Visitor Question

Injured while shoe shopping at a department store…

Submitted By: D (USA)

In December 2012 I was shopping at a department store. As I was looking at some shoes on a shoe rack some metal poles that were propped up against the rack fell and hit my hand and foot.

My foot did not suffer injury but it did hurt for a while. However, one of the poles hit my right hand just behind my first finger and I suffered pain for about 2 weeks. X-rays were taken and showed no breakage but since then I’ve been having periodic pain in my finger when using it. I’m not sure if I should settle this or wait to see if it heals any further.

How long can I wait and what kind of settlement should I expect? I might have this pain forever. Thanks.

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.

Answer

Dear D,

Unless you have more than periodic pain you may not have the grounds for a personal injury settlement. To have the basis of a personal injury claim you must have documented medical injuries. Personal injury claims must be supported by medical or chiropractic records and associated bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages.

Although you are experiencing periodic pain, absent some credible evidence of injury your claim will likely fail. If the store’s insurance company offers any settlement it will likely be what is referred to as a “nuisance” settlement.

This means the company would rather settle the claim than have to take the time to deal with it. An insurance claims adjuster’s time is valuable. The amount of time they have to spend dealing with minor injury claims is computed into the amount of settlement, if any, they will offer a person who may have suffered a questionable injury.

Hopefully the insurance company will offer you between $500.00 and $750.00. If they do, you should give serious consideration to accepting it, especially if the adjuster says it’s their “final offer.” When they use the term “final” they normally mean it.

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,

Published: July 8, 2013

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