If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you’re probably weighing your options for recovering injury compensation. You may have even received an offer from an insurance company already. Likely that offer probably seems far too low.

A yellow wet caution "wet floor" sign in front of stairs.

It’s smart to wonder, “How are slip-and-fall settlements calculated?” If you don’t take the time to understand common insurance tactics and learn how a slip-and-fall attorney can help, there’s a good chance that any settlement you receive will be much lower than what you deserve.

Call Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys for a free consultation about your slip-and-fall case today.

How Insurance Companies Undervalue Your Slip-and-Fall Damages

The average person doesn’t have much experience navigating the insurance claims process. That means most people aren’t aware that insurance companies have a reputation for engaging in various sneaky tactics designed to keep their payouts as small as possible.

If you want to protect your finances during the insurance claims process, it helps to be aware of some of the most common tricks in every insurance company’s playbook.

Assigning Fault to the Victim

Slip-and-fall accidents usually occur because property owners fail to attend to slip or trip hazards like wet floors. Unfortunately, insurance companies often attempt to reduce your compensation by placing part of the blame on you. They can reduce your compensation if they prove your actions contributed to the accident.

Fighting Against Treatment Costs

Another trick insurance companies use is attempting to discredit your treatment costs. For example, they can claim that physical therapy was unnecessary or your visits to a chiropractor don’t count as medical care.

Tricking You Into a Fast Settlement

Insurance agents don’t want you to speak with a slip-and-fall lawyer. Often, they quickly attempt to give a lowball offer. If you make the mistake of accepting, you might unknowingly sign a legal document that waives your right to pursue further compensation for your injuries, even if you weren’t fairly compensated.

Purchasing Your Hospital Lien

One final insurance trick is to purchase the hospital lien. Suppose that a slip-and-fall head injury left you $100,000 in debt to the hospital. The insurance company might negotiate with the hospital and purchase the lien for $30,000. At first, you might think that as long as the bill gets paid, it doesn’t matter how much they spent.

However, this allows the insurance company to claim you only had $30,000 in economic damages rather than $100,000. That can dramatically decrease the amount of pain and suffering damages you recover.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Calculates Damages to Your Advantage

Once you understand the many tricks insurance companies use, it’s easy to see why you need a slip-and-fall lawyer on your case. Just as the insurer is fighting to reduce your settlement, the lawyer is working to increase it.

A lawyer performs an endless number of tasks as they work to recover slip-and-fall accident compensation. Many of these tasks allow them to calculate damages to your advantage, helping increase your overall settlement amount.

Communicating on Your Behalf

When you hire a slip-and-fall accident attorney, they handle all communication with the insurance company. That protects you from making statements the insurer can use against you.

Insurance agents often ask leading questions, which they use to prove you were partially at fault for the accident. You avoid this risk when your lawyer communicates on your behalf.

Considering All Accident Costs

Experienced slip-and-fall lawyers understand the many items that combine for your total case value.

For example, if your injuries have left you in a wheelchair, it may be necessary to make home renovations, such as a wheelchair ramp or stair lift. A lawyer considers all current and future costs you need reimbursement for, including those you may not have considered.

Leveraging Negotiation Skills

Even after all the work on your case is complete, getting an insurance company to agree to settle for the amount you need can be a challenge.

Experienced slip-and-fall attorneys are skilled negotiators. They know how to get the insurance company to agree to the amount you need and aren’t afraid to file a lawsuit if your case requires it.

Methods for Calculating a Slip-and-Fall Claim

Calculating the value of a slip-and-fall claim is rarely an easy process. Insurance companies tend to fight back against the damages you claim, while your lawyer must fight to prove the payment is merited.

Further, the type of damages you claim directly impacts the calculation method used. Different types of damages are calculated in different ways.

Calculation Method

A lawyer identifies the value of a slip-and-fall accident case by adding financial costs and losses in many categories. Most items you can claim in an injury case fall under economic damages, which are costs that have a dollar amount.

Your lawyer collects evidence and adds up the financial costs and losses your injury caused. That can include past, present, and future costs, from medical bills to lost wages.

Multiplier Method

Non-economic damages are compensation for the mental and emotional toll of the injury. These are often referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. However, this category can encompass several areas, such as emotional anguish and diminished quality of life.

Making the most of your pain and suffering damages can significantly impact your overall case value. However, there are different ways to calculate how much money your injuries merit.

The multiplier method involves identifying a number from 1.5 to 5, with more severe injuries resulting in a higher multiplier. Then, your economic damages total is multiplied by the multiplier, and the resulting number is the amount of your non-economic damages. Adding these two amounts identifies your total case value.

Daily Rate Method

The daily rate method, also known as the per diem method, is an alternative way of calculating pain and suffering damages. This approach involves identifying a daily payment rate. A common practice is to use the victim’s daily wage rate, which is multiplied by the number of days the victim experienced pain and suffering related to the injury.

The daily rate method can make obtaining fair pain and suffering damages difficult. First, identifying a fair daily rate can be difficult. Secondly, it can also be challenging to identify the exact number of days the daily rate should be multiplied by.

This method can result in higher pain and suffering damages if your slip-and-fall lawyer can get the insurance company to agree to a generous daily rate for a sufficient amount of time.

However, the insurance company is usually eager to use the daily rate method to reduce pain and suffering damages. Therefore, slip-and-fall lawyers often recommend the multiplier method instead.

Factors That Determine Your Slip-and-Fall Case Value

All slip-and-fall accident cases involve calculating your economic damages. If you’re also eligible for pain and suffering damages, your case value will include these, whether they’re calculated by the daily rate or multiplier method.

This doesn’t always make it easy to gain a clear sense of how much your case is worth. With pain and suffering damages, your multiplier or daily rate has a significant impact.

However, the total amount of your economic damages is often the most important element of your claim. Many factors impact how much compensation you can recover in this area.

Severity of Your Injuries

The severity of injuries is one of the most important elements of your slip-and-fall claim. If your accident resulted in a sprained ankle that quickly healed, your case value will probably be smaller. But if the accident caused a brain injury or spinal injury, that leaves you eligible for much higher compensation.

Florida law specifies a serious injury threshold. This helps identify when an injury is considered “serious” in legal terms, which makes a case eligible for pain and suffering damages. In Florida, a serious injury must meet at least one of the criteria on the list:

  • Permanent loss of an important bodily function
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Permanent loss of sight
  • Permanent injury
  • Death

Under Florida law, your slip-and-fall accident injuries must meet one of these conditions for your case to be eligible for pain and suffering damages.

Impact on Quality of Life

You can’t put a dollar amount on quality of life. That’s another area of injury compensation that falls under pain and suffering damages. If you’ve experienced a severe injury, it has probably taken a serious toll on your long-term quality of life.

An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer can collect evidence and build an argument for why you should recover compensation for the accident’s impact on your quality of life. Since this is a form of non-economic damages, either the multiplier method or the daily rate method is typically used to calculate damages in this category.

Past and Future Medical Expenses

Medical expenses often compose one of the most significant elements of your slip-and-fall accident claim, especially in cases involving serious injuries. Identifying medical expenses includes adding up any treatment and care costs related to the injury. Common examples include:

  • Medical bills
  • Surgery bills
  • Specialist/therapist costs
  • Medication costs
  • Attendant care costs
  • Medical device costs

Severe injuries often result in the need for long-term assistive care or future medical procedures. Your medical expenses can be calculated to include all likely future medical and care costs related to the injury.

Past and Future Lost Income

The second most important element of your economic damages is your lost income. If you’re able to eventually return to work, you can recover the wages and benefits you lost during the treatment and recovery period.

If your injury results in partial or permanent disability, you may be able to recover the lifelong income you would have expected to earn if the accident hadn’t taken place.

Proof of Negligence

Negligence is an essential element of any personal injury claim. In a slip-and-fall case, a central part of your lawyer’s job is to prove that the accident happened because of the property owner’s negligence.

While proving negligence is necessary for giving you the right to pursue compensation, it can also be used against you. The insurance company will likely try to claim that you bore some responsibility for the accident. The larger the percentage of fault that can be assigned to you, the smaller your potential payout becomes.

Florida uses a modified comparative negligence system. As long as 50% or more of the fault is assigned to the other party, you can recover some compensation. For example, you can recover compensation if you’re assigned 10% fault for the accident. However, 10% of your total case value will be subtracted.

Get Help From a Slip-and-Fall Attorney

Working with a skilled slip-and-fall attorney might be the biggest factor impacting how much personal injury compensation you walk away with. A lawyer works to collect evidence, build a case, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation for your injuries, your slip-and-fall attorney can file a lawsuit and take your case to court for a verdict.

In most Florida slip-and-fall accident cases, you only have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. It’s best to contact a Tampa slip-and-fall attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Were you injured in a car accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.


FLA. HB. 837.

FLA. STA. § 627.737(2).

FLA. STA. § 95.11(4).

Tampa Car Accident + Personal Injury Lawyers

Jack Bernstein Personal Injury Attorney

For more than 40 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Throughout his career, Bernstein has been a strategist thoroughly dedicated to the idea of protecting the rights of his clients. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

Mr. Bernstein has the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of injury cases. Among the types of plaintiffs Mr. Bernstein represents are individuals involved in car accidents caused by drunk drivers or other exhibiting negligence, medical complications resulting from carelessness caused by a physician or a medical facility, including brain injury, bicycle, motorcycle, moped and truck accidents, admiralty law and cruise ship accidents, accidental drownings, all types of wrongful death lawsuits, along with most injury, catastrophic occurrences and legal malpractice issues.

Our firm handles every type of personal injury and accident case, using negotiation and litigation tactics effectively. We handle cases throughout Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL. With a staff of approximately 40 people, including six lawyers and 34 support personnel, we have the legal resources to get the justice you deserve and the maximum recovery for your losses. Schedule your free consultation today; we are always here to help.

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