Visitor Question

Elbow replacement needed after tripping in department store lot…

Submitted By: Pat (St.Charles, IL, USA)

I tripped in a parking lot at a large chain department store. It was a bad spot in the pavement that caused the accident. I needed to get a total elbow replacement surgery. I spent three days in the Mayo clinic for surgery.

What type of compensation should I be entitled to? How do I approach the department store to get them to compensate me for my injuries and medical bills? Thanks.

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 Pat,

There are some injury cases which can be pursued without legal representation. These cases usually involve minor injuries like sprains, and strains, minor cuts, bruises, and lacerations. Your injuries are definitely not minor. A serious injury claim like yours requires the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Determining the compensation you should be paid is a complicated process.

Calculating the amount in a serious injury case is dependent upon many factors. They include the degree of negligence, or “culpability” of the owner of the parking lot, your contribution to your own injury (if any), the amount of your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, influence of a preexisting injury (if any), your lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

You shouldn’t approach the store. Leave that to your attorney. It’s possible the parking lot is owned, controlled, and operated by someone other than the store itself.

Your attorney will apply his or her own method of the demand for compensation which should be made upon the store, the parking lot owner, or both. A frequently used calculative device in serious injuries is the multiplication of your medical bills by a factor of three, four, five, or higher. Your attorney may rely wholly or partly on that method, or may apply his or her own method.

Time is of the essence in personal injury claims. Make appointments with several attorneys. Gather your medical bills, medical records, and all other data related to your injury. Bring them along with you to the consultations.

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: November 13, 2013

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