Pain & Suffering for a Slip, Trip Fall Injury Claim

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People injured by slips and falls should be compensated for their financial losses and emotional distress. Learn the ins and outs of including damages for pain and suffering in a personal injury claim.

The concept of “pain and suffering” is well-known, but many may not know how important it is in cases involving injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents.

It’s important to acquire a full valuation of your claim, including compensation for emotional distress after you’ve been hurt.

But what constitutes “pain and suffering” in the eyes of the law? In addition, how is it determined in a claim for slip-and-fall insurance?

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Indicators of Suffering and Pain

If a person is hurt in a slip and fall accident because of someone else’s carelessness, that person should receive compensation that fairly reflects their losses. Losses in both financial and emotional terms are included here.

An injured party’s financial losses due to a slip and fall are the actual money spent on medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. They have a fixed cost, so figuring out how much you owe is straightforward.

Money can be awarded for medical bills, missed wages, repairs to damaged property like jewels or a watch, and the cost of replacing services the victim can’t provide because of their injury.

However, the worth of non-economic losses is subjective, making it more challenging to prove than economic damages.

Non-economic damages typically include things like loss of consortium and scarring or ugliness.

  • Anguish and distress

A subset of non-economic damages known as “pain and suffering” that a plaintiff can seek in a personal injury case.

Experiencing Pain and Suffering in Two Different Ways

Physical pain and emotional distress are the two most common kinds of suffering.

Real, tangible injuries cause real, tangible agony and suffering. This includes not just the pain and suffering you’ve experienced since your fall but also the pain and suffering you’ll likely experience in the future due to your injuries.

The physical wounds you’ve sustained will also cause you emotional distress. It’s a catch-all term for the range of negative feelings arising from serious injury and trauma.

  • Anxiety,
  • depression,
  • and other forms of emotional distress,
  • as well as physical symptoms like headaches and stomachaches,
  • can manifest as mental pain and suffering.

Extreme emotional distress can cause a person to have problems sleeping, eating, expressing emotion, having sexual dysfunction, and concentrating. Some of the victims even suffer from PTSD (PTSD).

The emotional anguish and suffering a victim has endured just as real as the physical anguish and suffering they have endured. Their future pain is likewise fair game.

A personal injury attorney can look out for your best interests if you’ve sustained serious emotional harm due to a slip and fall.

Showing extreme mental anguish and distress

Joe fell at the top of the stairs at an office building because of damaged flooring. He took a full tumble down the stairwell. According to the medical staff, many of his bones were broken, and he also had a concussion. For weeks, he suffered from constant head and bone agony.

Joe became resentful and unhappy after his accident and injuries. Both his sleep and his appetite began to suffer as a result. His medical professional suggested that he see a therapist and a psychologist.

Joe’s doctors determined that he suffers from both anxiety and depression. His mental health was addressed by medicine and psychotherapy for six months.

Joe can claim considerable damages for mental pain and suffering in addition to his physical pain and suffering since his mental health problems are causally related to his slip and fall accident.

Emotional distress can range from mild to severe, from clinical depression to the inability to function normally in social situations.

Even if your injuries are relatively minor, you have every right to seek pain and suffering compensation for the negative impact they have had on your quality of life.

Illustration of Moderate Discomfort

Lisa collapsed in the mall’s food court because an employee had neglected to wipe up a spilled Coke. After examining her, the doctor concluded that the fall had caused her to strain her back. Due to her injuries, Lisa had to skip her workouts for two weeks. And despite months of preparation, she didn’t make it to the marathon she’d signed up for.

Lisa was mildly upset, frustrated, and unhappy since she could not run in the marathon. She suffered considerable emotional distress from the accident but didn’t need to consult a psychologist.

Unless there are actual physical injuries, insurance companies will not pay for pain and suffering suffered by slip and fall victims. In other words, claiming humiliation from a public fall won’t get you far if you weren’t wounded.

How to Determine Damages for a Slip and Fall Accident

The amount of compensation a victim of a slip and fall is entitled to for their injuries is not established by legislation or a magic formula. Each circumstance is different.

Insurers and attorneys often employ a multiplier to determine compensation for mental anguish. This method calculates a monetary value for an individual’s suffering by multiplying their medical costs and missed wages.

The value of your non-economic losses can be calculated partly by adding up all of your direct expenses. You can estimate the potential worth of your claim settlement by adding the monetary and intangible losses you incurred.

Several variables might result in multipliers anywhere from 1 to 5. Remember that the value of your claim calculated using this method is merely an estimate.

A multiplier of 1 to 1.5 would be a realistic and fair way to determine compensation for pain and suffering if you were treated and released from the hospital after sustaining minor injuries.

Your lawyer would use a considerably higher multiplier if your injuries were severe. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) are two examples of catastrophic injuries that need increased compensation and a larger multiplier.

If you:

  • Did not sustain any serious injuries;
  • Spent more on diagnostic tests than treatment;
  • Saw a chiropractor rather than a medical doctor;
  • Saw a specialist for only a short period;
  • Returned to work or school after a short period;
  • Did not suffer any permanent injuries, loss of use, or visible scars;
  • Did not require any special assistance in caring for yourself, then you are entitled to a lower multiplier.
Injuries that have a moderate impact on daily life include those that:
  • Last for a long but finite period;
  • Make you dependent on others in ways you weren’t before;
  • make you miss out on vital things like school, holidays, or leisure activities.

Any combination of the following can result in a greater multiplier:

Loss of use of a body function or part Loss of use of a body part Loss of use of a body part Loss of use of

How Your Slip and Fall Settlement Is Determined

Damages to emotional distress are notoriously difficult to quantify. But their value can shift depending on several things. You can influence some but not others.

In most cases, insurers will offer a lowball claim settlement offer. The adjuster will take into account how a jury could view your case. When deciding whether or not to settle out of court, insurers are more likely to increase their offer if the victim has strong evidence and can likely win over a sympathetic jury.

The adjuster will assess whether the victim:

  • Is likable and credible;
  • Gives consistent and fair evidence regarding their injuries,
  • Will be a good witness.
  • The individual’s doctor has verified that they are experiencing the pain and suffering they claim to be experiencing.
  • Has a plausible diagnosis, injuries, and claims
  • Exaggerates Pain and Suffering; Has a Criminal or Substance Abuse History;

The extent to which a victim is compensated may also be affected by the insurance policy’s policy limits.

As an added precaution, your reimbursement won’t exceed the restrictions set by your state’s damage caps law.

Exactly what is ‘Damage Caps,’ you ask?

Damage limitations are statutory maximums for non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. Damage limits are handled differently, if at all, by the laws of each state. Just to give one illustration:

  • There are no damage caps in California and New York; in Tennessee,
  • the limit is $750,000; in Hawaii,
  • the limit is $375,000.

Damage caps mean that no matter how bad an injury is, the total amount awarded for pain and suffering in a given state cannot exceed the amount set by the state legislature.

One’s chances of successfully claiming damages for injuries sustained in a slip and fall enhance when substantial evidence is presented.

Slip and fall injury cases receive special attention from adjusters because of this. The adjuster may pay nothing or very little if they believe the claimant fabricated proof or overstated their pain and suffering.

Moreover, compensation for slip and fall injuries will be lowered based on the degree to which the injured party contributed to the accident’s occurrence.

A Claim for Compensation After a Fall

A slip and fall victim can seek compensation for their injuries by filing a claim with the responsible party’s insurance provider.

Beginning the settlement process for an injury claim with a written demand for compensation from the insurance company. There ought to be a part in your demand letter detailing the emotional anguish you’ve endured. Stress the emotional as well as the bodily pain you’ve felt.

Here, you should do your best to walk the insurance adjuster through the timeline of your injuries as you experienced them, as this will strengthen your demand letter. Beginning just after the catastrophe and continuing up until the present day.

Keeping a journal or log of your injuries might help you recall more detailed facts about your pain and suffering, strengthening your injury claim.

Explain in detail how your illness or injury prevented you from going on a trip or attending a family gathering.

Don’t be shy about using colorful language to describe the various degrees of agony you’re experiencing. Don’t be reticent about explaining your illness’s toll on your daily life.

If any of the following apply, please describe them:

  • Potential negative reactions to prescribed drugs
  • Because of your injuries, your relationships may get strained.
  • Reduced independence and increased reliance on others due to
  • incapacity to carry out routine daily tasks;

  diminished ability to engage in meaningful activities

You must emphasize that you did not invite the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused. Describe how you didn’t have the luxury of time to be unable to move or feel anything for several weeks while also losing time from work and being in constant pain.

Tell us how your fall affected your family’s dynamics, whether it be your marriage, your kids, or anybody else you’re close to.

Example of Pain and Suffering to Include in a Demand Letter

I tripped and broke my left arm due to various hazards on the stairs, including two code violations. After breaking my arm, I had surgery and spent months recovering. Because of the accident, I will never fully regain the use of my injured arm.

Because of my wounds, several undesirable things happened. To give you an example, I was unable to attend my family’s annual July reunion because I was unable to travel during my recovery. I needed assistance bathing, grooming, and getting dressed. What’s more, because my dominant arm was hurt, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pick up painting or riding horses again.

My pain has been so severe that I had to use narcotic painkillers, which left me feeling weak and dizzy. Now that I’m off narcotics, I have to take other stomach-churning painkillers daily to deal with my arm’s stabbing pains.

Every week, without fail, I wake up terrified that I’ve fallen down the stairs. The use of the stairwell has been severely reduced. I become nervous and jittery whenever I have to use them or am even near them.

My marriage and children have suffered due to the strain of my inability to financially or physically support them.

My lip was also damaged as I slipped and had to be stitched up. The doctor took them out after ten days.

As you can see from the enclosed photos, the wound has left a scar on the outside of my right upper lip. The doctor says it will fade a little over time, but you’ll always be able to see the scar.”

Provide Proof to Back Up Your Request

It’s important to include proof of your suffering alongside your message.

If you can prove your pain and suffering expenses, the insurance adjuster will be less likely to think you’re making it up. The strength of your case may increase or decrease based on the kind of your injury and the amount of pain and suffering you endured.

Consider the following as examples of evidence that will help your case:

  • medical records detailing your pain, limited range of motion, and emotional status
  • doctor orders regarding an activity or work restrictions
  • witness statements detailing the severity of your slip and fall, as well as your pain and distress at the scene
  • your injury journal or notes
  • a calendar detailing events and activities you missed due to your injuries.

What a Lawyer Can Do for You

Some people who’ve been hurt in a fall feel confident representing themselves in court; others prefer to hire a personal injury attorney. An attorney should always be consulted when a serious accident has occurred.

An injury lawyer will be able to provide you with an honest assessment of the merits of your claim based on their knowledge and expertise. If you hire an attorney, he or she will also be able to provide you with an estimate of your claim’s worth.

Your attorney may advise you to sue the property owner for any remaining losses not covered by insurance.

Suppose the insurance company says you were too responsible for the accident because of your age or a preexisting condition. In that case, your attorney will be able to refute these claims.

To maximize the value of your accident settlement, your attorney can advise you on the best course of action at every case stage. Your attorney may negotiate with the healthcare providers to reduce their lien amounts, allowing you to keep more of the settlement.

The best aspect is that you don’t have to immediately pay a lawyer to get their help. Competent personal injury attorneys typically offer a free initial consultation.

They do their business on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win. That is to say; they won’t get paid until you do. After working to secure reasonable compensation on your behalf, they will be paid a predetermined fee.

Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you want to know more about requesting compensation for emotional distress.

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