Understanding Pain and Suffering After a Slip or Fall Accident
How Much is Pain and Suffering Worth in a Slip and Fall Accident? Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, at any time – from a friend’s front stairs, to your local grocery store, and your place of work – hazardous environments are all around and can cause serious harm to victims. Adults, 65 and older, are particularly vulnerable to slips and falls. In fact, over 3 million older adults are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for slip and fall accidents.
If you or your loved one were a victim of a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation not only for immediate medical expenses, but for pain and suffering as well. Pain and suffering describes both the physical and emotional injuries a victim suffers following a slip and fall accident. There are hidden costs following these accidents, including the ongoing need for pain relief, different tools to help make the victim comfortable, or therapies to help the victim cope with a new way of life. If you feel physical pain or experience emotional trauma after a fall, you may deserve pain and suffering compensation.
The expert slip and fall accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have more than 60 years of experience in personal injury law and can offer legal strategies to make sure you don’t foot the bill for someone else’s negligence. Call today for a free consultation with a seasoned slip and fall accident attorney who will carry the weight of the claims process so you can focus on a full and complete recovery.
How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated for a Slip and Fall Injury?
Pain and suffering damages are calculated in three different ways: physical, emotional, and loss of consortium.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Many times, slip and fall accident victims have initial medical expenses, including ambulance rides, hospital stays, x-rays, body scans, prescriptions, and follow-up appointments. However, the physical injuries sustained from slips and falls can last weeks, months, years, or even be permanent. Pain and suffering damages are calculated based on the severity of the injury and what the victim has to do to cope with the injury.
For example, chronic back pain following a slip and fall accident is agonizing to the victim and can make everyday tasks painful and more difficult. The victim may have to start seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or take several medications to manage the pain. If the victim is not financially compensated, the expenses related to the slip and fall injury add up and fall directly on the victim. Your Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys slip and fall accident lawyer will work to ensure that doesn’t happen and that you have ample financial coverage to manage chronic pain.
Physical injuries that may qualify for pain and suffering damages include:
- Back and neck pain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Chronic headaches
- Pulled or sprained muscles
Emotional Pain and Suffering
Slip and fall accident victims may also have to cope with psychological distress following the accident. For example, if a slip and fall accident left you paralyzed, the emotional trauma of having to cope with an entirely new way of life can be devastating to an individual and their family. Your lawyer will take your emotional suffering into account and make sure the party or parties responsible for the accident compensate you accordingly.
Emotional injuries that may qualify for pain and suffering damages include:
- Psychological trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Cognitive changes following a traumatic brain injury
- Loss or diminishment of the quality of life
Loss of Consortium
The last way pain and suffering damages are calculated following a slip and fall accident is called Loss of Consortium. Loss of consortium is compensation paid to family members who lost the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries or death caused by someone else’s negligence. Grief and mental anguish following a preventable accident can plague the victim’s loved one for years and can be devastating to family dynamics. Loss of consortium damages can be claimed by spouses, children, and parents.
Loss of consortium damages can include the loss of:
- Parental guidance
- Spousal Intimacy
- Love and affection
- Household services
What Kind of Slip and Fall Accidents Does Munley Law Handle?
Slip and fall accidents can happen in countless ways – from poor weather conditions to bad lighting, to an uneven surface of a sidewalk. For the purposes of this article, however, we will concentrate on three main areas where slip and fall accidents most often occur due to negligence:
Premises Liability Slip and Fall Accidents
Premises liability means the owner of a property is held accountable for any injuries a person sustained while they are on their property. Property owners have a duty of care, which is a Pennsylvania requirement that states property owners must act with watchfulness, attention, and caution. Anything less is considered negligence. For example, if you are invited to a neighbor’s house, but the neighbor fails to tell you the front door steps are faulty and you fall on them, that can be considered negligence on the neighbor’s part.
The Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys premises liability lawyers will work to prove the negligence of the property owner to recover financial compensation for pain and suffering caused by the slip and fall accident. The lawyers will:
- Determine the person or entity at fault for the slip and fall accident.
- Prove the property owner or business was negligent in keeping their property safe.
- Prove the slip and fall accident you suffered occurred on the property.
- Prove the pain and suffering you are experiencing is directly caused by the negligence of the property owner or business.
- Establish the reason you were on the property.
Workplace Injury Slip and Fall Accidents
Construction is one of the leading industries in Pennsylvania, boasting over 240,000 jobs statewide. The work also happens to be one of the most dangerous jobs in America and accounted for nearly half of the fatal work injuries in 2020 alone. Slips and falls are very common in construction work – construction workers can fall off unsteady structures, roofs, and scaffolding.
Injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. In addition to workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a claim for pain and suffering from your accident. Speak with a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys slip and fall accident lawyer today to discuss how to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, as well as a third party claim for pain and suffering.
Nursing Home Slip and Fall Accidents
Nursing home abuse is unfortunately all too common in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States of America. Staffing shortages, untrained personnel, and inconsistent regulation all contribute to the neglect of the elderly who reside in nursing homes. Broken wheelchairs, poor lighting, and failure to assist compromised residents to the bathroom all play a role in accidents that have catastrophic effects on the victims.
Slip and fall accidents were the leading cause of injury death among people 65 and older in 2019. If your loved one suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident in a nursing home, speak to a Munley slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible. Not only can you recover damages for the pain and suffering your loved one experienced, but your claim can also help prevent another terrible accident from happening to an elderly person in a nursing home.
Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Pennsylvania slip and fall accident victims must first understand the modified comparative negligence rule, which will award victims partial damages if it is proven that he or she contributed to the slip and fall accident. This rule is different from contributory negligence laws that bar the victim from pursuing any compensation if they were at all at fault for the accident. According to Pennsylvania law, the plaintiff (the slip and fall accident victim) must be responsible for less than 50% of the accident in order to collect damages.
Slip and fall cases can be difficult to prove, which is why you need an expert slip and fall accident lawyer by your side right away. Your lawyer will work to prove the following:
- The accident was preventable.
- The conditions of the property or service caused the accident.
- The owners of the property or business were aware of the conditions that led to the accident.
- The accident victim was not warned of potential hazards.
- The property or business owner were the cause of the hazardous conditions that caused the accident.
How Can I Prevent a Slip and Fall Accident?
While you cannot control other people’s behavior, you can do everything in your power to prevent a slip and fall accident from happening to you, someone you love, or even a complete stranger. Take note of the following checklist to prevent slip and fall accidents in your home, and place of work:
- Create good housekeeping practices: A clean property is a safe property. Excessive clutter in a household can lead to visitors tripping or slipping on toys, clothes, cords, boxes, etc. This is also beneficial in the workplace. If you see something someone can easily trip on, tell your supervisor right away to have it moved.
- Reduce wet or slippery surfaces: This includes driveways, especially after rain or snow. In businesses, make sure parking lots are properly cleared of snow and ice after a storm. If an area was just mopped in your home and you are expecting company, make sure you tell your guests about the wet surface. Perhaps you can even redirect them to another area of the house. If you are a business owner, put “wet floor” signs along the area to prevent customers from walking on the wet surface.
- Have and maintain proper lighting: Keep proper illumination in hallways, staircases, basements, foyers, and lobbies. This includes outside lighting at your front door. In businesses, all work areas should be well lit. Keep light switches clear and accessible. If any lighting needs to be repaired in the home or business, do so immediately.
- Equip your home or business with proper safety measures: If you have stairs leading to your front door, a handrail should be installed. If any inclement weather occurred, the stairs should be cleared immediately to avoid slips. Stairs in businesses should have handrails and non-slippery surfaces, if possible.
Reach out to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Today
A premises liability lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help ensure you receive the justice you deserve in your slip and fall case. We have been fighting for 60 years for the hardworking people of Pennsylvania. Slip and fall cases can be complicated, and you should make sure you have an experienced lawyer by your side.
Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.