Visitor Question

Arm Injury from Falling On an Uneven Sidewalk…

Submitted By: Karen (Manteca, CA)

I was walking on the sidewalk of my church. The level of the sidewalk was uneven on one corner and was raised about two inches. The toe of my shoe caught the sidewalk and threw me forward to the ground. I injured my knee and my arm when I fell.

I went to the emergency room. They said I have torn ligaments, bleeding in the joint and possibly a fracture, but they were not exactly sure due to all the bleeding. This occurred on 8/30/11 and I need to return to the doctor next week for a follow up X-ray.

My range of motion has somewhat improved, but I still have a lot of severe pain when I move my arm. The church’s insurance said they will pay all my medical expenses up to $10,000.

What if the arm does not get better and there is permanent damage or loss of use of my arm? Is the insurance liable to me beyond the $10,000 in medical expenses? Any information you could give would be great. Thank you.

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.


Dear Karen,

There are two ways to find out what the church’s insurance policy limits are. The first way is to ask the church, and the second way is to file a lawsuit and have the attorneys find out during pre-trial discovery.

You shouldn’t jump the gun quite yet.

See what the X-rays will show. After the X-rays ask your doctor what his diagnosis and prognosis is.

The diagnosis is the doctor’s analysis of your injuries and her opinion of the damage caused by the fall. Her prognosis is her opinion of how these injuries will affect you in the future, and if you will need any additional medical acre, especially surgery.

If the doctor tell you it is probable you will not need any future surgery and that your injury will heal in due course, then an agreement from the hospital to pay your medical bills up to $10,000. Dollars seems appropriate.

On the other hand, if the doctor believes the severity of your injures will require substantial future medical attention, especially surgery, then agreeing to accept $10,000.00 dollars in full and final settlement of your claim would not be prudent.

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: September 10, 2011

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