Slip and Fall Sprained Ankle Settlement

slip and fall sprained ankle settlement

Slip and fall accidents occur every day, and they can result in incredibly painful and even debilitating injuries, including many types of ankle injuries. If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident that resulted in an ankle injury that was caused by a property owner’s negligence, you might wonder if you could file a personal injury claim to receive a slip and fall sprained ankle settlement. There are a lot of factors that go into this question, and most of them center around the type of ankle injury and its severity.

How do you know whether you should file a fall accident claim? The personal injury attorneys at Poynter & Bucheri can help you determine whether you have a personal injury case. Read on to learn more about how you can get compensation from your slip and fall incident.

Contact an Indiana Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer or call us today at 1-800-265-9881.

What Conditions Most Frequently Cause Slip and Fall Accidents?

More often than not, slip and fall incidents occur because of a failure to maintain property.

Indiana’s premises liability law states that the property owner is required to maintain a safe and secure environment for your safety.

If you suffer a slip and fall accident, it’s likely one of these conditions have occurred:

Hazardous Conditions

An area is considered hazardous when it’s unsafe for passage, often resulting in a fall case.

This includes:

  • Uneven surfaces— When there are significant cracks in a driveway, sidewalk, or parking lot, or if there are loose floorboards or unsecured rugs, it’s more likely that a slip and fall will occur.
  • Wet surfaces— If you’ve ever walked through a freshly mopped lobby, you know it can be hazardous! Wet surfaces are slippery, and slippery surfaces can cause ankle injuries. Warning signs should be posted to alert pedestrians that hazardous conditions are present; when these signs aren’t present, fall claims are sure to follow.
  • Clutter— Walkways that are so cluttered that it’s hard to maneuver are a definite cause of slip and fall accidents that can lead to a personal injury claim.
  • Exposed Wires and Cords— If the walkway has any unsecured wires or cords, these are a tripping hazard. Fall lawsuits can be filed if a pedestrian is injured under these conditions.

Bad Weather

If you’ve lived in a climate that experiences cold winters, you understand the hazards of inclement weather. A heavy snowfall or, worse, an ice storm is a perfect condition for a slip and fall claim.

Heavy rain can also lead to a fall claim, with puddles making sidewalks and surfaces slick. Sleet is a slip and fall danger, too.

Poor Building Conditions

slip and fall incident

If you’ve ever groped your way down a too-dark hall, you know all too well that poor lighting can result in a slip and fall. When you are unable to properly see your path, an accident could occur that could lead to a slip and fall claim.

Poorly maintained handrails and banisters are another potential hazard, which could lead to a personal injury lawsuit or, tragically, even a wrongful death suit, if the worst-case scenario should occur.

What Type of Injuries Do Slip and Fall Accidents Cause?

Any fall injury is unwelcome, even if you’ve only suffered minor injuries due to your slip and fall accident. However, falls can be very dangerous; according to the National Safety Council, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death.

Ankle injuries can be particularly painful, requiring initial medical treatment in the emergency room, not to mention ongoing medical care and physical therapy to heal. Slip and fall accidents can result in several types of ankle injuries. Here are a few potential fall injuries that could occur:

Soft Tissue Injuries

While these are less severe ankle injuries, you should still seek medical treatment, especially if it’s the result of a slip and fall accident.

This classification of injuries includes:

  • Stress Fractures
  • Torn ligaments
  • Bruises and contusions

These injuries aren’t visible, but they can be painful and shouldn’t be ignored. Medical records will play a big part in the evidence collected by your attorney, so even if you feel like your injury doesn’t merit a trip to the ER, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect your ankle bones become damaged. Also classified as a type of soft tissue injury, sprains can result from a variety of hazards that involve the twisting or rolling of the ankle, including slip and fall cases. 

Symptoms include:

  • Physical Pain
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Bruising 
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Ankle instability
  • A popping sound or feeling during the slip and fall incident

Fortunately, these injuries are usually not serious and don’t usually take long to heal. You should seek medical attention to ensure that you’re on the right track to making a full recovery, but you’ll likely only need ice, rest, pain medications, and possibly physical therapy.

Ankle Strains

Strains are similar to sprains, but rather than involving the ligaments that connect the bones, strains involve the ligament that attaches the muscle to the bone. 

Ankle strains have similar symptoms as sprains and include:

  • Muscle cramps 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain
  • Swelling or redness
  • Loss of motion

Medical treatment on a strained ankle resembles that of a sprained ankle — seek medical attention, but you’ll likely only need rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. It’s unlikely that you’ll incur significant future medical expenses with an ankle strain, unlike other injuries that could occur with slip and fall accidents.

Ankle Fractures

Fractures are far more serious than sprains and strains. If your slip and fall case includes a fracture, your fall settlement is likely to be higher.

Contrary to popular belief, a bone fracture and break refer to the same type of injury, and there are many different types of ankle fractures including:

  • Lateral malleolus fracture
  • Medial malleolus fracture
  • Posterior malleolus fracture
  • Bimalleolar fracture
  • Trimalleolar fracture 
ankle sprains

Bimalleolar and trimalleolar fractures are serious injuries and usually require surgery. Bimalleolar refers to two of the malleoli becoming fractured. The malleoli include the lateral malleolus, posterior malleolus, and lateral malleolus.

A trimalleolar fracture refers to all three malleoli fracturing. This kind of broken ankle injury will require a lot of medical attention over time, resulting in higher medical bills.

If you ask any surgeon, they’ll tell you that many broken ankles are seen in any hospital annually— an estimated 5 million ankles are broken each year in the US. If the broken ankle injury is complex, the expenses due to medical bills and lost wages can pile up. If you believe you have a slip and fall case, consult one of the personal injury lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri to ensure that you get the slip and fall settlement you deserve.

What Factors Affect What My Slip and Fall Claim Is Worth?

As stated above, a slip and fall case isn’t always straightforward. There are many different aspects of every case that must be considered before a personal injury lawsuit can be pursued. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help you determine if you can seek compensation, but your case will likely hinge on these factors.

Severity of Your Injury

You can certainly experience severe injuries from a fall accident, but not every slip and fall incident is going to cause a catastrophic injury. In some cases, you might only have a few minor injuries that require very little recovery time and minimal medical expenses.

Of course, more serious injuries will recoup more compensation. After all, when your fall injury is significant, you’ll accrue higher medical bills, not to mention any lost wages or ongoing physical therapy to get you as close to where you were prior to the accident.

Proven Pre-Existing Conditions

If your accident occurred due to another party’s negligence, you can almost guarantee that their legal team is going to do everything they can to reduce the possibility that you get maximum compensation for your case.

While a pre-existing condition won’t necessarily block the possibility that you can be compensated for your sustained injuries, it’s possible that their attorneys will argue that your condition played a part in the incident, thus lowering the payout they’re required to make. This is where a good personal injury lawyer can help you prove that, if anything, your fall accident only made your pre-existing condition worse.

Levels of Insurance Coverage

This is pertinent if the property owner’s negligence played a part in your accident, particularly if that property is a business or commercial establishment. Most businesses are covered by insurance to cover slip and fall accidents like yours, but sometimes their insurance limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you for your fall injury.

A good slip and fall lawyer will work with the insurance company to negotiate your settlement. If the amount they can pay won’t cover your out-of-pocket expenses, your attorney can help you pursue avenues of compensation that don’t involve the insurance company.

Liability Questions

Indiana’s premises liability law states that a property owner has a different duty of care to you, the injured party, that depends entirely on your status when the slip and fall accident occurred.

If you were an invitee, you entered their property with their permission, whether it was expressed or implied. For example, if the owner of the property invited you over for dinner and you fell in their kitchen, you were expressly invited to the property when you experienced your slip and fall accident. If you were shopping in a grocery store and slipped on a wet floor in the produce section, you had implied permission to be in the store— after all, if the store was open, it’s safe to assume they wanted people to enter and shop.

A licensee is someone who has permission to be on the property owner in the form of a license. If, for instance, you were hunting on a property owner’s land, and you were conferred permission to be there with a license, they would be responsible for your slip and fall accident and any suffered injuries that resulted from it.

A trespasser is someone who doesn’t have permission, expressed or implied, to be on the owner’s property. If you slip and fall on a neighbor’s driveway while you’re walking your dog, the property owner isn’t responsible for your injury. The owners of the property didn’t give you permission to walk there, so even if you suffered a severe injury, you couldn’t successfully win a slip and fall lawsuit.

What Happened If You Contributed to Your Slip and Fall Injuries?

The state of Indiana practices a model called modified comparative fault. This means that if it’s determined you are responsible for more than 50% of your slip and fall accident, you will not be compensated for the incident, regardless of the severity of your injuries.

If it’s determined you’re responsible for less than 51%, you can be compensated, but the higher the percentage, the lower your settlement. Again, even if you’ve experienced more severe injuries, if you’re determined to hold some responsibility, you’ll likely get a lower-than-average settlement.

Typically, the percentage of blame it’s determined that you hold will be the amount your compensation is reduced; for instance, if you’re determined to be 25% responsible, your claim will be reduced by 25%. A $100,000 claim will go down to $75,000.

A good slip and fall attorney can help you gather evidence for your case, ensuring that you get the compensation you need to recoup any economic damages caused by the medical care you required after your accident as well as lost income.

What Kind of Compensation for a Broken Ankle Slip and Fall Case Should You Expect?

The amount you can recover in compensation for your slip and fall case directly corresponds to the cost of your medical treatment and how the injury impacts your life. Ankle injury settlement amounts are no different than other slip and fall cases; the average settlement varies based on the extent of your injuries.

For example, if you suffer from a strain or sprain and you don’t require much medical attention, the amount you can recover will obviously be far less than if you suffer from a serious bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture. 

Slip and fall ankle injuries that don’t require surgery will have relatively low settlement values.

If you suffer from a single bone fracture that requires surgery, you could recover more depending on the extent of your medical care and how the injury affects your work; your economic damages are higher, so your compensation would be higher.

Additionally, bimalleolar and trimalleolar fractures are sometimes worth even more. You’ll also likely recover more if you require an ankle fusion. 

In addition to the cost of your medical bills, you can receive other damages in your settlement, such as lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer or Your Premises Liability Case

You’ve probably associated personal injury lawyers with cases like medical malpractice or car accidents, but an experienced personal injury attorney can be invaluable if you have experienced a slip and fall accident and you’re not sure what to do next.

The legal process can be daunting for most people, especially if you’re in pain and facing the stress of mounting medical bills. Your attorney can help you assemble the evidence required to prove liability and they can handle any negotiations with insurance companies searching for a reason to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. We will provide you with the protection you need to get the maximum amount you can from your slip and fall claim.

Let Poynter & Bucheri Handle Your Slip and Fall Sprained Ankle Settlement

Don’t let a slip and fall accident devastate you financially, physically, and emotionally. Get the compensation you deserve so you can take the time to fully recover from your injuries.

Contact the personal injury attorneys at Poynter & Bucheri for a free case review today or call us at 1-800-265-9881.