Doorways are structures the every person uses every single day. All buildings have them and most people don’t even think about the number of times they use a door every day. In many commercial buildings, doors with motion sensor openers and closers are installed so that people can walk through without having to stop and manually do it. While there are benefits to this, if the opening and closing devices are not properly installed or defective, injuries may occur.
Falling Device Causes Neck Injury
Just recently, a New York jury awarded $12.8 million to a woman who was seriously injured by a closing device on a hospital door.
The plaintiff, in this case, was working as a security officer at a New York hospital. Just before the accident, the hospital had hired a construction company to build a new wing in the hospital, including the installation of doors that automatically opened and closed. Not long after, the wing was opened to the public.
The security officer approached the doors as she had many others before but this time, tragedy struck. While she was going through the entryway, the closing device dislodged and fell, hitting her. Thankfully she was already in the hospital but that doesn’t mean the damage wasn’t already done. Doctors diagnosed her with a serious neck injury.
She chose to pursue legal action against the contractor who installed the device. During the trial, her legal team presented testimony from a life planner, economist, neurologist, and chronic pain doctor who all spoke of how debilitating her injury was and how it impacted her life. Although the defendant denied responsibility, the jury determined they were indeed at fault and awarded her compensation.
Neck Pain Is No Joke
When the bones, muscles, or nerves in the neck are injured, the pain can be debilitating. It may take surgery, years of physical therapy, and numerous medications just for the patient to feel like they can resume a semi-normal life – if they can at all. Permanent damage may result in paralysis and constant pain. Many patients are unable to return to work or the activities they enjoyed before they were injured.
Even with payments from workers’ compensation or health insurance, medical bills and lost income can mean the injured patient is left drowning in debt and all because someone else acted negligently.
This is why the law allows the victims of personal injury accidents to file a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties, so that they may have the chance to recover compensation that can help them get their lives back on track.
What Does Compensation Cover?
When a plaintiff obtains compensation, it comes in one of two forms: a settlement offer or a verdict awarded in court. However it is obtained, compensation may cover:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Earnings
- Physical Pain & Suffering
- Emotional Trauma
What If The Victim Dies From Their Injuries?
In cases where the accident succumbs to their injuries, their loved ones may have the option of filing on their behalf. Typically in the state of New York, the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased may be eligible to file. These wrongful death complaints can provide the loved ones with:
- Lost Income
- Funeral & Burial Expenses
- Loss of Consortium
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Inheritance
The amount a plaintiff gets will depend on what their losses are, how old they are, and how debilitating their injuries are.
Obtaining Compensation Isn’t Easy
The process of filing a lawsuit isn’t a simple on and the plaintiff must always be prepared to prove their claims. Medical records, insurance records, construction records, bills, video surveillance, accident reconstruction, and reviews of complaints made about devices involved in the accident are just a few of the things that are frequently used to prove a case.
It’s difficult to get the needed evidence when you are healthy and happy, obtaining it while seriously injured and juggling bills is a stress not many can bear. That’s why it’s always best to consult with a lawyer.
The team at Banville Law knows that most of our clients are coming to us because they are struggling. That’s why we offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee, which means that our fees come directly out of the compensation we obtain for you. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.