$200,000 Settlement Announcement for a Slip and Fall Client with Broken Bones in the Lumbar Spine!

We are proud to announce a $200,000 settlement for a slip and fall injury claim! This settlement was for a personal injury client who suffered broken bones and a lumbar spine injury after a slip and fall.

Our client received low-ball settlement offers from the very start. After a lengthy fight with a well-known law firm, our office was able to get our client fair compensation without the need to try the case.

The Facts of the Case

Upon being retained, we found out that our client had a disputed liability case with a hotel proprietor regarding a dangerous condition on their property.

Our client told us that he had gone to a hotel where he checked in at the front desk. After checking in, he exited the hotel’s side door on his return to get more bags out of his parked car. Our client opened the door, and as he took one step towards the staircase and attempted to grab the handrail, he slipped on black ice and fell down the steps.

The defendant’s lawyers and insurance representatives took their usual position and denied all liability.  They argued that if our client didn’t see the ice, why should they have had any duty to clear it?

We reminded the defense that they have an obligation under California law to make the property safe and warn their guests of any present hazards. We pushed them to produce any record at all of their inspections of the staircase.  The defense initially refused to disclose if they could prove they complied with their duties.  After we uncovered that they had not met their obligations, their case began to cave.

The Injuries Sustained in the Slip and Fall

The next step in the defense’s gameplan was to downplay the severity of our client’s injuries.

They took the initial position that since the client’s bone breaks at the injured area were not open fractures, they weren’t that big of a deal. They then said that any damage to the spinal column wasn’t life-threatening and that their doctor’s medical advice was to get physical therapy.

The defense narrative was incompatible with the reality of our client’s life.  Our client had fractured two transverse process bones in his lumbar spine!

The transverse processes are the two bones that extend off of each vertebra in the spine, one on each side.  These bones are the location where some muscles and ligaments of the back attach to the spine. One of those muscles is the psoas muscle, which controls the forward-bending motion of the upper body and thighs. During a fall, car accident, or other forceful injuries, the contraction can be significant enough to pull a chip off of the bone.

Unfortunately, for our client, he landed directly on this bone in his spine. The slip and fall caused his bone to break entirely off. The result was not just a broken bone, but also cluneal nerve damage. The nerve damage resulted in constant “radiculopathy,” which he experienced as tingling and burning sensations in the lower back.

Despite the defense medical doctors’ recommendation that physical therapy would remedy our client’s injuries, we made sure that he saw the best medical professionals available. Our doctors properly diagnosed the problems and recommended that our client undergo a radial ablation procedure. Which ultimately provided him the relief he was seeking.

Transverse Spine Fracture

Graphic of Spine Anatomy including the Transverse Process

It was important to us that we conveyed the pain and suffering our client endured in this incident and the two years following it.  The loss of function after the bone breaks was staggering. The fact that our client had difficulty participating at work and in family events for the next two years was even worse.

Our Results!

Slip and Fall injuries are notoriously challenging for clients to resolve on their own. The reality is that if an injured party doesn’t retain a slip and fall attorney who is willing to file a lawsuit and try the case, the client will probably never see justice for their claim.

The reason that insurance adjusters undervalue and low-ball these cases is because of their difficulty. These “premises liability” claims are often looked at skeptically by California jury pools. The typical bias amongst jurors is that the fall would have never happened to them. The plaintiff must be a clumsy person!

Defense lawyers and insurance claims adjusters are well aware of this bias and look to exploit it at trial. Moreover, to the extent they can, they will use those preconceptions as leverage to settle a case at less than fair value to the injured Plaintiff.

In this case, the Defendants sought to exploit all those beliefs. The defense initially offered the Plaintiff a four-figure settlement that was much less than his lost wages. Once our firm got involved, the number went up to five-figures. At mediation, our client received his first six-figure offer.

Our office was determined to get our client a fair offer for his injuries. With our client’s blessing, we decided to walk away from the mediation. Once we showed the Defendants that we had built a strong case, and were willing to take the matter to trial, we finally got a fair settlement offer. In the end, our client got more than forty (40x) times the initial offer made to him!

If You Have Suffered Injuries as a result of a Slip and Fall, Contact a Local Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away!

If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall, or trip and fall, call a personal injury attorney right away. Make sure that you gather the contact information from as many witnesses as you can find.  You should take note of all the cameras that you think may have recorded the fall.

No one article can cover everything that people should know after a slip or trip and fall.  Additionally, slip and fall law presents unique legal challenges.

We recommend that you contact a slip and fall lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster, or filing a claim.  Filing an insurance claim for a slip and fall or trip and fall without consulting an attorney, could result in the adjuster attempting to use the claim form against you.

There are many local Long Beach, Seal Beach, and Huntington Beach slip or trip and fall lawyers. Lawyers who regularly practice in this field of law should be able to help, and will likely offer you a free consultation.

Don’t let an insurance company lowball your demand for reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Ensure that you receive full justice for your insurance claims!

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post, or website, should be taken as legal advice for any individual or case situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  

Contact us If you have lost a loved one or have pain and suffering from a personal injury.  For more information, visit our wrongful death page and slip and fall accidents page. For a free consultation, please reach out to our attorneys to arrange a time to discuss your case.  

All you have to do is hit the big blue button labeled Contact Us at the top of this page!

In October, 2015 our client was involved in a three car rear-end accident in Fountain Valley, CA. Sometimes we think of rear-end car accidents and think of fender benders, but that was not the case here.  This car accident resulted in significant property damage to each of the three cars.  After the car accident, our client developed neck, shoulder, and back injuries.  These injuries caused her three years of pain and suffering.  When our client was unable to get relief from her pain she sought out an attorney.  Ultimately she found the law firm which would eventually refer her case to our office.

While she was still represented by her first attorney, the other driver’s defense lawyer disputed every part of our client’s claim. First, the Defendant disputed liability for the car accident.  Second, the Defendant disputed the nature and extent of our client’s neck, back, and shoulder injuries.  Then the Defendant disputed every single dollar of our client’s medical expenses. In sum, the Defendant tried to find any opportunity to point the finger at our client.

Sometimes in personal injury cases when the defense lawyer tries to play hardball like this, a client’s initial attorney will ask us to help them with the legal work.  This can happen for a variety of reasons including because the client’s initial attorneys are not as familiar with the specific  legal problems that arise in car accident lawsuits. In other situations it is because the client’s first attorney does not usually go to trial.  For all of those reasons, we were contacted in this case. 

At the time we were contacted, the client was still in excruciating pain. She wanted to get some ideas and suggestions with regard to getting her the proper medical care.  Up until that point, her HMO health insurance would only provide her with basic medical care.  We made a new recommendation, and advised her that she could bypass her insurance and see one of the top medical professionals in Orange County “on lien.”  The option to treat on lien allowed our client to get all the medical treatment she needed.  Once our client was placed under the care of the best medical professionals in Orange County, all her questions were answered.

Now that our client had the medical answers she needed, and a law firm with the ability to try her case, things changed.  After three years of receiving zero dollars in settlement offers, our client received a “final offer” of $75,000.00 at mediation.  Our client stood her ground and refused the insurance company’s unfair offer! Following the mediation, our office got ready for trial.  The case was set for trial in the Orange County Superior Court before the Honorable Gregory Lewis.  Then one week before the commencement of trial, our client was offered a $250,000.00 settlement agreement.

Our client now has the necessary care she needs, the money to cover all of her medical bills, and the relief of knowing she got fair compensation for her personal injuries.   

As is apparent, it is important that people with personal injury claims seek out proper legal counsel as soon as possible. In this personal injury lawsuit it was an absolute pleasure representing yet another wonderful human being. We always enjoy the opportunity personal injury law give us to assist another injured person in getting fair compensation for their injuries.  The feeling we get from seeing a happy client reminds us of why we went to law school.  For more information on how one of our injury attorneys can help with your car accident navigate to our Car Accidents page.

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this post, or website, should be taken as legal advice for any individual or case situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.  For a free consultation please reach out to our attorneys to arrange a time to discuss your case.  All you have to do is hit this link or the big blue button labeled “Contact Us” at the top of this page!