I'm a personal injury attorney and deal with these types of claims all the time.
The more methodical you are with your claim, the better off you will be. However, I would not be surprised if Lowes will turn down paying for anything other than your medical bills and you have to get an attorney to sue.
In that vein, here are the types of damages you can recover and how you should value them:
1. Past medical bills. If you paid cash for it, you can likely recover that, although they might contest some treatment and have the right to challenge the amount charged. If they do challenge the amount charged or the treatment you received, try working with your doctor to provide them with documentation supporting the treatment provided and a statement from the doctor that the charges for those services are "customary and reasonable for like services in North Carolina".
2. Future medical treatment. This will be any treatment that is reasonably related to the injury. You will need medical documentation that states what the prospective treatment will likely be and how much it will cost.
3. Pain and Suffering in the past. This is an amount to compensate you for the actual physical pain you experienced. I think the dollar amount you have stated is a good way of quantifying it and shows reasonableness in that you provide a scale for the different levels of pain you go through. Include the calculation for them to provide a set amount you are demanding.
4. Pain and suffering in the future - this is the same as for the past but just going forward from the date you make the claim. You need to be realistic in this part of your claim, and only ask for it as long as you think the actual physical pain will last.
5. Impairment (past and future) - this is for the loss of the use of your foot, the loss of the ability to take care of your kids, go to school, do chores around the house, etc. Think of this as if you had to hire someone to do these things for you, how much would it cost?
6. Mental Anguish - this is for the mental hardships you have had in going through this injury. I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to mention ADD to them. They will blame that condition for any mental anguish you have. It is best to try to keep that condition out of this claim if possible.
7. Lost wages - this is for the quantifiable amount of money that you have lost. You will need to show any contracts that you have had to terminate and documentation of the lost customers. Then you will have to have some sort of documentation which demonstrates the value of your services. I think past invoices that you have charged for similar sized jobs should do the trick to establish a baseline for how much your time is worth.
8. Loss of income earning capacity - this is for the potentiality that your future earnings will be affected by your injury if there is a permanent impairment. It sounds to me like you expect to fully recover from your injury, so this portion of the claim may not be applicable.
In your demand letter, you need to explain why the store was negligent and why it is liable for your injuries. Then you need to lay out each section of your damages and explain why you are entitled to them (i.e., how the negligence
caused the damages) and show your calculations for each portion.
Then you need to demand payment on a deadline and state that if you do not receive payment by that deadline you will file a lawsuit.
Please let me know if this answers your question or whether you need any clarification whatsoever.
Good luck on getting them to pay this claim. I hope they own up to their responsibility and that you aren't forced to sue.
Zachary D. Norris