There are three different major categories of damages in Denver slip and fall cases. There are economic damages, non-economic damages, and permanent impairment or disfigurement. Economic damages are an individual’s medical expenses, both past, and future. Doctors have told patients that they are as good as they are going to ever be, but recommend that they receive additional physical therapy or possible additional surgery in the future. If an individual has been injured in a slip and fall case, they should reach out to a seasoned personal injury lawyer that can help them pursue the compensation that they deserve.
Also within economic damages are both past and future lost wages. If the slip and fall impacts a person’s ability to earn money now as a result of their injuries, they are going to be more restricted in their work capacity and therefore, will have to change to a lesser paying job in the future.
Economic damages are also smaller things such as out-of-pocket expenses the client needs to keep track of. These damages would include mileage expenses for doctors’ visits and loss of household services.
Loss of household services would be that the injured person used to help around the house, take out the trash, do the dishes, clean, cook, things of that nature, but as a result of the slip and fall, the injured person cannot do that, and other people had to help or outside help has to be hired. Those are the common scenarios in the household services claim.
Non-economic damages are broken down into four distinct categories. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, and impairment of the quality of life. There is a cap on these non-economic damages (pain and suffering; inconvenience; emotional distress; and the impairment of quality of life) of $468,010 plus a set yearly rate they increase it for cost of living.
Purpose of Punitive Damages
The purpose of punitive damages generally is to punish the Defendant for willful or wanton disregard of their duty to the plaintiff or the public. Punitive damages will be awarded when the circumstances show that there has been numerous times where the apartment complex did nothing to remediate the snow and numerous instances where tenants of that apartment complex have slipped and fallen and sustained injuries. A showing of these additional claims and/or these additional injuries to a jury will often receive an award for punitive damages to punish the defendant for their bad act or omissions in that case.
How Do the Recoverable Damages Change if the Person Has Sustained Catastrophic Injuries?
If there are catastrophic injuries, the recoverable damages in Denver slip and fall cases are always increased significantly. A catastrophic injury may lead to a greater medical expense that lead to significant wage loss claims, and those are all recoverable on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
There is no other way to value it if an individual’s medical bills are $100,000 and that is what the injured person has been billed. As long as they are reasonable and necessary, then the defendant is liable for that versus a non-catastrophic injury case where the medical bills are $5,000.
The prevailing thought is that a person’s damages are based on what their medical bills are and that is how insurance adjusters have value cases. They try to offer some multiple of the medical bills, and catastrophic injuries usually increase the multiple that they are going to get.
Steps to Take to Maximize Damages
If someone is injured in a slip and fall accident, they should see a doctor immediately, even though they might not feel pain right away. They should be medically checked out to start documenting which potential damages in Denver slip and fall cases they can expect to recover.
If a person is injured in a slip and fall and declines medical treatment for four weeks or so, it leaves huge questions in a person’s case as far as whether this person was really injured as a result of the slip and fall a month ago. Something else could have happened during the 30 days that could have caused those injuries. Lastly, the person should consult a skilled slip and fall lawyer that can determine what legal options they have and can potentially hold the responsible parties accountable.