When you suffer from a personal injury, it can be tempting to take legal action immediately. However, your initial injuries could appear smaller, but then grow with time. It’s best to wait until you know the extent of your injuries, so you get the total compensation you deserve.
I have an example of this from a case I had when my client fell in front of a fast-food restaurant in Nassau County.
The restaurant owner (the defendant) had used a rope to tie the door open since it was such nice weather outside. However, the rope had not been secured correctly and was lying on the sidewalk with the noose intact. My client, aged 62, was walking past when her left foot got caught on the rope, and she fell – landing hard on her left knee, right elbow, and face.
Her initial injuries were a minor knee fracture with abrasions, a fractured elbow, and contusions to the face. Surveillance video captured the accident on camera, and the defendant initially offered $40,000.
While my client’s injuries were harsh to begin with, they worsened with time. She had been getting treatment for her injuries but was unable to continue to do so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. When my client returned to the orthopedist, she was diagnosed with acute tears to ligaments in her knee and an exacerbation of underlying arthritis. Her arm’s condition also worsened, and she ultimately needed elbow and wrist surgery. She was deposed for the additional injuries, but the defendant’s insurance company questioned whether the surgeries were connected to the accident. Their offer only rose to $90,000, so we countered with a demand for $550,000.
Both parties agreed to bring the case to mediation to avoid the long delay for trial caused by the pandemic. The mediator indicated that if a jury saw the fall on videotape, they would likely agree that my client’s injuries were from the fall.
We settled the case for $350,000 compared to their initial offer of $40,000.
If my client had accepted the initial offer, she would have been stuck with both the physical and financial pain that would come from her injuries worsening. A personal injury attorney can help you get the financial compensation you are entitled to.
If you have a matter or have questions, please contact me for a free consultation.