Visitor Question

Fell over display in department store…

Submitted By: Jean (Atlanta)

I was walking in a department store and tripped on a leg sticking out from a display. I went to the ER and was told my shoulder was broken in 2 places. I followed up with an orthopedic doctor and I have to have shoulder replacement surgery in 3 days, which is 1 week from when I tripped and fell. I was by myself at the time, so had no one else there.

The store wrote it up and I saw they called my home phone. Should I talk to them? I am 80 years old and no medical conditions until this happened. What do I say when I talk to them? How is this normally handled? Should I get a lawyer? Thank you for any direction you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Jean,

Do NOT speak with the department store, it’s representatives, or their insurance company. Your injuries were quite serious. You must seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. Almost all injury attorneys do not charge any legal fees to meet with prospective clients in their office.

Moreover, you will not have to pay any legal fees or costs of any kind unless your attorney succeeds in settling your claim with the store or it’s insurance company, or after winning your case in trial.

If you speak with the department store’s management, corporate personnel, or their insurance company, you may be treated quite well, but you can be confident they will not compensate you fairly for the injuries sustained as a result of their negligence.

If you aren’t represented by an attorney and attempt to handle the claim by yourself, you will be offered an amount of compensation the department store or it’s insurance company believes is fair. It probably won’t be, but they will do everything in their power to convince you the money they are offering is generous.

While you can try to persuade them to offer you more, you will be at their mercy. Once they say that is the most they will pay, you will have to take it or leave it. That is exactly why you should be represented a by an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney will be able to seek the compensation you deserve.

That compensation will include reimbursement for your medical and therapy bills, your out of pocket costs (for such items as medications, costs of travel to and from treatment, crutches, etc.), your lost wages (if you were working at the time), and a substantial amount for your pain and suffering.

Don’t hesitate. Seek out several personal injury attorneys in your area. Bring along your medical records and bills. The attorneys will review the underlying facts and will explain to you several things:

– strength of your claim – probability of success – general amount of time it will take to settle your claim or win in court – approximate amount you will receive at the end of the case

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

Best of luck,

Published: March 15, 2016

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