Tripped on Uneven Sidewalk at My Kids' School and Broke My Arm...

by Kellee
(Logansport, Indiana)

I was leaving my children's school and my hands were full carrying papers and such. I caught my shoe on what I now know was an uneven sidewalk and fell right on my left shoulder. When I finally made it to my car I was able to drive to the ER using my right arm. After X-rays I was told I broke my arm near my shoulder.

I am a single mom and I'm self employed as a hairdresser. I'm on Medicaid but I was told I'll be unable to work for at least 6 weeks. Could I receive any compensation for loss of wages? I will have no income at all. What can I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Tripped on Uneven Sidewalk at My Kids' School and Broke My Arm...":

Kellee (Logansport, Indiana):

You seem to have a credible personal injury claim against the school. Presuming the sidewalk was on school property, or the city required the school to maintain the sidewalk, you will have a legitimate "tort claim" against the school district.

Pursuing a personal injury claim against a governmental entity is different from an injury claim against a private entity. Ask the school office for a copy of their tort injury claim form. Each state has a different term for the form. There is a unique filing period for a tort claim. Be sure to find out from the school the time limitation for filing your claim. If you miss the deadline you may be barred from pursuing your claim.

Some personal injury tort claims can be handled without an attorney. These generally are "soft tissue" cases involving sprains, strains, minor cuts and bruises, etc. A broken shoulder is not considered a soft tissue injury. It's much more serious. As a result you will need an experienced personal injury attorney. Most won't charge for initial office consultations. Bring copies of your medical records when you go to each appointment.

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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