I'm in a slip/fall lawsuit with petsmart and I just received the amount of my medical bills totaling 22000 how will know what the settlement offer is going to be?
Depends. What caused you to fall? Did the store have notice of the condition before you fell? What injuries? Have you made a complete recovery from injury? What type of treatment? Miss work due to injury? How much time and rate of pay? How long was treatment? Residual problems?
You should talk with atty about what should be the demand.
Your lawyer's fee should be mentioned in the contract which you should have a copy. As for the settlement amount, while your lawyer will negotiate the best possible settlement for you, it should be your decision whether to settle or not. So, when you get to the point of seeking your case you will know what you will receive before you close the deal.
Asking what the settlement offer will be is kinda like guessing if the next card will be a ten at the blackjack table... one has an idea, sort of, of the likelihood, but just can't be sure.
The more experience one has, though, helps make complete guess work into calculated possibilities and odds... since the average person has very little experience handling personal injury claims, that person probably won't be too accurate in guessing a cases value... but an experienced personal injury attorney should be able to do so.
If one already has an attorney, having a face to face discussion about what to expect should be as easy as making an appointment with said attorney. The same is true for how much the lawyer fees will be.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
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There is no way to know what settlement offer you will get. It depends on whether Petco can be shown to be liable in this matter.
This would require showing that they had notice of the spill (either constructive or actual notice) and that it would was negligent for them to no clean up the spill.
The split between your lawyer and you will depend on what you agree to in your agreement when you hire an attorney. For example, I generally charge 33% of the recovery, so the client would get 67%.
Many attorneys on this site handle slip and fall matters and offer free consultations.
Under the CA rules of professional conduct Rule 3-510 Communication of Settlement Offer - "Rule 3-510 is intended to require that counsel in a criminal matter convey all offers, whether written or oral, to the client, as give and take negotiations are less common in criminal matters, and, even were they to occur, such negotiations should require the participation of the accused.
Any oral offers of settlement made to the client in a civil matter should also be communicated if they are "significant" for the purposes of rule 3-500"; best of luck.
Slip and fall cases are notorious within the Personal Injury field. Several attorneys will not take these cases because they are difficult to win. As other lawyers on Avvo have mentioned, the main question here is whether proper notice (or a reasonable opportunity) was given to Petsmart to correct the problem that caused you to fall.
Is there a maintenance log for Petco showing that they regularly clean the area where your fell? Did a pet, child, or another customer create the defect by knocking over an item? Or was the defect or problem-area "open and obvious" such that you should have seen it and avoided it? Questions abound...
Since you have filed a lawsuit, chances are that there is no offer to settle this case. Since you are in Lancaster (in the LA County Court system) chances are that your attorney may need to hire a private mediator to help you settle this, otherwise this matter will proceed onto trial, where costs could range anywhere from $2500 to $25,000 depending on the number of experts you hire.
Finally, in California we have "comparative negligence". This means that a percentage of fault will be attributed to you and to Petsmart. If Petsmart was 100% liable then a jury may conclude that they must pay 100% of your provable damages. If they were say 50% liable, then they must only pay half of the damages. Also, were your medical bills covered by insurance? If so, Petsmart may ask the Court to reduce any jury award you receive to the amount you actually paid out-of-pocket.
Good luck on this case. Do not be surprised if Petsmart makes you a lower settle offer like $5000 simply to make the case go away.
Good luck to you.
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