Can I sue a Nissan dealership for fair injury compensation?

by Minnie
(Mount Vernon, AL)

I took my car to a Nissan Dealership for service. After the tech took my keys, he told me I could wait in the waiting room until my car was ready. He showed me where to go. The walkway toward the waiting room door has a small incline. As I approached the door, not knowing there was a small incline, I fell.

The tech that I gave my keys to came over to help me up. I showed him where and why I fell. I thought my ankle was okay, until I began driving home. It began to swell. I called Nissan back and told them what happened. I then went to Urgent Care. They determined that the right ankle had a sprain.

I have been communicating with a Nissan Rep. since January concerning a settlement. He retired last month, so I was assigned to another Rep. She offered me $1,800. I did not accept. I missed 8 days from work for the injury, and I had to return because I do not get sick pay.

I was given crutches, which I used for 10 days, until my supervisor told me I could no longer wear them because of safety reasons. Then I was given a boot which was very heavy and very uncomfortable. I wore the boot my 16 days. I am 68 years old, and I had to pay someone to take me to work because my husband works out of town. I even had to cancel a trip because I was unable to drive.

The $1,800 I was offered was for my medical bills and pain and suffering, per the Nissan Rep. I should also get compensation for missed work, right? What would be a fair settlement in this situation? How can I get them to offer more? Can I file a lawsuit against them? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue a Nissan dealership for fair injury compensation?":

Semi-Shocked (Boston, MA):

Falling because of a foreign object, spilled fluids, obstruction, or other impediment is commonly referred to by attorneys and insurance companies as a Slip and Fall claim. At your age the recovery time for a sprained ankle may be longer than a for a younger person...but it was sprained ankle.

For lay-people there doesn't exist an objective way to determine settlements for pain and suffering. Insurance companies have proprietary software which suggests a relatively consistent formula for calculating the amount of compensation in each injury claim.

In almost all cases an ankle sprain is referred to as a "soft tissue" injury. Soft tissue injuries can include sprains and strains of ankles, whiplash, bruising, mild abrasions and the like. Soft tissue injuries are different from Hard Injuries, which include bone fractures, head trauma, 3rd degree burns, disfigurement, and the like.

In many cases, an ankle sprain can expect to be settled for 1.5 to 2 times medical bills, plus lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses. You failed to mention the amount of your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and lost wages. Without this information it's difficult to suggest a reasonable settlement amount.

You can file a lawsuit in small claims court if you are not able to get a fair settlement from the insurance company. But you should be able to negotiate an amount that fairly compensates you without having to file suit.

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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