty seeing due to cataracts, glaucoma, or other vision problems, they may have trouble seeing potential tripping or slipping hazards around them.
  • Environmental hazards. Sometimes falls are caused by something as seemingly minor as a folded over corner on a rug, an electrical cord on the floor, or an uneven step. If an elderly person falls due to an environmental hazard, the person or organization responsible for keeping that area safe may be liable.


How to Reduce the Risk of Falls for the Elderly


Personal Injury Attorney

There are steps that both elderly people and their loved ones can take to reduce the odds of experiencing a serious fall. Elderly people can:


  • Practice balance exercises for seniors on a regular basis
  • Maintain physical activity by walking, taking a water aerobics class, or playing a sport like tennis
  • Talk to a doctor if they begin experiencing dizziness, vision problems, or other health issues
  • Understand that they may have limits when it comes to certain activities, such as riding an escalator or climbing a ladder, and seek assistance when necessary


Family, friends, and caretakers of seniors can also help by:


  • Maintaining homes that are free of tripping hazards: remove clutter from walkways, store electrical cords, and make sure rugs are flush with the floor
  • Carefully supervise seniors with dementia when walking in areas with snow or ice, as they may not know to be careful around potential slipping hazards
  • Make sure all staircases have sturdy handrails
  • Install grab bars on the sides of toilets and bath tubs used by seniors
  • Contact a slip and fall lawyer if an elderly loved one falls due to the recklessness or negligence of another person; while a lawyer can’t heal the injury, they can help you recover the compensation you need to cover medical and care expenses


The effort it requires to take a few simple precautions is well worth it in order to protect the people you love from the potentially serious injuries of a slip and fall accident.