What is the name of your state?I'm from Northern Virginia. This is an older case, as it took place 3 weeks ago. I'm a broke college student and I don't know what to do. If anyone could offer me advice, I would be very grateful!
Anyway, I was in the freezer isle of a major grocery store. This was the type of freezer that was a freezer bin. It was leaking on the front corner, which happend to be very close to the front registers. There was a huge puddle and I didn't see it as I was walking normally with my cart pushing in front of me and glancing down into items in the freezer bin. My mother happened to be with me.
I slipped on this puddle which happened to be very large (as I noticed later). I fell down on my left side with my left knee and left wrist/arm taking a lot of the shock of the fall. I was in severe pain, however I could tell nothing was broken. There were tons of witnesses around including the cash register and other workers. One worker in particular was very nice and helped me get up and get to a chair. She also brought ice and told me to immediately file a claim. There were no signs warning of the wet floor and she told me she would bring her manager.
The manager came and asked if I wanted a doctor and I told her I can't afford to go and I think I could walk. She knew I was in pain though because my hands and my knee were swollen/red. I filled out a claim form and the manager signed it.
The lawyer for the grocery store called me the next morning immediately. I gave him a detailed account of the events and he said he would investigate who was responsible. I asked if they would at least help me pay for a doctors appointment and follow up care. I wasn't even asking for money, just a chance for them to prove that I wasn't injured. He said he could offer nothing because he would have to investigate first. I asked him if I should go to the doctor and he basically told me I could go but I would be responsible for all bills. I asked him how long it would take before he completed his end of the deal and he said not more than a week. My injuries were just painful but I didn't think anything was majorly wrong. At the risk of getting stuck with checkup and xray bills, I avoided the doctor. About a week later I still had heard nothing and my injuries seemed to be improving.
Almost 2.5 weeks later I finally heard back and the lawyer claimed they had reached a settlement amount and would pay me $400. I told him that I was having pain in my knee again. As I've been walking longer distances from the parking lot to my class or from the metro station to the parking lot/work. This pain didn't start occurring until recently. I asked him "well that would be enough to cover my doctor checkup, and what would happen if I sustained other injuries that I don't know about yet?" He replied that it was not negotiable and that is what they are offering. I know i'm having more pain and I don't know how to get it taken care of, short of my paying for it.
I am not trying to be an ******* and steal from an organization, however I don't want to go to the doctor and find out that I owe them a ton of money and this store that caused those injuries AND claims responsibilty, will refuse to pay. I feel it was not my fault and I am in no position to negotiate. I'm just a young college student who has no money. I haven't responded to his offer yet. I contacted a lawyer, however, I think he was interested in cases that had a higher return for him (obviously).
I am wondering if anyone has any similar experiences and if it matters that I haven't seen a doctor. A friend of mine told me that knee injuries often resurface and can be permanent pain and suffering. Not to mention the pain, suffering, and humiliation I endured as I fell down that night. I still am embarrassed about the incident.
Does anyone know what I can do at this point? Please share with me your thoughts. I know I can't wait much longer now before I act upon this. Sorry for making this post so long!