If someone’s negligence caused your Achilles tendon injury in Florida (or on a cruise), you may have a case.
What is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles.
Can an Achilles Tendon be Caused by an Accident?
Yes. An Achilles tendon tear can be caused by acute trauma. The result is some degree of rupture to the tendon.
However, trauma is not normally the cause of an Achilles tendon injury.
Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
Prior to the fall, he was recovering from a surgery on his Achilles tendon tear. After the fall, the skin around his Achilles tendon had a difficult time healing and he underwent 2 skin grafts to fix this.
This was one of my many supermarket accident settlements in Florida. After you know the settlement value for the pain and suffering component of an Achilles tendon tear, you can then you can better estimate the full value of a case.
You can then arrive at the settlement value by discounting things that reduce the value of a case.
Actual Case (Not Mine): $400,000 for the Pain and Suffering component for a 9-year-old girl who cut her Achilles tendon (requiring surgery) after a pool gate slammed shut on her at the condominium complex where she lived.
She claimed permanent weakness. The breakdown of the $400,000 pain and suffering award was: $150,000 for past pain and suffering, and $250,000 for future pain and suffering.
The condo association operated the condo complex. They admitted liability. This means that they admitted that they were negligent.
In most cases where you are injured on a condo’s property, you will have to prove that they were negligent which basically means you have to show that they did something wrong that caused the accident.
The total verdict was $443,089. She claimed past medical bills of $43,089.
She claimed the condo association was negligent and failed to maintain the premises (specifically the gate). She claimed that the condo association did not fix or warn of the fact that the gate was improperly slamming shut before this incident.
The trial was in Miami-Dade, Florida. The condo association argued that the Achilles tendon injury was not as serious as her doctor’s thought it was.
The condo association offered $150,000 to settle the case but the 9 year old’s guardian rejected the offer. The trial was in 2007 and was about 2 ½ years after the date of the accident.
The case is Talavera v. Esprit Condominium Association.
In Florida, $400,000 is a lot of money to be awarded for pain and suffering. This must have been a very bad injury. In most auto accident cases in Florida, she would have had to prove that she had a permanent injury in order to get money for non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering, etc.).
But because this was a slip and fall case, she did not have to prove that she had a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
Regardless, the fact that she was awarded $400,000 in pain and suffering seems to indicate that the jury felt that her Achilles tendon tear – requiring surgery – was a permanent injury.
If the liability insurance policy for the condo had “medical payments” coverage, it would have paid her medical bills up to a certain amount even without her proving fault. If a case gets to a lawsuit, such as this one, the condo association – generally through their general liability insurer – will have a chance to have a doctor of their choosing examine you.
It appears that this was the case here. Apparently the doctors disputed the extent of the injury. But I have no indication that the doctor hired by the insurer said that the girl did not have a tear.
Sometimes the doctor hired by the claims adjuster will say that there is no Achilles tendon tear even though the claimant’s doctor says there is a tear. Other times the defense doctor will say that the tear is much smaller than the claimant’s doctor thinks it is.
In all fairness, on rare occasions, a defendant’s doctor will:
– Find an Achilles tendon tear when the claimant’s treating doctor does not see one; or
– Opine that the Achilles tendon tear is worse than the claimant’s doctor thinks it is.
Because the girl was only 9 years old, the condo association apparently did not argue that the Achilles tendon tear was not caused by the accident.
The fact that person who is injured is 9 years old usually makes the case easier than if she was 35 years old or older. This is because claims adjusters like to argue that older people have degenerative changes to her Achilles tendon and that the tear pre-existed the accident.
Claims adjusters make the same argument in many cases if the claimant is older and has a herniated disc, bulging disc or rotator cuff tear that requires surgery. In a case where an older person has a herniated disc, you should expect a claims adjuster to argue that the herniated disc was not caused by the accident.
They make the same argument when the claimed injury is a bulging disc or rotator cuff tear.
If you read my article on how long a personal injury case to settle, then you would understand that one of the reasons why this case may have taken 2 1/2 years to get resolved was because the condo association probably had a large commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy.
I have litigated – in another case – against the same defense attorney who defended the condo association in this case. In that case he represented Philadelphia Insurance Company.
I congratulate the claimant’s attorney for trying this case and getting a jury verdict for almost 3 times the final settlement offer. Most injury attorneys would not have tried this case.
Learn more about Florida swimming pool accident claims.
What types of damages can you recover if someone’s carelessness caused your Achilles tendon injury in Florida?
Compensation for damages may include:
- Medical expenses (e.g. ambulance bills, hospital bills, doctors’ bills, etc.)
- Future medical expenses
- Lost Wages
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage (e.g. broken glasses, a broken watch, cell phone, etc.)
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
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