I slipped on some type of food in a department store. I didn't fall all the way to the ground. I caught myself but I did twist my back pretty bad. I notified a store clerk and they cleaned up the mess. I went home and thought I would be OK. I later called the store back and spoke to a manager and notified them of the accident,she filed a report with the store's insurance company.
A few hours later I went to the the ER with great back pain. I pulled muscles and have a thoracic lumbar sprain. I was given pain meds, muscle relaxers and an anti-inflammatory. What should I expect the insurance to do and should I contact an attorney?
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ANSWER for "Thoracic Lumbar Sprain from Fall in a Store...":
Dee (Redding, CA):
Don’t rush into action. You have plenty of time. The first thing to do is make sure your injuries are well-documented. If there is to be a claim it will be based on medical bills, referred to as “Hard Costs”. In addition to taking your time to document your injuries, take whatever time is needed to receive treatment.
Too often personal injury claims are settled too soon. When that happens the injured person normally can’t recover any more money if their injury is not fully healed.
You have what are referred to as “Soft Tissue Injuries”. Traditionally soft tissue injuries are not the type which brings large settlement amounts.
If the store’s insurance company accepts liability they will assign the matter to a Claims Adjuster. The Claims Adjuster will want to take your recorded statement. That is fine. It is standard and usually marks the formal beginning of settlement negotiations.
Ask the company for a copy of the written report they made documenting your claim. They probably won’t give it to you. They would have to produce that information if an attorney had filed suit and was doing “pre-Trial Discovery”.
Whether you need a Personal Injury Attorney is really up to you. The good thing about Personal Injury Attorneys is that almost all of them do not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. Talk with one. The Attorney will ask you many more questions than we could address here today. You will then be able to have a clearer idea of the nature of your claim.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.