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Man in red slips on floor in building near a Wet Floor sign

Slip and fall accidents can happen in various locations and in different ways. Such accidents can involve slippery floors, walkway obstructions, and other hazards. No matter how it occurred, the resulting injuries can be serious and may require a slip and fall settlement to help offset the injured person’s losses.

Compensation in a slip and fall settlement is based on consideration of many factors, many of which can involve complex legal concepts like negligence and liability. If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall accident, you may need the assistance of an experienced injury attorney who can help you get the proper settlement amount.

At The Smith Law Center, our attorneys have decades of experience handling injury cases and can help you understand the compensation you may be entitled to after a slip and fall incident. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 to speak with an attorney about the details of your case.

What Are Slip and Fall Settlements?

In any type of personal injury situation, including slip and fall accidents, a settlement is a voluntary agreement to resolve the dispute. This typically happens without input from the court. This is in contrast to a verdict, which is a final judgment in a trial and is issued by a judge or jury. Thus, the main difference is basically who decides the outcome of the case.

To illustrate, suppose a person slips and falls and injures themselves at a restaurant because the staff failed to clean the floor properly. The victim may then face costs like hospital bills, which the restaurant establishment might be liable for. A settlement, in this case, would be where the injured victim and the restaurant establishment reach an agreement on how much the restaurant should pay for the person’s losses.

Slip and fall settlements are binding, meaning they are legally enforceable, similar to a contract. They can be paid out in different ways, such as spread out over time or in a lump sum. The important part is that the injured party receives the compensation they deserve for their losses caused by the injury.

Types of Compensation Available Through Slip and Fall Settlements

In dealing with a slip and fall settlement, the settlement amounts may be divided into different categories of expenses. This helps the parties to fully understand what the settlement is covering and how the costs are divided up.

Broadly speaking, slip and fall settlements cover two types of losses, referred to as “damages.” These are general compensatory damages and special compensatory damages. These are both intended to compensate the victim for certain losses (hence the term “compensatory”).

General compensatory damages cover intangible, non-monetary losses that do not have a specific dollar amount. Examples of these include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anxiety or emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship

Special compensatory damages cover expenses that can be calculated into a dollar amount more readily. The goal of these damages is to restore the victim to their financial situation before the slip and fall incident occurred. These include:

  • Medical bills
  • Costs of future medical treatment
  • Expenses associated with rehab or therapy

Suppose that a slip and fall settlement is reached in the amount of $500,000. $300,000 of that might cover special damages, and $200,000 might cover general damages. The breakdown will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The type of injury involved can heavily affect the way the settlement is calculated.

How Different Types of Slip and Fall Injuries Affect a Settlement

Slip and fall accidents can involve a number of different types of injuries. These can depend on how the person fell, what part of their body hit the floor, where they were, and other factors.

Common slip and fall injuries include:

  • Sprained joints, especially a wrist sprain from catching the fall
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Injuries from hitting one’s head, including traumatic brain injuries or concussions
  • Back and spinal cord injuries — these can lead to serious conditions like paralysis

The type of injury and how serious it is heavily affects the amount of compensation in a slip and fall settlement. For instance, a sprained wrist may require a specific mix of treatment, medication, and physical therapy. In contrast, a brain injury from a slip and fall can involve additional factors besides these, such as a loss of the ability to generate income in the future. These types of differences are considered closely when formulating a settlement amount.

Also, where the injury occurred is a major deciding factor when calculating the amount. Slip and fall injuries can happen in various places, including:

  • Retail stores
  • Grocery stores
  • At the workplace
  • Hotels
  • Swimming pools
  • Various other places

Negotiating a settlement with a small local boutique store owner will be drastically different than negotiating with a large corporate establishment like a department store chain. In any case, the assistance of an attorney is invaluable when it comes to reaching a settlement.

Stairs with warning painted “MIND YOUR STEP”

When Can Slip and Fall Settlements Occur?

Settlements can occur at different times. In many cases, a settlement is reached out-of-court before the case even goes to trial. In other instances, a settlement can happen after a lawsuit has already been filed. This all depends on the needs and preferences of the parties involved.

A pre-trial settlement can often reduce much of the time and expenses associated with a full lawsuit; this is one of the main reasons why parties may seek a settlement early on.

With out-of-court settlements, it is highly important to catalog all damages and expenses associated with the slip and fall accident. This is because negotiation will be a heavy element in the process, and the more you can support your claim, the more favorable the outcome will be for you.

Regardless of when a settlement occurs in the process, the settlement amount often depends on the attorney’s skill in negotiating and presenting solid arguments on behalf of their client. The prospect of having to deal with negotiations can be intimidating to an injury victim, but don’t worry — it’s a lawyer’s job to engage with the other party and negotiate on your behalf. In fact, you should never try to negotiate with the liable party or an insurance agent if you aren’t represented by an attorney.

At The Smith Law Center, we have experience with settling in and out of court, and have proven our competency in negotiations time and time again. We prepare each case as if it is going to trial, but are prepared to fight hard for our clients when it comes to settlements.

Hire a Lawyer for Slip and Fall Settlements

At first glance, slip and fall accidents can seem minor. However, they can often involve serious injuries that result in major losses to the victim. Obtaining compensation for such losses will help the victim and their family deal with the tremendous financial pressure that can result from an accident case.

When selecting a slip and fall lawyer to represent you for your claim, you need a lawyer with the experience and resources to negotiate on your behalf. The Smith Law Center is the largest firm on the peninsula and one of the largest in Virginia. Our founder, Stephen Smith, is internationally recognized for his work on traumatic brain injury cases and has over 44 years of experience in the matter.

If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall, contact us immediately at (757) 244-7000 to learn more about your legal rights and options. Any delays could affect the outcome of your settlement, so be sure to reach out as soon as you believe you have a case.

Slip and Fall Settlements: FAQs

How long do slip and fall settlements take?

A typical slip and fall settlement can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete. This depends on the exact case, as well as the timing of the settlement negotiations. If trial has already started, it may take longer to fully resolve the matter due to the legal procedures involved in a trial. Why would someone want to settle a slip and fall case?

In most cases, people seek slip and fall settlements as a way of avoiding a full lawsuit and shortening the entire legal process. If the parties can reach an agreement on their own regarding the compensation, it can help reduce the time and resources spent in court. Common reasons for settling a case include:

  • Saving time and money by avoiding a full trial
  • The parties basically agree on the compensation amount to begin with
  • One party feels they will probably lose if they proceed with trial
  • New evidence was introduced at trial that affected the potential outcome

Lastly, a settlement agreement may be more beneficial than other forms of compensation (such as a jury verdict), as the parties will be able to tailor exactly what the settlement will cover.

How much is my slip and fall settlement worth?

Every slip and fall case is different. Slip and fall compensation amounts will depend on several factors, including:

  • The seriousness of the injuries
  • Which party or parties are liable for the slip and fall
  • The degree to which the party was liable

Calculation of general and special damages can be a complex matter. A qualified attorney can help obtain a settlement amount that best helps the victim obtain justice.

How can a slip and fall attorney help me?

Slip and fall settlements require extensive knowledge of injury laws and other matters. An attorney can help with the following when it comes to slip and fall settlements:

  • Preparing any documents, records, and receipts in support of the claim
  • Determining the various damages and losses from the injury
  • Negotiating with the other side to ensure the proper figure is reached
  • Handling any legal procedures or filing matters with the court if needed

Contact the slip and fall attorneys at The Smith Law Center for representation and assistance with any legal conflicts. We take a thorough, no-nonsense approach to settlements and fight zealously to ensure our clients are properly compensated. Get in touch with us today at (757) 244-7000 for a cost-free review of your case.

Client Testimonials

“I was very happy with the Smith Law center. They are professional, attentive and will truly fight for you. The entire office is very nice and communicates throughout the whole process. Mr. Gill is fantastic as well as the paralegals and the other administration team.”

-E. Lovett

“The attorneys and staff are great to work with. They care not only about obtaining a successful recovery, but ensuring their clients know what options are available for protecting the recovery long-term.”

-A. Hook

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There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

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