Pool umbrella and stand fell over and injured my knee...
Nine months ago I was sitting by a pool at a resort, when a strong gust of wind (strong winds were expected that day for this area) blew the umbrella and stand that was next to me over, and it landed on my knee. I was sent by the resort to the ER. The next week my orthopedic surgeon said I had a torn meniscus, and I had surgery.
I had physical therapy afterward, but still I am in pain, and fluid keeps returning to this area and must be drained every month. The resort's insurance company told me to mail them all doctor reports and bills when I was finished with treatment.
I am not finished yet, so I know should I not submit anything yet. My question is, can I ask for pain and suffering? How much is normal for a case like this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Pool umbrella and stand fell over and injured my knee...":
Anna (Wheaton, Illinois):
From the facts you present, you may have the basis of a legitimate personal injury claim against the resort. While the wind which blew the umbrella onto your knee may not in and of itself be considered negligence by the resort, if it can be proved the umbrella was not properly fastened or bolted down, then negligence would appear to exist.
Your injury is a serious one. It is not a "soft tissue" injury. Soft tissue injuries can include minor bruising and abrasions, minor burns, sprains of muscles, tendons and ligaments, and the like. Those types of injury claims can usually be handled without legal assistance. More serious "hard injury" claims require the assistance of an experienced personal personal injury attorney. Your injury qualifies as a hard injury.
There is just too much at stake in hard injury claims. If evidence of negligence can be established, you would have the right to reimbursement for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, costs of travel to and from treatment, etc.), lost wages while you were treating and recovering, and for your pain and suffering.
Whatever you do, don’t sign any documents or cash any checks sent to you by the resort or its insurance company. Instead, gather copies of your medical records and bills, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most injury attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation.
If an attorney believes your claim is viable, and it appears it is, then you will not have to pay any legal fees until, and unless your attorney successfully settles or wins your claim at trial.
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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