This is the next post in my series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous article discussed when a property owner may be responsible for a fall. It is important to remember that a property operator is required to take “reasonable” steps to keep the location safe. Whether or not they are responsible for a fall will depend on the “reasonableness” of their actions. Retaining an experienced attorney is, therefore, important to determining whether or not you have a valid claim. In this article I will discuss why it may take substantial time for such cases to settle. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with an injury lawyer.
When an injury victim’s damages are reasonably ascertainable, then their attorney will send a settlement demand to the insurance carrier. This demand will explain the amount of money which the victim is requesting and will include documentation which supports the request. The amount of damages will include compensation for past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses as well as “pain and suffering,” and other past and future expenses necessitated by the accident. If a settlement cannot be reached the case will proceed to litigation. It is important, however, that the settlement demand not be sent before the victim’s long-term chances of recovery are reasonably known.
If the victim accepts a “quick” settlement, meaning that they settled before knowing their long-term prognosis, then they will miss out on substantial compensation. Suppose, for example, that someone falls inside of a retail store and seriously injures their back. Now suppose that, after their first surgery, they are told that they will likely need one to four additional surgeries and that their chances of full recovery are seventy-five percent. The victim accepts a fast settlement, for $100,000, based on the belief that they will fully recover and on the belief that they will likely only need one more surgery. Unfortunately, the victim requires numerous surgeries and will never fully recover. Their future lost income, medical expenses, and more now total over $500,000. Given that they have already settled, they will not receive the full amount to which they should have been entitled.
The foregoing example shows why it is important to wait to settle until the chances of recovery, and the need for future care, are reasonably known. Doing so helps to ensure that you know the full extent of your damages and that you are not accepting a low-ball amount to simply get cash today. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be honest with you in regards to whether or not you should accept a settlement or whether you should continue treating. When selecting counsel, it is important to retain a firm with an emphasis on injury law and not one which simply handles the occasional injury case.
My office is dedicated to standing up for the rights of people, as opposed to corporations, and we devote substantial resources to assisting those who have been injured. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service and will stay in regular contact with you as your case moves forward. We understand that this is a serious time and we look forward to being of assistance. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Peoria slip and fall lawyer. My office also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.