Recently I was successful in resolving a case on the eve of trial in a matter that was a slip and fall in the Erie County Supreme Court. It just illustrates how insurance companies don’t get serious with resolution of these cases until they know that you’re serious about suing cases, and more importantly, they know that you’re willing to try these cases. In this case, it was an elderly woman who was walking in to get vitamins at a plaza and on the way in, she took a different route. On the way out, it was raining, and she stepped into a depression and fell. She ended up falling down and breaking her left non-dominant arm. We put the case into suit shortly thereafter.
The insurance company early on and throughout the litigation, had offered us $25,000 to settle the case. I was unhappy with that number and conveyed that to my client, who agreed, and we proceeded to our trial. Immediately before trial, the insurance company increased their offer by about 500 percent to $156,000. Going into that case, the insurance company had argued that they really didn’t know that the depression existed or in the exercise of reasonable care, they shouldn’t have known.
I hired an expert. The expert came in to testify that the depression had existed for a period of time. I was able to establish through depositions and other witnesses that the owners of the property would frequent the area, so they should have known that the depression existed. The insurance company also argued that my client should not have stepped into the depression because she should have seen it. We were able to establish through climatological data that the area where she fell had some water buildup in it, which made it difficult for people to see.
All in all, the result was very good. The insurance company ultimately paid what the value of the case was, but not until we were ready to walk into the courtroom and have a jury make a decision.
This blog was provided by Robert Maranto, one of our experienced Buffalo NY Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys. If you have questions about a slip and fall injury, please contact our office for a free consultation. We would be happy to go over the details of your case and provide guidance on how you can maximize the recovery for the injuries you’ve sustained.