By Francis M. Smith
Frank Smith recently resolved a case in which he represented a gentleman who parked at a commercial parking lot on his way to work. The parking lot owner was aware that patrons would be coming in to the lot, knew that run off from a snowfall several days earlier would melt in the subsequent warmer weather and then freeze overnight, when temperatures went below freezing, and that in the morning, there would be ice on the blacktop where patrons would be walking.
The owner’s representative also knew that the area should be salted to provide a safe walkway for pedestrians like my client. A vehicle equipped with a salt spreader was even dispatched to the lot. But the lot was not salted in the area where my client fell—maybe because the employee driving the salting truck had several lots to cover and was at the lot for under 20 minutes.
The bottom line: it was totally foreseeable that someone would fall on that ice. The resultant fall caused severe fractures to the lower leg which had to be surgically repaired with a plate and screws. The ankle mortise was also disrupted and my client, who has a job in which he has to stand much of the day, has persistent problems with aches and pains almost on a daily basis. Yet he soldiers on in his job because he has a family to care for.
As usual, the insurance company started with a low offer. Frank Smith obtained the experts reports needed to show the insurance company we were ready for trial if needed, including medical illustrations of the dramatic x-rays of the fractures and the hardware that was used to secure the fractured bones.
Through many small increases in the offer to settle, my client persisted and together with Frank Smith, we finally persuaded the insurance company representative to pay a fair settlement.
It was my pleasure to force the defendant to recognize the seriousness of my client’s injuries and how they affected his everyday life. I was gratified that we achieved a fair measure of compensation for his pain, suffering, and change of life style—all due to the negligence of the parking lot’s employees. This is the kind of case that keeps me energized on behalf of my clients.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a serious accident, please contact me or call me at 908-233-5800 for a free consultation.