Visitor Question

Compensation for severe knee and arm injury after trip and fall?

Submitted By: A (Williamsport, PA)

A looped cord fell off of the door of a store as I walked in, caught on my foot, and pulled me down on to a concrete floor. I suffered a comminuted fracture of the knee, requiring surgery with screws, and a broken arm at the radial head, in addition to severe soft tissue injuries.

The doctor inserted a needle into my elbow the following day, and withdrew about 30 cc of blood. My knee was immobilized for a week before surgery, was in a cast from toes to hip for a week after surgery, then 2 months of immobilizer, followed by use of a knee brace and painful rehab for 2 months.

I required a knee brace during walking, working, etc. for 3 years. I cannot bend the knee and put weight on it, almost 4 years later. I could not drive for 2 months or use my right hand/arm (dominant side) for 3 months. I was awakened during the night for 2 months with pain from my knee and arm.

I required 2 months of painful rehab for both the knee and arm, including manual manipulation by a therapist (very painful), stationary bike, electrical stimulation of thigh muscles and exercises at home.

I was caring for my terminally ill mother at the time, and had to hire caregivers because I was too disabled to care for her anymore (she was a fall risk and had vascular dementia, which prohibited her from asking for help before she got up). This cost over $10,000.

My mother died approximately one year after my injuries. I had great regret and sadness at being unable to treasure that final year with her, because of my own injuries and disability. I can no longer engage in sports such as tennis, badminton, volley ball, or jogging. I cannot hurry across a busy street.

I came out the front door quickly a few days ago, stepped down off the stoop and my knee buckled, throwing me to the ground.

What can I claim for all this medical care and pain and suffering?

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 A,

Hopefully, since you referred to your medical problems of 3 and 4 years, you already filed a lawsuit. Pennsylvania has a two (2) year statute of limitations. You also hopefully retained an attorney to represent you in your liability claim. With injuries as serious as yours, you would be ill-served by representing yourself.

If you are represented by a personal injury attorney, you should heed your attorney’s advice and counsel.

When it comes to settling personal injury negligence claims, there are several ways to compute a fair settlement demand. One way, which has been utilized by attorneys for many years, is to multiply your medical bills by anywhere from 1.5 up to 4, 5, or 6x, sometimes even higher. It all depends upon the severity of your injuries, and resultant costs of treatment and recovery.

In your case, your injuries are quite serious. Presuming you have an attorney, she will likely demand a high multiple, well exceeding four or five times your medical bills.

If you don’t have an attorney, and still filed a lawsuit within two years from the date of your injuries, you should multiply your medical bills by at least four or five times, or even higher. Doing so will result in a settlement which should cover not only your medical bills, but your out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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: August 16, 2014

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