Assessing damages in a Charleston slip and fall case is an essential step in the case process. The recoverable damages need to be documented and if there are permanent injuries, then if it is pre-suit that the lawyer needs to get causation from the doctor. This means getting the doctor’s opinion that the injuries were the direct and proximate result of the fall within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that most probably the plaintiff’s injuries were incurred in the fall.
It can be a gray area, sometimes, because many people have pre-existing conditions. It may be that they had a bad back before they fell and now their back is worse and in that instance, the person needs to get the opinion from the doctor that the pre-existing condition was aggravated. If you find yourself in a situation like this, a distinguished slip and fall attorney can help you assess the damages you are owed.
What Damages Include
Damages include medical bills and the person needs to document the medical bills and the records and the treatment that the client has gotten through the course of the injury. If it is a permanent injury and there is going to be treatment perhaps for the rest of the client’s life and that needs to be documented. Assessing damages in a Charleston slip and fall cases involves getting the doctor to give an opinion as to how often an injured person will need this or that particular treatment. The individual will neet to get the cost for it and extrapolate it over the injured person’s lifetime and this is done with statutory life expectancy tables.
Role of Lost Wages
Lost wages are also a part of evaluating lost wages assessing damages in a Charleston slip and fall cases. They need to be documented through payroll records, tax returns, and if it is a big case where the plaintiff is permanently injured and was working full time and can never go back to work, that might justify an economist or someone with a PhD in economics to come in and do the math and figure out exactly how much money the plaintiff would have made over the rest of their lifetime, if it had not been for the injury and then extrapolate that down to present day dollars. Also, included in damages is pain and suffering, that is a little bit more and there is no formula for that.
Familial Impact of Damages
The process of assessing damages in a Charleston slip and fall case will come into the plaintiff’s own testimony about how life was different and how the pain has affected the person, but also friends and family members may offer testimony as to how the injuries have changed the client’s life. If the client is married, the client’s spouse will have their own claim for what is called loss of consortium and loss of consortium is the loss of the companionship and love of a person’s spouse, in other words, whatever the value of the spouse’s chores around the house are that they can no longer do.
If the spouse’s personal life has been negatively affected by the injuries, that is also part of damages in the loss of consortium claim. It can be very complicated establishing damages deepening on the severity of the injury the permanency and the more injured the plaintiff is the more money and effort is spent in building up the damages case and doing the best job for the client to maximize their recovery.
Establishing Responsibility for Prevention
Damages do not have anything to do with establishing responsibility for prevention of the fall. Prevention for the fall falls under liability within the case, which can be overly simplistic. Simplistic cases involve liability and damages that are based on the injuries. There is causation that links the injuries to the fall and the liability to the fall.
Establishing responsibility for the prevention of the fall means establishing evidence with regards to liability, not damages. In reference to prevention of future falls in the store, that is the responsibility of the defendant and they can either clean up their act and have a better policy to prevent it in the future or not. If they do not, they are more likely to have another claim and another claim and another claim follow it.
The civil justice system exists to provide an orderly and civil way to resolve these disputes and with respect to prevention, if there are punitive damages involved those are intended to punish, and under public policy, to deter other defendants from acting in a similar way but punitive damages, frankly, are rare, if not non-existent in a slip and fall case.