Broken toe caused by collapsed folding tables on the floor...

by Sally
(New York)

I was walking through a store and two 8 foot folding tables were laying on the floor collapsed. They were grey tables on a grey floor. I never saw the tables and walked into one of them, as it was raised up a couple of inches off the floor.

I called over an employee and saw that she was the manager of the store. She went and got me some ice to put on my foot and then asked a male employee to please move the tables ASAP, before someone got really hurt. My toe and foot was hurting, but it didn't seem to be an emergency. The manager took my name and number and I took hers and left the store.

Within an hour my foot was quite swollen and I had trouble walking, so I went to a podiatrist and got an x-ray. The doctor discovered the 2nd toe was broken. They taped up my foot and gave me a huge bootie to walk, and also told me not to drive.

So, even though I am in very good shape for my age (70) I could not do what I usually do for 6 to 8 weeks while the foot healed. No golf, bowling, tennis or picklelball, and no driving with this big bootie on.

It took 8 weeks to heal completely. I feel the pain and suffering and not being able to do what I usually do should be compensated. The store manager agreed with me that this was negligence and said she reprimanded the person that left them on the floor.

Should I be compensated from their insurance company, or file a lawsuit for negligence? How would I go about this? Do I need a lawyer? What would my case be worth? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Broken toe caused by collapsed folding tables on the floor...":

Sally (New York):

In some cases the issue of negligence is in contention. In this case, it is not. The existence of negligence is clear, easily supportable, and uncontested.

This store, like other stores, has a legal duty of care toward its customers. The legal duty of care includes doing everything within reason to make the store premises safe from dangerous defects or unsafe conditions, which might result in undue harm or injuries to customers or other persons legally upon the premises.

When a store owner fails in their duty of care and someone is injured, the store is said to be in breach of its duty of care. That breach makes the store liable for the injured person's damages.

Damages are unique to every slip and fall injury. They can include medical, dental and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, slings, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.), lost wages, and for pain and suffering, sometimes referred to as emotional distress or mental anguish.

While consulting with an attorney is always a good idea, at this point, you can competently pursue your own personal injury claim against the store. To do so, contact the store manager or owner. Ask for a copy of the "Incident Report" which was likely completed at the time of your fall. Also ask for the name and address of their insurance company. Contact them and tell them you were injured and want to file an injury claim.

In the alternative, you can seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. Fortunately, most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.

Gather copies of your medical records and seek the advice of several attorneys in your area. If you decide to retain one you will not have to pay any legal fees until, and unless the attorney succeeds in settling your injury claim, or prevails in a lawsuit.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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