Settlement for a Slip and Fall in a Manhattan Supermarket

Last July, a woman set off with a friend to do some shopping at her neighborhood grocery store in Harlem. She slipped on a puddle of water and injured her back and knee. We settled that case today with an amount that compensates the woman for her pain and suffering and delivers the payment as soon as possible.

The Facts of the Case Against the Supermarket

The woman and her friend had completed the bulk of their shopping when then woman walked to the back of the store to pick up a couple of times from the meat counter. As she passed the open refrigerated cases for cheese, she slipped on a puddle of water. Her feet went out from under her and she landed with her left leg extended in front and her right leg bent underneath her body. She landed on the ground and felt immediate pain in her lower back and right knee.

While on the ground, the woman realized that the floor was wet and that she had slipped because of that water. The water had come from under the refrigerated case that held the cheese. Two store employees witnessed her fall. The first employee came to aid the woman and apologized, saying the floor was wet and slippery. The second employee got a mop to clean the water from the floor. Both of the employees helped her up.

After making her way to the front with the aid of the cart and her friend, the woman asked the store manager what she needed to do because she had fallen in the back of the store. The staff helped her sit down and called for an ambulance.

Our investigation identified witnesses and amassed evidence about the leak and the store’s liability for the woman’s injury.

Documenting Damages with a Limited Injury

The ambulance took the woman to the emergency room. Doctors and staff took x-rays of her right knee and examined her lower back. While the tests did not reveal any broken bones, she experienced substantial swelling in her knee, pain and restricted movement in her neck, back and right knee. The Emergency Room staff discharged the woman with prescriptions for anti-inflammatory and anti-pain medicine and referred her to follow up with her own doctor.

The woman followed up with her private physician. Her doctor did not identify a definitive diagnosis and though she prescribed physical therapy for her patient, the doctor did not feel that an MRI was needed.

The challenge in this case was to maximize the value of the damages with a soft-tissue injury (an injury that does not involve fractures or broken bones), lack of a definitive diagnosis and limited treatment. In addition, the woman had previous back troubles. By working closely with my client, we were able to document the impact of the injury on her life.

Settling a Case Quickly and for Good Value

Upon receiving the case, I began an investigation into both the circumstances of the slip and fall and the nature of the woman’s injuries. I prepared a detailed case assessment to determine the value of the case and the best way to move forward. After reviewing the case assessment with my client, I presented a comprehensive settlement package to the defense. The settlement package provides the insurance company with all the information they need to assess the case. The settlement package also makes clear the strength of our own case and the ability to pursue it at trial. By acting before we file the lawsuit, I minimize the expenses for both sides, which made it easier for the insurer to settle the case and maximized the amount my client received.

It took some time for the insurer to evaluate the case and then we took several weeks negotiating. I provided additional medical evidence to support my client’s claim. With a final increase in the insurer’s offer, we reached a settlement amount that provided good value for my client and made her very pleased. By taking this approach, we were able to resolve this case within seven months of the incident.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall or if you have been injured due to another’s negligence, you may want to consult a New York personal injury attorney experienced with slip and fall cases. I would be glad to answer your questions and assist you. The consultation is always free. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email me. You can also visit my website or read more on my blog, New York Law Thoughts.

Carol L. Schlitt
New York Personal Injury Attorney

This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney. Remember: past performance does not guarantee future results. Remember, each case has a unique fact pattern. Past results do not
guarantee future outcomes.