Faulty sliding glass case door fractures toes...
On November 15, 2010, I went into a donut shop around 5:30am to get some donuts (of course). I also wanted a milk and soda for my daughter and myself. They have a refrigerated case with sliding glass doors containing their cold beverages.
As I slid the door open to get a soda, the entire glass door fell off the track and landed on my feet. I had on flip flops. The door was very heavy.
I was afraid to look at my feet because I was sure my toes were cut off - it was that painful. We got the door off my feet and I sat down to assess what happened. The skin was broke and already my feet were throbbing and turning blue.
The workers/owners gave me a napkin for the blood. They asked me if I was okay and I said "no" because I just knew there were some breaks in my toes.
My 17 year old daughter was with me and helped me get back into our van and drove me to the hospital. They did x-rays and confirmed that I had 3 fractured toes (the 3 in the middle of my right foot). They gave me some pain medication and wrapped my foot and put it in a boot. They told me to follow up with my family doctor as I would be loosing my toenails.
I did follow up and sure enough, lost 1 of my nails. However, since then one of my toes does not bend on the first joint and it is also now a little longer and wider, making it difficult to wear certain shoes. After being on my feet all day, it does ache and cramp up quite a bit.
What should I do? What kind of settlement should I expect to receive from the donut shop?
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ANSWER for "Faulty sliding glass case door fractures toes...":
Debbie (Greenwood, IN):
There are several possibilities related to your injuries, and for the fair compensation for those injuries. You should begin by asking the owners of the donut shop for the contact info of their insurance company. If they refuse it may be necessary for you to suggest that if they don't you will have to contact an attorney.
The first action to take is to compile your medical bills. Once compiled you should ask the hospital for copies of all of your records.
Records should include your admitting documents, hospital charts, X-rays and any and all other memorandums, test results, and any other tangible items related to your injuries and the treatment you have received so far.
You should also take photographs of your right foot. The next step should be to contact your family physician and ask her to look at your injuries. Ask her to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon.
The orthopedic surgeon will run further tests, and will probably request more x-rays. She may also request an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam of your right foot.
You should then ask the orthopedic surgeon to write a Medical Narrative including your present diagnosis, and future Prognosis. The Diagnosis will include a detailed description of your injuries. The Prognosis will include the doctor’s opinion about how your injuries will adversely affect you in the future.
You might also want to check with a plastic surgeon if you believe there may be any permanent scarring.
Once you have all of your past and present medical bills you should again contact the insurance company representative. The person you will be speaking with is called a Claims Adjuster. Present your bills and discuss how the entire process has caused you a great deal of emotional distress.
All these things are sometimes difficult to do on your own, especially if the person who is responsible for your injuries will not cooperate.
You should not hesitate to contact a Personal Injury Attorney. Most will not charge you any fee for an initial office consultation. Doing so would should relieve some of your anxiety and will apprise you of your rights, and the obligation and legal duties of the owners of the donut shop.
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,
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