By: Diana Adjadj, Esq.
November 14, 2023
Personal Injury Claim
|Cause of Action||Initial Defense Offer|
|Injury: Acute medial meniscus tear of right knee|
Surgical Procedures: RIGHT KNEE ARTHROSCOPIC MENISCECTOMY, CHONDROPLASTY, DEBRIDEMENT, MENISCUS REPAIR; ARTHROSCOPY, KNEE, SURGICAL; WITH MENISCECTOMY (MEDIAL OR LATERAL, INCLUDING ANY MENISCAL SHAVING); ARTHROSCOPY, KNEE, SURGICAL; WITH MENISCUS REPAIR (MEDIAL OR LATERAL)”
(Fifty Thousand USD) – Initial Offer Extended by Defense
(Seven Hundred and Seven Thousand USD)
Slip and Fall: Premises Liability falls under a larger category of cases known as Negligent Causes of Actions. Most personal injury claims also fall under these same types of cases known as negligence.
Slip and fall cases plead a cause of action for negligence. Negligence is a legal claim upon which an injured person seeks compensation for damages resulting from another person or entity’s negligent acts or omission. Unlike intentional torts, where a wrongdoer engages in egregious behavior with the intent to cause harm, negligence results when a defendant breaches their duty of care, either by engaging in a negligent act or omission.
Slip and fall cases arise from a breach of obligation by a property owner or occupier to keep the premise in a reasonable safe condition. Property owners and occupiers have an obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment for those who enter their premises. Such acts include placing warning signs, make sure the premises has sufficient lighting, cleanup up liquid spills, take necessary precautions if the area is known to be unsafe etc. When a property owner or occupier fails to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable accidents and injuries, an injured party may seek compensation for such damages by bring a legal claim for negligence or premises liability. A cause of action for negligence or premises liability allows an injured party to hold a property owner or occupier legally responsible for their negligent acts or omissions by seeking compensation while also encouraging the property owner and occupier to make reasonable changes to make the premises safer for future visitors.
Injured parties need to prove both liability and damages to prevail on a cause of action for negligence and premises liability. Premises liability typically includes proof of four elements:
Property owners and occupiers owe a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonable safe condition, this include addressing potential hazards and taking steps to prevent foreseeable injuries. When looking at the duty of care owed in premises liability cases the injuries party may consider the existence of unsafe conditions on the premises, notice of hazardous conditions and foreseeability injuries and potential harms.
Property owners and occupiers breach that duty when they fail to take action to guard against those known unsafe conditions and other foreseeable harms. This is often described as failing to act as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.
Causation requires that the injured party must establish a causal link between the wrongdoer’s liability and the resulting harm. In other words, the property owner or occupier caused the resulting injury and damages as alleged by the plaintiff.
Lastly, to prevail on a premises liability claim, the injured party must demonstrate that they suffered actual harm, whether physical, emotional, or financial. If the injured party can establish that they suffered damages as a result of the wrongdoer’s negligence then they can be compensated for both economic and noneconomic damages.
Stair-Fall: Our client Jane Doe, 59-years-old at the time of the incident was walking down a staircase at a restaurant with dim lighting and a non-compliant handrail. The stairwell was dark and while descending the stairs the handrail abruptly ended with several more steps to go, Jane Doe fell to the ground and heard a “pop” sound from her knee. Paramedics arrived at the scene and transported her to the nearest emergency room. After years of conservative treatment and inability to run her daycare business Jane Doe underwent an arthroscopic operation on her right knee. Both expert and treating physicians opined that the result injury to the knee was a result of the stairwell fall. Approximately three-weeks prior to trial our offices secured a settlement for $707,000.
Causes of Action: Negligence; Premises Liability
Injuries: Knee Injury; Knee Replacement; Meniscus Tear; Meniscus Repair; Arthroscopic Operation; Knee Surgery
Jurisdiction: Superior Court of California – County of Humboldt; Eureka California