Compensation for lost financial aid due to foot injury?

by Pam
(Santa Ana, California)

I'm a Paralegal Student and in May 2014, I broke 2 toes while walking in a parking lot of a supermarket that was covered in potholes. I suffered numerous financial losses due to this injury.

I lost Financial Aid because I got injured the day of finals. A failing grade lowered my GPA last Spring, which got me kicked out of school for Summer and Fall semester, so I lost Financial Aid for all 3 semesters.

So far, my losses total as follows:

- (3) $800 grants
- (2) $1,700 loans
- Lost Income = $7,500
- 2 Broken Toes = $10,000
- Pain & Suffering = $5,000
- Physical Therapy (16 visits) = $3,600
- Pain Management Dr (4 visits) = $5,000
- 1 orthopedic surgeon visit = $200
- Gas and mileage = $300
- Attorney fees = $5,000

TOTAL = $36,000

I'm estimating, but I believe my case is worth $50,000 or more, so I want to take home at least $35,000. Do these numbers sound reasonable? Can I get compensation from the insurance company for everything I've listed? Any information you can give would be appreciated. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Compensation for lost financial aid due to foot injury?":

Pam (Santa Ana, California):

You may be in for a shock. The supermarket's insurance company will likely agree to pay some, but probably not all of your doctors’ bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and some amount for your pain and suffering.

While you state you have sustained all those financial losses because of two broken toes, you can be assured the insurance company will not be at all empathetic...and they don’t have to be.

You are hoping the insurance company will agree their insured is responsible for your failing grade. There is no way you would be able to prove that. Moreover, trying to prove the pothole and resultant injury was the direct and proximate legal cause of your financial losses will be all but impossible.

Another person with broken toes might have been able to study and pass the same exam. Even with pain, another person might have been able to maintain their grades sufficiently to keep their grants.

You really need to have some clarity...At most, your medical bills come to about $8,000. You will be very fortunate if the insurance company offers you $15,000 to $20,000 as a total settlement. Even then, they will not give you all the money, but instead will likely pay your medical bills directly.

As a non-lawyer, you have no leverage with the insurance company. You can ask for $50,000 if you'd like, but they will probably just say no.

If you believe you are not being treated fairly and from the looks of it, that is going to soon happen, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Most offer a free initial consultation to review the merits of your case.

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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