Learn how Silva Injury Law client Helen G. was able to get the medical care she needed – along with a $600,000.00 settlement – after suffering multiple broken bones in a fall caused by a broken tile at a popular drug store.
Facts of the Case
Date & Location
The incident occured at a popular drug store chain in the client’s home town in February 2020.
Helen was running an errand at a chain drug store. She was on her way out when she tripped on a broken tile.
Helen suffered fractures to bones in her shoulders and hips, requiring extensive surgery and rehabilitation.
The defendant agreeed to settle the case just months before trial for $600,000.00.
Helen G. – a wife, mother, and grandmother of 7 – lived an active life in her small-town home in central California. She frequently went horseback riding, enjoyed bowling with friends and family, and took her dog on long walks around the park by her home.
That active lifestyle was brought to a sudden and painful halt when she suffered a violent trip-and-fall while shopping at a chain drug store.
All of a sudden my shoe caught on something and down I went…the pain was just horrific.
I got the item and was walking down the aisle and all of a sudden my shoe caught on something, which we discovered later was a broken tile, and dow I went. There was nothing to grab on to and the pain was just horrific. I knew I had broken something and they got the ambulance and took me to the hospital and did all the x-rays. I had surgery on my hip and had pins put in and rods, and now it’s been a long recovery and it’s gonna be something I’ll have to live with. I’ll have a limp, my shoulder, I broke my shoulder too. And, I’ll have to live with that.
Silva Injury Law would later uncover that the drug store had known about the broken tile a full three years prior to Helen’s fall. In fact, an employee had issued a work order to have the tile fixed, stating that it was a trip hazard.
[ RELATED READ: Trivial Defect Defense in Trip and Fall Injury Case ]
However, that work order went unfulfilled, and Helen paid the price.
I remember at the very time of the accident, my first thought was my life is changing forever.
I’ve broken the hip bone and they had to put a rod in from my hip to my knee with two pins and the shoulder, the ball and socket. They had my arm like braced and I had to keep it that way for about two months. The pain finally started to ease up a little bit. The bone did heal, but it healed crooked. So when you raise your arm for a certain point, you know, it starts to hurt. So I just have to make a lot of adjustments that I never had to make before.
Because of the injuries she sustained as a result of her fall, Helen was hospitalized for over a month. Once released, she discovered that the active lifestyle she used to enjoy would require a great deal of time, effort, and pain to once again realize – if it was attainable at all.
The recovery was very traumatic.
As far as the hospital that I was in was like I guess you’d call it a rehab center, but it was all seniors. And I just felt like, okay, this is where seniors go to die. I was in the hospital for a month. So it, it was quite difficult. I was a pretty healthy and energetic 69 year old. I mean I moved around, I didn’t use walkers. I drove, I went, places did activities. So now I have to change my activities. I used to do like horseback riding and I’m a little nervous about trying that again. And I used to like to bowl a lot. I’m just getting back to being able to walk around our park, which is maybe a quarter of a mile. And that takes a lot out of me.
Helen eventually determined that she needed a lawyer to advocate for her and make sure that she not only received compensation to cover her medical bills and pain and suffering but also to hold the drug store accountable for the negligence that created the conditions that caused her injuries.
[ RELATED READ: Damages For Pain and Suffering In California ]
With the help of her daughter, Helen found and contacted Silva Injury Law.
I just wanted to make sure I got an attorney that was going to follow through with the case.
My daughter is the one that first mentioned to me, hey, we need to find a lawyer, let me look around. She just said she felt really comfortable with the way Silva talked. And she said, do you wanna go with them? And then I ended up talking to them. I got to talk to him on the phone and I felt the same thing, very comfortable. I signed the papers and we decided to go ahead and proceed.
Once the representation agreement was signed, we immediately got to work on Helen’s case. The first order of business was to understand what caused Helen to fall, so we began to investigate. We knew from speaking with Helen that she had tripped due to a hazard that existed on the store floor. We discovered that that hazard was a cracked tile.
[ RELATED READ: What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Store ]
Furthermore, we discovered that the store had been aware of the crack in the tile and that an employee issued a work order three years prior to Helen’s fall requesting that the tile be fixed because it posed a trip hazard. This fact was critical for establishing the store’s liability for Helen’s injuries.
February 21, 2020
Trip and fall incident occurs at a chain drug store. Helen sufferes serious bone fractures in shoulder and hip.
February – March, 2020
Helen endures various medical treatments including surgery on her hip and over a month of in-patient rehabilitation.
March 23, 2020
With the help of her daughter, Helen finds and hires Silva Injury Law to pursure her claim.
October 26, 2020
Silva Injury Law prepares and files the initial demand for damages.
The defendant makes their counter-offer to our initial demand.
November 25, 2020
Assessing the counter-offer to be far too low, Silva Injury Law files a lawsuit.
August 23, 2021
Mediation between the two sides begins.
May 5, 2022
Defendant agrees to pay $600K settlement to avoid going to trial.
We made then made our initial demand and, unsurprisingly, the defendant countered with an amount that was simply not acceptable.
Thanks to Helen’s patience and her trust in our process, we were able to take the time required to negotiate a fair settlement that fully accounted for Helen’s medical bills and her pain and suffering. Ultimately we were able to reach a settlement agreement with the defendant before the scheduled trial date.
The settlement we achieved was for $600,000.00.
He handled it all so I didn’t have to do anything.
It was a relief because like I said, I felt that he was going follow through with this. So it was like, okay, you just kick back, he’ll handle everything. And that takes a lot off of you when, you know you have someone whose going to take care of everything. Because I was sitting there thinking, oh I’ve got to save all these bills and I’ve got to make sure I do this or that. And he handled it all so I didn’t have to do anything. So it was quite a burden taken off my shoulders, so I could concentrate more on trying to recover.
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If you’ve been injured in an accident, Silva Injury Law can help you recover – physically and financially – and get back to life.209-600-0874