Figuring out Pain and Suffering

Hi,
I had a slip and fall in a market a few months ago and need to file my claim with them asap.

I have been in touch with their claims department and they offered to pay ‘pan and suffering’ and I’m figuring out how much to ask for and how to justify it, based on my professional circumstances. I have a few sources of income.

I am located in Virginia. Please give me a call on my cell asap at 702.806.3690, which is an out-of-area number for Virginia.

Thanks very much,
Joan 702.806.3690

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is premature to try to settle the case until you have completed your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.
At that time, obtain your total medical bills, all medical reports including your final medical report and documentation of all wage loss.
Your claim filed with the store's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
There isn't any mathematical formula for determining pain and suffering compensation.  It just depends on the extent of your injury and whether or not you have fully recovered.
If you have completely recovered from your injury, I would ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  This would be a starting point in settlement negotiations and the insurance carrier for the store will respond with a much lower offer.  You can continue negotiating to try to get the insurance carrier to increase its offer.
If you have residual complaints after completing your medical treatment and being released by the doctor or being declared permanent and stationary, ask for considerably more than if you had fully recovered as discussed above.  Again, the medical reports are what determines compensation for pain and suffering.  Don't expect to get the figure you are requesting.  As discussed above, this is for negotiation purposes only and the insurance company will respond with a much lower offer from which you can continue negotiating.
If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the store's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the store (depending on the facts that caused your fall, your lawsuit would be either for negligence or premises liability).
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the store must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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