Injured my ankle at a seafood restaurant

In September I injuries my ankle at this seafood restaurant. The reason that the injury occurred is because when stepping down on the
stair is higher than the other steps. I was in so much pain I made my husband rush me to the hospital because I thought I broke my
foot. I did not think to go get the manager of the restaurant to file a claim. Months have passed and my foot still hurts. Can I still file a
claim against the restaurant.

Asked on March 1, 2016 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you are still in time to sue: the statute of limitations, or time within which you must sue, in your state is 2 years from the time of injury.
Bear in mind that:
1) It's not enough that one stair was higher than others: you'd have to show that the height differential was so great as to pose an "unreasonable" risk, and to do that, you may need an expert witness, like an architect or safet expert.
2) You can only recover money equivalent to a) out of pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs, b) lost wages or reduced earning potential, if any, and c) maybe some amount for "pain and suffering"--but if you have residual pain but are not disabled, you will not get a lot, unless you can medically prove you will live with pain for the rest of your life (or will need corrective surgery--if so, you can recover potentially the cost of that surgery).
3) You'll need also a medical expert to testify that the injury was caused by the step down, the condition you have, the prognosis for the future, etc. Medical experts are expensive.
Even without hiring an attorney for a medical expert and possibly a safety expert, you're talking several thousand dollars most likely. Hire a lawyer, and it's very possible that unless you have suffered some significant permanent or near-permanet disability, that you could spend as much or more on the lawsuit as you'll get back, even if you win--and if you lose, you have to bear all your costs yourself.


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