Do we have recourse if my husband had a foot personal injury? 32 Answers as of February 21, 2012

My husband was injured buying lumber. The wood fell on his foot and caused a very bad sprain & much bruising & swelling. The lumber at the store is not held back by any barrier to prevent the wood from rolling out. We've called the store to info them. At the time of the accident he didn't realize how bad it was until he took his shoe off that night. The store said they would relay the info to the main office, we have not heard back from them. Should we try to handle this ourselves or hire somebody to help us?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
You can certainly try to handle it yourself, it should be a relatively small claim. The store (or more likely their insurance company) should pay your for all of your medical bills, prescriptions, mileage to/from doctor appointments, lost wages if you missed work, pain and suffering, and any permanent scarring or disability. The problem with cases like these is that you often do not know the extent of a soft-tissue injury until many months later. It is when the damaged tissue is replaced by scar tissue that your husband may start experiencing more serious problems with his foot. You may want to go to a doctor now to have it checked out (and to document the injury), and then see how his foot does for the next few months. You have 5 years to file suit, so you should not feel like you have to settle right away. If you have any further questions or decide you want help with your case, please feel free to contact my office.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/3/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Find out the extent of the injury first. The see a personal injury attorney. Consultations are free.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Make sure you have the best medical care, that you have a genuine serious injury and get a PI lawyer.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/27/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
It would be a good idea to hire a lawyer as the store will get serious about addressing his injury with a lawyer involved. There should have been a barrier to protect the wood from sliding.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/27/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Depending on the extent and duration of the injury, you may be able to find someone to represent him on a contingency basis. If no, you could elect to hire counsel on an hourly basis, or negotiate the claim yourself. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/26/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While you should consult with an attorney in your community, in my opinion, we would not take such a personal injury case unless there are sufficient damages to warrant the costs of bringing suit. But consult with a personal injury lawyer in your community. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Since most attorneys who handled personal injury matters offer a free initial consultation, it would make a lot of sense to at least consult with a qualified injury attorney with experience in "premise liability" matters. Whether you need one to handle the claim or not can be assessed during such a consultation. You probably will need an attorney. But for now, you should be sure to get proper medical care and follows doctor's orders. Also, in Colorado, you have two years to bring a claim against the property owner (and others, if applicable) or you lose your rights to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    The claim of your husband and the liability of the store is difficult to determine without a thorough and detailed analysis of the facts. I appreciate your factual statement, but as good as it is, there are many questions that would need to be answered before I could really give you an answer. The case may or may not be of interest to a lawyer because of issues of disputed liability and degree of damages. However, you certainly need an analysis of the case and the law that supports your husbands claim to be explained to you. Please call me if you want to discuss this further.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    I would urge you to hire an attorney that you have faith in & feel comfortable with. Good luck & I wish your husband a quick recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Sorry to hear about the foot injury. These cases fall under the category of "premises liability". Frequently jurors find both the store and customer at fault. For that reason, it is important to speak to an attorney about the specific facts to determine if you have viable case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Allegretti & Associates
    Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
    Have you documented the report to the store? Did the store have video that could have recorded the event? Was a report made at the store? These are some questions you will need the answer to. Depending on the injury, you made need legal help. If he missed work, incurred medical bills, has any sort of permanent injury, you should have legal help.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Because of the difficulty with these types of cases I believe you should retain a lawyer who has done premises liability cases in the past.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    You are unlikely to hear again from the store or its insurer. They know that if they stonewall you, you are likely to give up and go away, because that is what most people do. And if you try to handle it yourself, they will assume that you are not wise enough, or interested enough to hire a lawyer, and they will not deal with you fairly. You would be wise to consult with a lawyer. Most trial lawyers do not charge to consult with people in your situation. At the very least, talking with a lawyer will give you a better idea of your options. If you are in Oregon or southwest Washington, feel free to give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    The store probably has premise liability insurance which should pay for medical costs regardless of fault. It is hard to know if they will pay any additional pain and suffering unless they accept liability and don't say it was your husband pulling lumber out that caused the lumber to fall. If you are only trying to get medical costs paid which they will probably pay you could probably handle yourself. If trying for more than this I would recommend hiring an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    I would try to handle yourself. Unless healing is complicated, the case has somewhat limited value. Feel free to contact me to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    Under Minnesota law, you should consult with a personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your options. There are a number of factors which may affect your ability to make a claim against the store, however, you must obtain legal advice on this.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Yes, you should discuss with a personal injury lawyer, that has handled these types of cases.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    The issue is going to be whether you can prove that the store was negligent in the way it stored the lumber and whether your husband's actions played any role in the accident. Some of the salient questions would be what was your husband doing when the accident happened? Was he touching the lumber, or did it just suddenly fall on his foot? Was he trying to move it to get at something else? Who stacked the lumber? How long had the lumber been stacked that way? Have there been any other similar accidents so that the store is on notice that the method or mode of operation (the legal term) is problematic and can cause injury to shoppers? These are just some of the questions. As you can see it would probably help to hire an attorney to assist you in deciding if there is actually a claim you and your husband can bring against the store. I would not give any statements to the store's representative without first consulting with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I would doubt the store would offer more than the medical bills, if that, and I would think an attorney would probably get you more than that after taking out a would never hurt to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    A store owner has an obligation to take reasonable measures to prevent against injury from dangerous conditions on the premises. Establishing a right to compensation would depend on whether the lumber stacking system was unreasonably likely to cause injury, and whether the store had notice of a potential hazard. From your description, you may well be able to prove both. The more severe the injury, the more you should consider hiring a lawyer. You need to pay a lawyer to help you (most work cases like this on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of what they obtain for you but nothing if they lose), and my experience is that attorneys usually "pay for themselves." That is to say, you will usually recover significantly more money if you have a good lawyer representing you. So the fee the lawyer charges is made up by the extra recovery. In many instances, the defendant will pay nothing unless there is a lawyer involved and they fear litigation. Of course, that's not always true. If your desire is simply to recover medical expenses or other incidental losses, and the store offers to do that for you, you may be better off handling it yourself. Most personal injury lawyers will meet with you and discuss your case in more detail during a free initial consultation. A local attorney who is in a small office may be your best bet. You could "have your cake and eat it too," by meeting with a lawyer and then deciding based upon your specific conversation whether you would benefit from hiring him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    My firm had almost exactly this same case and it was eventually settled advantageously for the client. However, it takes a lot of time and work and it is definitely not recommended that you try to do it yourselves. Companies love it when people do that because they usually have no idea of what it's worth and they settle for a lot less, thinking they've done well when they haven't. What you need to realize is an injury such as that can become far worse over time as it did in our client's case and it can be life disruptive. We don't suggest you do it yourselves. Hire a lawyer, it will make all the difference and is worth it. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Because the injury appears to be minor, I suggest you handle it yourselves for now. The store might pay his medical bills, which is about all he would get in court if the store is liable.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    You should retain counsel sounds like you have a case.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You should consider taking photographs of the shelving unit before they fix it. As for retaining an attorney, you could always speak to one and provide more details to see if you have a case that is worthwhile for an attorney to handle. The two main factors will be the severity of the injury and whether they store was truly negligent with the lumber shelf that allowed for this to happen. If its just one bill and the doctor says there is no long term damage, just a sprain, you can probably get the store to pay for the medical bills. Their insurance (if they are not self-insured) usually has a med-pay provision that pays for medical expenses regardless of fault.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Khayoumi Law Firm
    Khayoumi Law Firm | Salim A. Khayoumi
    The smartest thing to do is hire an attorney licensed in the state where the injuries occurred. A personal injury and/or civil litigation attorney will have a much better chance at recovering ALL available remedies (or damages) stemming from the incident. One can always attempt to seek damages from the store by themselves (i.e. pro se); however, its best to hire a licensed experienced professional who has handled such types of cases.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    This case would be a difficult one to pursue, and you probably shouldn't try to pursue it on your own. An attorney would help you find out whether you have a viable case, and would help you pursue it correctly to make sure you are not cheated.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    See an attorney. The store will likely stonewall by not returning your calls or telling you they are not at fault. These claims often require litigation to get a fair response. Don't wait.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Whether or not to hire counsel is a personal decision but if this is a self serve area then you have a good claim.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/25/2011
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