I fell on ice when I was walking into the main entrance of a neighborhood fast food restaurant (which was newly constructed in place of an older one). I fell backwards hitting the rounded part of my back between my shoulder blades, and then hitting my lower back on the concrete.
I felt pain in my back and since then have had radiating pain to my legs. I made out an incident report at the fast food restaurant and asked the manager why no sign was posted about the ice hazard. Management said the signs were stolen and they didn’t put out new ones. Yet there was a clear window right next to the entrance where they could have pasted one up (inside).
An MRI revealed that I now have a bulging disc at L4, L5. I have always been active athletically. I need to exercise to keep my back and stomach muscles strong as I have a case of kyphosis, and only muscle exercises will keep my back strong as I have wedge shaped discs in my thoracic spine. I was athletic and active in sports, etc. without problems before the fall on ice, even with the kyphosis.
Now with the bulging disc I can’t even play basketball as the running jars my spine and causes intense pain. I also cannot play golf as it is dangerous for me to twist my spine with a bulging disc. Working out cannot be as intense as it used to be and my physical therapy regimen has also changed since the fall.
Now my back hurts when I try to lie flat on the floor, which again is a sign that the kyphosis is not as corrected as it was prior to my slip and fall. Also I had been training to tryout for a minor league team in the NBA but I was unable to keep up the regimen and lost that opportunity as well.
As my career goal was to be a physical therapist, which takes a doctorate degree, I am finding that all the hours of study are impossible due to the increased back pain I have from sitting (due to the pressure it puts on the bulging disc).
Can you tell me the value of my claim? I fell when I was 21 and I am now approaching 23 years old. I have a lot of painful days ahead of me. I have $12,000 in outstanding medical bills and the fast food chain in insured. What can I do to get reimbursement for my medical bills and pain and suffering? Thanks so much for any information you can give.
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.
The restaurant may or may not be liable. There are several factors the court will consider in your personal injury case. The store’s liability will depend on the degree of their negligence, if any.
If the store’s signs were recently stolen and they hadn’t received their new signs yet, they may not have been able to put up any new signs because they weren’t up to the city, or store’s code.
Also, if the weather was below freezing and the store acted prudently and reasonably in de-icing the entrance way, they may be less liable. If on the other hand, the weather was freezing, and the store ignored the icing, they would be more liable.
If the store was permitted by code to place temporary signs at the entrance, and refused to, they would be more liable as well.
There isn’t a black or white, yes or no answer when it comes to negligence, especially under these circumstances.
The next hurdle you will have to get over is your apparent pre-existing injury. To be able to prevail in a personal injury suit you will have to have credible medical documentation of your new injury, and how it is separated from the old one. That is always difficult to do. It’s not impossible, but difficult.
The facts and details of the accident, the store’s actions and inactions, the weather and your injuries, past and present, will all have to be included in an evaluation of your case.
Because of the complicated set of facts it would be in your best interest to seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. It would be a good idea to speak with several. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.
Learn more here: Slip and Falls on Ice or Snow
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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