What are my rights if there was a parking sign that was cemented in the middle of the sidewalk and I was injured by it?

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What are my rights if there was a parking sign that was cemented in the middle of the sidewalk and I was injured by it?

The sign and pole were not there except for the bottom of the metal pole sticking out of the middle of the sidewalk. It was about 4 inches high. I was walking down the sidewalk in the dark and tripped over this pole. I cut open my foot and bruised it pretty badly. I filed a claim with the city and they are paying for my tetentnus shot and wanting to settle. I am still in some pain and going to see a doctor because it’s been a month and my pain should be gone. I wondering if I should pursue this claim further instead of settling for what they are offering?

Asked on June 1, 2014 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The city could be liable, since it may well have been negligent (unreasonably careless) to have left that stub of the sign protuding up. However, all you are entitled to is the sum of--

1) your actual out-of-pocket or unreimbursed  medical expenses, plus projected (to a reasonable degree of medical certainty) future expenses, if any;

2) pain and suffering, IF you suffer some significant long-lasting impairment of life functions;

3) lost wages and diminished earning potential, if any.

If you have suffered some pain, but otherwise the problem resolves itself shortly, it's probably not worth taking legal action, but you'd rather accept as much as you can reasonably convince them to give you a settlement--to sue, you'd need to hire a doctor as an expert witness, and that could cost more than you'd win in the lawsuit.

On the other hand, if  you'll need some expensive orthopedic or reconstructive surgery, or will forever suffer some loss of strength, endurance, or range or motion in that foot, or forever have to endure pain, then it would likely be worthwhile retaining a lawyer and pursuing legal action. Be aware that there are short time frames and strict paperwork requirements for suing a city, so if you think you may go this route, speak with a lawyer now so he/she can take the steps necessary to preserve your right to sue.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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