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slip & fall in business

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My husband slipped in a well known resturant in the state of Texas. Where he slipped was dark and had a ledge that couldn't be seen due to the lighting. My daughter, son-in-law and myself all wittnessed the fall and filled out accident cards at the resturant. The waitress also wittnessed the fall and has given a statement: While cleaning the table liquid had been spilled, she noted that it had not been properly cleaned up, and that this was a spot that many people had taken falls.

When my husband was getting up to go to the restroom (with Redwing boots on) he slipped and fell not only on the flooor but his back and neck hit the wooden bar between the two booths. (He has had 6 surgeries in the past 8 years on his back and neck.) After many emergency room visits we went to the Dr who had done his other surgeries, a discagram was done to find out there is a herniated disc above the metal plates that were put in about two years ago. At the time the plates were put in the other disc's were checked for herniation and none were present. My husband has been disabled for 8 years with no chance to go back to gainfull employment. Since the accident he has been in severe pain and can't get out anymore because it hurts too much riding in the car.

We have seem a lawyer but he hasn't given us a amount above the cost of medical that he will ask for. I could really use some advice about how much is enough.



Senior Member
It's not how much you will ask for, but how much you might get, and at this stage it is almost a guess. I hope you have a good lawyer experienced in personal injury cases. If not, consult with at least one other and consider switching if you have any doubts about the first.

This sounds as if it could be a VERY heavy damage case. There may be a question about liability (I do not know Texas law) and the extent to which the fault of the restaurant created the problem.

Lawyers are reluctant to say what they would ask for -- and asking for a higher amount may look someone look foolish. (Some lawyers say "We'll ask for $100 million" while others will say "$777.482.50" and the one who gives the lower amount may be the better lawyer.

You should ask the curent and any potential future lawyer how s/he intends to assess the financial damages and what are the elements s/he would seek to recover. And get the lawyer's views on the issues of liability -- serious damages without liability creates a lousey case, as does clear liability with low or no damages.

The things to watch out for are 1) an inexperienced lawyer, 2) a lawyer or firm more interested in a quick settlement than a reasonable one -- after all it is far more profitable for a lawyer to settle a case for $200,000 with 3 hours of work, than to work for 2 years to get $500,000, especially if one has to advance funds and risk getting nothing, 3) a lawyer who will promise you a certain recovery (nothing is guaranteed), 4) pressure on your part for a quick settlement that suggests to the lawyer and the other side that a low ball figure works, and 5) a lawyer who is trying for a grand slam homerun, even if there are slight chances of getting one and it may take years in trial and appeals before you see a cent.

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