Visitor Question

Liability for concussion from slipping on ice at a gas station?

Submitted By: A (USA)

I was going inside the store to pay for gas, and fell on ice around and between the pumps. It looked like slush from the angle I was walking, but turned out to be a solid sheet of ice. I fell on my right side, banging the right side of my head on the ground. I thought I had broken my jaw.

I went inside and got the owner’s name and number. I was very disoriented, so I waited a few minutes and drove home (I live less then a mile away). I then went to the hospital, had a CAT scan and knee x-ray. Since I already had pain meds and muscle relaxers, no prescriptions were given at the time.

I was diagnosed with a concussion and sent home. I was told to follow up with my doctor in a few days, who confirmed the concussion . Since the incident I have been having some post-concussion symptoms, and lots of soft tissue soreness. I’ve also missed work and had to leave early when I did go to work due to concussion symptoms.

I talked to the gas station’s insurance agent on the phone. He wants to meet with me. Should I consult with an attorney first? Do I have a case against the station? How much of a settlement could I possible receive? Any information you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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 A,

Before speaking with the gas station’s insurance adjuster, you need to confirm the extent of your injuries, especially the residual effects of the concussion. While in most cases, concussions and their resulting symptoms are transient, you need to speak with your doctor to determine if there remains the possibility of a post concussion injury.

In the event your doctor is confident your symptoms have run their course, then you can enter into a negotiated settlement. In that case you will be fortunate the injury wasn’t more serious.

If the symptoms have run their course, and your doctor believes you are fully recovered, you probably wont need an attorney to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. In that regard, the settlement amount you can hope to recover will be minimal. Most insurance companies rely on either an “in-house” formula to arrive at settlement amounts, or a computer generated amount.

The amount you can hope to recover will be approximately 2 to 3 times the amount of your medical bills. Whether an in-house or computer based settlement amount, most insurance companies won’t pay much more.

The purpose of offering an amount 2 to 3 times medical bills is meant to cover your treatment costs, out of pocket expenses for medications, costs of travel to and from treatment, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

In the event you are diagnosed with a more serious condition you will need the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.

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: February 22, 2014

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