Severely Sprained Ankle from Tripping on a Curb...
(Brooklyn, New York)
I was walking across the street with my daughter. I went to step down off the curb but I did not realize the curb was cracked. My shoe got caught in the crack and my foot and ankle twisted almost all the way around. My daughter grabbed me so that I would not fall all the way to the ground. Afterwards I was able to walk with some pain.
I got to my friend's house and sat with her for about two and a half hours before leaving in a cab. By the time I got to the cab I was in so much pain I wanted to cry. I think I initially did not feel the swelling because I had on boots that hug my ankles and legs.
When I got home I put on an ice pack because by then it was swelling. I got up to go to the bathroom and fell trying to do so. At that point I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I got there at about 11:30pm and did not leave until 7:30am. They did x-rays and said it does not look broken but it does look like a very bad sprain. I am in a lot of pain and I'm not sure what to do.
Can you please tell me my options? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Severely Sprained Ankle from Tripping on a Curb...":
Shakeyia (Brooklyn, New York):
You are in a difficult position. Thankfully your injury wasn’t more serious. If your ankle was broken it might be worth pursuing a claim.
Pursuing a personal injury claim against the City of New York is different than filing a personal injury claim against an individual or a business.
Filing a personal injury claim against an individual or business is a relatively straight-forward procedure. Filing a claim against an individual or a business normally begins with a letter of demand from the injured party to the at-fault party. Sometimes the claim can be settled at that point, or if not, a lawsuit can be filed.
Filing a claim against New York City includes the filing of a “Tort Claim Notice" to the City of New York. Once the Tort Claim is filed there may be an administrative hearing, and depending upon the outcome can lead to additional administrative hearings.
In other words, filing a personal injury claim against the City of New York is something which should be done with a great deal of forethought.
Although a sprained ankle can be acutely painful, it isn’t considered a serious bodily injury. Instead it is considered a “soft tissue” injury.
You certainly can file a Tort Claim against the City, but after a substantial amount of time and effort you will be lucky just to just have your emergency room bill paid.
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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