Tripped and fell on a sidewalk...

by Nancy

I fell on the sidewalk of restaurant because of uneven, dim lighting. There were bumps in the sidewalk due to tree roots. I skinned my total kneecap, hurt my knee joint, and aggravated my hip (piriformus muscle). I'm currently receiving chiropractic treatments along with advanced muscle performance (ARP) therapy, which is intense and painful. So far I have used $3,500 of an allowed $5,000.

What happens if my treatment goes above the allowed $5,000? Shouldn't the restaurant be responsible for paying for all my treatment? Also, are they supposed to give an amount for pain and suffering? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Tripped and fell on a sidewalk...":

Nancy (Nashville,TN):

It appears the restaurant has accepted liability for your injuries. That’s a very good start. From the facts you present, you should be entitled to an amount required treat your injuries, regardless of their costs.

The exception would be if you have already accepted the $5,000.00 from the insurance company and signed a release. If you signed a release you will likely not be able to recover any more compensation than the $5,000.00 you have already received.

In the alternative, if you haven't signed a release, you should be entitled to the amount of compensation necessary to cover your medical and chiropractic bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and yes...compensation for your pain and suffering as well. A common method used when deciding how much to demand for settlement is to multiply the amount of medical and/or chiropractic bills by anywhere from 1 - 5 times or more.

For soft tissue injuries like yours, multiplying your medical bills by three (3) would not be an unreasonable settlement demand.

Tell the insurance company adjuster assigned to your claim that you expect the insurance company to cover all the above costs. If the adjuster balks, tell him you intend to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Often telling the insurance company you intend to seek legal representation, if the claim can’t be settled fairly, is enough to prompt a settlement.

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,

Judge Calisi

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