Slip and Fall Accidents Cause Lifelong Damage

When the term “slip and fall” is used to describe an accident, it tends to minimize our sense of the seriousness of the incident. Rarely do we think that any injury will have occurred, and if so we assume that they will be minor. The reality is that slip and fall accidents can be extremely serious, and often lead to life-changing injuries or even to death. In some instances the damage of a slip and fall is done when the person falls and strikes a part of their body on the floor or on another object; in other cases the damage is incurred when the person contorts their body trying to catch themselves and prevent the fall. Whatever the mechanism of the accident or injury, when the fall occurs as a result of negligence on the part of a property owner or business, the person who is injured is eligible to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their medical expenses, economic damages such as lost wages, and any long-term loss of ability that they suffer.

A Philadelphia jury recently heard a slip and fall case I which a 51-year old woman slipped on a small wet spot at her local grocery store, Bottom Dollar Food. Though her suit sought just $100,000 in damages, the jury returned with an award of $1.5 million as a result of their understanding of the lifelong impact of her injury.

The woman’s injury occurred in the summer of 2014, and the accident was captured on the store’s security video. When she slipped she stretched her left hand out to catch herself, suffering a serious fracture that needed open surgery and the insertion of plates and screws. Though the food store defended itself by arguing that other customers had walked through the spot without falling and that she had originally claimed she slipped on a grape, their own security footage showed an employee cleaning a spot after the fall. Further, the injured woman’s attorneys presented evidence that the area where the accident occurred was required by the store’s internal rules to have safety mats down, but none were present.

Testimony regarding the woman’s injuries was presented by expert witnesses, who indicated that she had permanent post-traumatic arthritis. Her own testimony detailed reduced strength, tingling and numbness, and a tendency to drop things.

The food chain has filed a motion to ask for the award to be overturned, pointing to the fact that the woman submitted receipts showing only $8,332 in economic damages, but the attorney for the plaintiff indicated that the jurors had simply used common sense and understood that she had suffered a real injury with permanent damage. If you suffer an injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, having representation by an effective personal injury attorney can make all the difference in your ability to get the compensation that you deserve.

Lies and Negligence Cited as Patient Files Suit for Removing Wrong Rib

When Deborah Craven entered Yale New Haven Hospital for surgery, she understood that she was having her left eighth rib removed due to the presence of a precancerous lesion. Prior to the operation the rib had been carefully marked with both dye and metal coils in order to provide the physicians with certainty that they were removing the correct body part. Yet despite this, upon waking up from her surgery and having a follow-up X-ray done, Craven and her husband were informed that she would have to be taken back into surgery. Dr. AnthonyKim, an assistant professor of surgery, informed the couple that the wrong rib had been removed – one of the surgeons had removed part of her left seventh rib instead.

Craven has filed a personal injury lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court against Yale New HavenHospital, Yale University School of Medicine, and the two surgeons involved in her operation.She is seeking upwards of $15,000 in damages for the mistake, and states in her claim that much of the basis of the suit is not for the mistake, but because shortly after Dr. Kim told the couple of the mistake, another physician, Dr. Ricardo Quarrie, came to them and said something entirely different. He told the Cravens that the second surgery was required because the surgery had not removed enough of the rib.

According to Craven’s attorney, “Making the patient undergo another surgery the same day,without owning up to the real medical reason for the repeat surgery is just plain deceitful. Absent the lying my client never would have instituted a lawsuit.” Personal injury lawsuits filed for medical malpractice are based upon the healthcare facility and medical care practitioners failing to provide the standard of care that would be reasonably expected of their peers in the same situation. Failure to pay close enough attention to remove a rib that had been clearly marked is reason enough, but the mistruth that came from Dr. Quarrie, who has been identified as a resident/fellow at the hospital, was an outrage for the patient. Many studies have shown that patients who have been the victims of medical errors are open to apologies from those responsible: lies are a completely different story.

Understanding Complex Catastrophic, Personal Injury Claims

In essence, a catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the brain, spine, or spinal cord. It can also include fractures to the skull or spine. These injuries are devastating and most often life altering. One such accident happened last month.

In late January 2016, Nick Liffert, an active church goer and a volunteer with the All Saints’ Youth Group ski retreat, suffered a serious spinal cord injury. Mr. Liffert was leaning back too far and fell back crushing his C6 vertebrae as he landed on his back. He then slid into two other males. In the end, his C6 vertebrae was crushed and his spinal cord was damaged. His injuries prompted emergency surgery in effort to remove the fragments and place a bone graft and metal plate and screws to stabilize the area. Today, Mr. Liffert is in ICU with a good group of nurses and doctors. From this injury, Mr. Liffert has no feeling below his breastbones. Luckily, however, he can move his arms and he has no brain damage.

Your Case and the Investigation

As mentioned above, a catastrophic injury is a severe injury to the spine, spinal cord, brain, or even fractures to the skull or spine. If the injury occurs by an employee during the regular course of his or her job duties, a dilemma arises. Imagine that an employee is constructing a house and is climbing a 10-foot ladder. The ladder suddenly folds and the employee falls significantly injuring his spine and is now paralyzed. As you may already know, if this individual pursues a workers’ compensation claim, his rights of recovery, as a matter of law, will then be substantially limited. In specific, the injured employee will not be able to file suit against his or her employer.

The settlements in workers’ compensation cases are also limited. This is due to the fact that you will only be entitled to lost wage benefits on 66 2/3 percent of your gross weekly pay along with your payment of your work related medical bills. What is noteworthy is that if you file a claim for workers’ compensation, you are not then entitled to damages for pain and suffering. You are, however, entitled to such damages if you opt to file a personal injury lawsuit in lieu of workers’ compensation. Thus, for catastrophic injuries, you can get substantially more damages by pursuing a personal injury claim.

For this reason, if the employee suffers from a catastrophic injury, he or she should think about other theories of recovery or compensation. For one, a products liability case can be filed against the manufacturer of the ladder. This may lead to significant compensation. What’s more, if the employee was injured on a worksite, there may be multiple contractors involved whom are responsible for certain parts of the construction project. Thus, the injured employee’s attorney should investigate the circumstances of all those involved with the project.

Take Action for your Case

If you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury, you should hire an experienced catastrophic personal injury attorney. Such an attorney can be found at the Law Offices of Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. We have years of experience helping injured residents in Philadelphia and nearby communities. You do not owe us anything unless we recover money on your behalf.