Could I Request Punitive Damages for a Slip and Fall Accident?

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the damages that you will recover will depend on where you live and how the injury occurred. It will also depend on the severity of your injuries and the negligence or lack of action taken by the defendant. In general, there are some damages that you should be able to recover if you file a claim with a personal injury attorney. These include:

  • Medical bills
  • Expenses that incurred as a result of the accident
  • General damages
  • Compensation for your pain and suffering
  • Fair value of any property damaged in the accident
  • Lost income for recovery or permanent disability

What Are General Damages?

General damages are compensatory damages. These are designed to financially compensate you for your losses after an accident. They are designed to make you feel “whole” again after your incident. Usually, they are easy to put financial dollar amounts on because they will have receipts, bills, or some sort of number that can be calculated to determine a proper settlement value. Some of these are not as easy to compute, especially those that look into the future or assume things like your quality of life. Just some general damages that you may be able to request include:

  • Possible career opportunities that were lost
  • Future loss of earnings
  • Inability to enjoy hobbies
  • Inability to enjoy relationships
  • Inability to carry out daily tasks
  • Labor market disadvantages
  • Inability to be promoted in the future due to a disability

Can You Receive Punitive Damages for a Slip and Fall Accident?

Special damages will be recovered in a slip and fall injury case because these cover the expenses for medical bills, travel, and lost wages as a result of your accident.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are much more difficult to recover after a slip and fall accident, because they are designed to punish the defendant – and it may be difficult to prove that their actions warrant punishment in a slip and fall case. You would need to show the courts that there is a behavior on the behalf of the defendant that needs to be deterred from future occurrences. Unless you slipped and fell because of something that an employee or property owner did that was grossly negligent, it is unlikely that you will receive punitive damages for your slip and fall case. That being said, there are instances where slip and fall cases do receive punitive damages – especially if the manager or owner’s actions were grossly negligent or even malicious. For example, if the owner purposely created a dangerous stairwell in order to force someone to fall. Or, if an employee created a dangerous situation as a practical joke and another employee fell and injured him or herself.

Speak with a Slip and Fall Attorney to Explore Your Options

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you will want to speak with an attorney to explore your options. The team at Jacobs Law, LLC can assist you with your case. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at (317) 794-2024, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.