There are almost 15,000 McDonald’s throughout the United States and every single one of them is responsible for making sure that their property is safe for the thousands of customers that walk through their doors every day. Unfortunately for one 16-year-old girl, one of these facilities failed to do just that.
A Puddle That Caused $50,000 In Medical Expenses
The plaintiff, in this case, was in the process of obtaining the drink she had purchased from a soda fountain when she slipped on the wet floor in front of the machine and fell.
She landed heavily on her left knee and immediately felt serious pain. Her family took her to a doctor who then recommended a visit to an orthopedic specialist where she was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. She had to undergo surgery and soon after, complications developed requiring additional procedures. Her medical expenses add up to more than $50,000.
Sadly, despite the hard work of her doctors, she hasn’t been able to resume a pain-free life. She has chronic pain in her knee and is unable to stand or walk for long periods of time. This is a difficult physical limitation for a teenage girl who should be out and about, exploring the world with her friends.
She and her mother decided to pursue legal action against McDonald’s, alleging that they had failed to provide a safe environment for guests because they hadn’t placed a warning sign near the soda fountain regarding the wet floor despite the fact that employees knew about the hazard because they had just mopped the floor.
A Fast Trial
During the trial, the plaintiff had two orthopedic specialists provide information about her medical condition and the limitations it causes her both now and expected issues she faces in the future. The jury quickly came to the conclusion that the plaintiff was owed damages and awarded her $685,400.
Slip & Falls: More Dangerous Than Most People Realize
No one ever really thinks much of falling until they become the victim of this accident. It’s easy to just say, well, “I’ll dust myself off, laugh about it, and be on my way.” Unfortunately, more often than not, serious, life-altering injuries occur. The fall doesn’t even need to be from a great height, as was seen in this case.
Medical Care Is Expensive
Some of the most common injuries sustained from a slip and fall accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A concussion, hematoma, bleed, swelling, or tissue death in the brain can result in personality changes, memory loss, paralysis, changes in speech, and changes in vision. In many cases, the side effects mean that the victim is no longer able to return to their job or enjoy activities they previously enjoyed. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical expenses may reach as high as $3 million.
Just like the brain, damage to the vertebra in the spine or the spinal cord can cause paralysis and nerve damage, keeping them from enjoying the life they did before the accident. Medical bills for life-long care can also add up to millions of dollars.
Tendon & Ligament Tears
Surgery is almost always required to correct a tendon or ligament tear and it is not always possible to regain full function. Scar tissue and arthritis in the damages appendage can also cause chronic pain.
Can All Victims File A Lawsuit?
No. Premises liability law is very complicated and property owners are responsible for keeping their area “reasonably” safe from hazards. However, every single property is different and what is considered reasonable changes from location to location. In order to determine if a victim has a legal case, consult a slip and fall attorney.