Am I entitled to bring a small claims case regarding injuries that I suffered while trying to catch a bus?
Question Details: I was going to catch the bus. I was a hundred feet from the bus stop when the bus arrived. I began jogging to catch the bus. I am 65 years old and carrying groceries in both hands. There was a lady in a wheelchair on the sidewalk, so I moved to the side of the sidewalk to pass by. My foot hit something and I fell and landed on my stomach and face. The bus drive saw me fall in the rearview mirror and waited for several minutes for me to gather my groceries and come get on the bus. A man nearbyhelped me to sit up and he said, "Sir, you fell on that metal thing". There was a metal stub sticking out of the ground about 3 inches. The city removed a bus sign but left the stub. I had a bleeding cut on my chin and abrasions on my stomach, face, hands and knees. My chin turned purple and black from the bruise. My toenail turned black and is going to fall off. I took pictures of my injuries and pictures of the stub and surrounding area. This happened a week ago. My face and body were in pain all week.
You will need to document your injuries with medical treatment in order to have a personal injury case.
Contact the City Claims Department to report your injury and follow their procedures; otherwise, you may not be able to file a lawsuit if your claim is denied. Don't miss any filing deadlines or your claim will be denied.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss. Those items should be included with your claim filed against the City.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the City, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the City, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the City. Don't file your lawsuit in small claims court because the amount you can recover will be limited by small claims court's jurisdiction. The lawsuit should be filed in a higher court such as Superior Court. Your state may have a different name for Superior Court.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the deadline in the City claims procedure or you may lose your rights forever in the matter.
Also, your case must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.