How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted on February 27, 2024

Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as well as fractures, knee injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and facial injuries. When a slip-and-fall accident occurs directly due to a property owner’s or business manager’s failure to take reasonable care to prevent injuries, they are liable for the victims’s damages—typically paid through a property insurance liability policy. The word “damages” in a personal injury case refers to the consequences of the injury to the victim. It’s easy to add up economic damages like hospital bills and lost income, but how do you calculate a dollar amount for pain and suffering in a personal injury claim?

Proving Pain and Suffering Damages After a Slip and Fall Injury

In a slip-and-fall injury claim, the victim’s medical records and expenses are often used as a basis for calculating an amount of compensation for the injury victim’s pain and suffering. Evidence used to prove pain and suffering includes the following:

  • Medical records showing painful procedures, surgeries, and rehabilitation,
  • Pain-management clinic attendance
  • Medical expert testimony about the physical and emotional impacts of the victim’s type of injury
  • Testimony from family and friends about the changes in the victim’s routine and the activities they can no longer enjoy
  • Pain journal entries
  • Prescription pain medication history
  • Emotional counseling session attendance

Medical experts may also use their knowledge and experience to predict the injury victim’s expected pain level going forward until they are likely to reach their maximum medical improvement level.

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

Measuring pain and suffering after an injury often becomes complex. Many attorneys use specific formulas to arrive at an appropriate figure. For example, the multiplier method uses a pain level number between one and six and multiplies it by the total amount of the victim’s medical expenses to arrive at a total.

Another method relies on medical experts to assign an appropriate dollar amount per day for pain and suffering compensation and multiply that amount by the number of days the victim is expected to feel pain until they reach their maximum medical improvement.

This is the per-diem method. Courts in some states prefer one method over another, but other states—including Utah—take an approach that tailors the amount to each unique case.

Often the amount of compensation for pain and suffering in Utah relies on compelling testimony not only from medical experts familiar with the type of injury the slip-and-fall victim suffers, but also from family, friends, and coworkers who testify about the physical and emotional impacts of the injury on the fall victim.

Do I Have to Go to Court to Recover Compensation for Pain and Suffering After a Slip-and-Fall Injury?

In most cases, an experienced Salt Lake City slip and fall lawyer gathers evidence and deposes expert witnesses and eyewitnesses with the goal of resolving the matter outside of a courtroom through a settlement.

Then they present the evidence and testimony to the insurance company of the liable party in the accident and begin negotiating for the maximum amount of compensation available under the limits of the insurance policy.

Only in cases of an insurance company’s wrongful denial of a claim, serious undervaluing of the claim amount, or a victim’s damages far exceeding the amount of insurance coverage does the case go to court in a lawsuit. While the lawsuit process takes longer, compassionate jurors tend to award larger amounts of compensation for a slip-and-fall victim’s pain and suffering.