Visitor Question

Injured Knee Will Get Worse Over Time…

Submitted By: Anonymous (New York City)

I tripped on a badly broken sidewalk in November 2009 and tore a meniscus in my knee. I went to therapy and it’s okay now, not 100 percent. But my doctor informed me that down the line there is a strong possibility it might get worse. He did not consider surgery because it’s not at that critical point yet.

What should my settlement payout look like since my doctor said my injuries will get worse over time?

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.


Dear Anonymous,

There is no way to determine your “settlement payout” at this time. There is a long road ahead of you before you get to that stage. If the injury occurred on a New York City Sidewalk, and not that of a private business or residence, you will have to go through the New York City Administrative process.

This process includes filing a “Tort Claim”. If you want to proceed it will be necessary to file your claim within 90 days of the date of the injury. Failure to do so will in almost all cases preclude you from pursuing a claim against the city.

Before filing a Tort Claim, make sure you have the type of injuries which will support a claim.

If you have no broken bones, and no torn tendons or ligaments, but instead just a sprain of your ankle, you really don’t have much, if any claim at all.

Sprained ankles, stretched tendons and ligaments, bruising, and similar injuries are considered “soft tissue” injuries. Those types of soft tissue injurious usually don’t make it through the New York Claims process.

In the alternative if you are seriously injured, then start the process. Although these claims can take up to 3 years to settle or go to trial, if you really are seriously injured it may be worth the wait.

Learn more here: Sidewalks and Walkways

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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