The Million-Dollar Handrail
Slip and fall accidents don’t always occur when a slippery substance is left on a floor. They sometimes involve hazardous conditions that are in place when a person is walking down or climbing a staircase. In a California case that gained wide publicity, a woman was awarded $843,567 in compensation after falling down the stairs of a building owned by a medical clinic.
The culprit in this case was a defective handrail that a skilled slip and fall attorney was able to prove had been known to be unsteady and had not been repaired. There were no warning signs, either, to notify pedestrians that the handrail was unsteady and could precipitate a fall down the stairs.
Interestingly, the jury found the plaintiff 20% responsible for her fall, giving her 80% of the total $1.05 million verdict. This percentage of her fault was probably attributed to the fact that she was carrying several items at the time of her fall, including coffee.
The fall did severe damage to the 45-year-old woman involved, causing back, leg, hip and arm injuries that have required her to receive injections and other treatment for permanent nerve damage. She also walks with a limp as a result of the fall.
She will use the large award to pay her attorney fees and medical expenses, as well as recoup lost wages and be compensated for pain and suffering. The case was another excellent example of the need for a slip and fall attorney, as the defendants fought hard to keep the case out of the courts.
Perhaps they knew that evidence would be submitted showing that other people had fallen on the same stairs and that the building owners had been notified about several safety problems on their property but they had chosen not to do anything about them. Such evidence is crucial in a slip and fall case. If it can be proven that the hazardous condition was permanent, the defendant has little grounds to claim that the victim was entirely responsible or that the incident was an accident.
The case also proved once again just how much a competent slip and fall attorney can be worth. Once the defendants realized that the victim would not drop the case, they offered $250,000 to ensure a rapid settlement. When the plaintiff countered with a figure of $800,000, the defendants responded with an offer of $600,000.
In this case, the slip and fall attorneys were able to secure more than three times the original award offered by the defendants. Many people can have trouble walking down stairs due to a shaky handrail. They should never shrug off such an incident, especially if they sustain an injury.
A quality slip and fall lawyer can get you the compensation that you deserve, which is often far higher than what you imagine. That is because such lawyers know from experience how much it will cost to pay your bills and those that will come in the future as rehab continues, other surgeries are needed and you spend time out of the workforce simply recovering to normal health.
If you have been injured in a fall down accident, contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer to discuss your rights.
You may be eligible for financial compensation for pain and suffering and medical bills incurred. Talk to a lawyer prior to giving any statements.