All things equal, thinner people tend to get larger settlements in injury cases. In many back, neck or knee injury cases, the defense doctor will say that the injury pre-existed the accident, and was not acute. The defense doctor will say that the claimant’s weight caused or contributed to those injuries.
Being Overweight May Hurt a Slip and Fall Case
Weight also may have bearing on the value of a slip, trip or fall case. If the claimant is overweight, the defense will argue that his or her gait (walk) was unsteady due to him or her being overweight.
The defense doctor may say that the claimant’s weight was the cause of the fall. The defense will comb through the claimant’s past medical records looking for any complaints or findings of an unsteady gait due to being overweight.
In Troya v. Miami Beach Health Care Group, Inc., 780 So.2d 228, 229 (Fla. 3d DCA 2001), Troya was visiting her friend (a patient) at a hospital that was likely in Miami-Dade or Monroe County, Florida. Troya claimed that she slipped and fell on “too much wax” on the floor.
Judge’s Opinion Says Person Who Fell Was Overweight
The dissenting judge thought the case should have been dismissed. Part of his opinion stated, “At the time of the fall, Troya was overweight and wore strapless, spiked two or three-inch heeled shoes.”
Fortunately for the visitor, the other judges let the case continue towards trial.
Judge Says Overweight Woman May Not Have Been Able to Grab Handrail if One Existed
Conroy v. Briley, 191 So. 2d 601 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 1966 was a slip and fall lawsuit. This isn’t my case.
A resident fell while walking down stairs in her apartment building. This was the only exit.
The fall caused her injury. She was a large woman. At trial, the apartment building placed 100% blame on her. She won the case.
The minority judge said a “rather large elderly woman weighing 210 pounds” was descending the stairs with both hands full.
The judge also said it is purely a guess as to whether a 210 pound 55-year-old woman could or would have broken her fall without damage to her if the handrail had been present.
A jury or insurance adjuster could share the same thoughts as this judge. They may discount the full value of the case if they think that your weight caused the fall.
Doctor May Say Being Overweight Caused Injury
Weight has less impact if the claimant’s injury is undeniably acute, such as a wrist fracture with immediate surgery. I settled a Miami car accident wrist fracture (with the implantation of hardware) case for a morbidly obese woman for $200,000.
While her weight did not affect the value of the pain and suffering component of her wrist injury, we claimed a back injury. The adjuster argued that her weight, not the accident, was the cause of her back pain. The damage to her car was massive and this helped us argue that her back pain was caused by the crash.
Like it or not, most people find physically fit people to be more attractive than those who are fat. People prefer looking at attractive people as opposed to unattractive ones.
This is why fashion magazines and Hollywood actors are often physically fit. Some people also associate being physically fit with being responsible. Jurors are more willing to award money to responsible people.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
See Our Settlements
Check out some of the many Florida injury cases that we have settled, including but not limited to car accidents, truck accidents, slip or trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, drunk driving (DUI) accidents, pedestrian accidents, drunk driving accidents, taxi accidents, bicycle accidents, store or supermarket accidents, cruise ship accidents and much more.
We want to represent you!
Our Miami law firm represents people injured anywhere in Florida in car accidents, truck accidents, slip, trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, drunk driving crashes, pedestrian accidents, accidents involving a Uber or Lyft Driver, cruise ship or boat accidents and many other types of accidents.
We want to represent you if you were injured in an accident in Florida, on a cruise ship or boat. If you live in Florida but were injured in another state we may also be able to represent you.
Call Us Now!
Call us now at (888) 594-3577 to find out for FREE if we can represent you. We answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.