Visitor Question

Permanent loss of function after fall at a home improvement store…

Submitted By: Vickie (Anderson, IN, USA)

I am a Dental Hygienist. I fell and broke my wrist because of lack of a motion sensor and the door opening incorrectly at national chain home improvement store. It was broken in 6 places and required surgery, a plate, and 5 screws. I was only off work 5 days, and my medical bills were approximately $18,000.

My surgeon said I have permanently lost 10 percent of the range of motion in my Left hand.

I have documented through journaling my ongoing pain and suffering, which I will have to endure both at home and in my profession.

How do I calculate compensation for the loss of function in my hand for the next 15 years of my employment (I make approximately $80,000 a year)? How would I calculate my pain and suffering? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Vickie,

Vickie (Anderson, IN, USA) :

Unlike workers’ compensation claims, which award compensation based on type and percentage of disability, personal injury claim compensation is determined by a review of a victim’s damages.

In personal injury claims, damages normally include medical, dental and/or chiropractic bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, crutches, bandages, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc.), lost wages, and pain and suffering.

While today almost all insurance companies utilize a sophisticated software program to determine injury settlement amounts, victim’s representing themselves can approximate a reasonable settlement amount by multiplying their medical/dental or chiropractic bills by a multiple ranging from 1.5x, for relatively minor “soft tissue” injuries, to 3x, 4x, 5x and higher for more serious “hard injuries.”

In permanent injury cases, it’s always best to have an experienced attorney represent you. They know exactly how to factor the permanent loss of function into the demand amount, and have the leverage to make the insurance company take the higher demand seriously (i.e. they can file a lawsuit). Don’t try to negotiate this settlement on your own, meet with an attorney ASAP.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 13, 2014

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