$190,000 Black Ice Slip-and-Fall

Monterey, VA
Type Of Case:Slip-and-fall
Injuries Sustained:Elbow injury, subdural hematoma
Place of Accident:Monterey, VA
Verdict or Settlement:Settlement
Amount:$190,000
Key Takeaways:Liability in premises cases in Virginia can be very difficult. To succeed, you must show there was a dangerous condition that the owner knew or should have known about. The owner can try to prove the dangerous condition was open and obvious or that the injured party was negligent in some way, both of which bar a recovery.

Our client was stepping out of his vehicle in the parking lot of a local country store when he slipped on black ice. Due to his fall, our client sustained an elbow injury and a serious closed head injury, nausea, and vomiting. He didn’t realize how serious his injuries were until a few days later when his headaches made it impossible for him to function.

He decided to go to Augusta Health in Fishersville, Virginia to be evaluated. CT scans were ordered of his head and a subdural hematoma was identified. He was then airlifted to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to continue his care. An orthopedic doctor determined that a sling would suffice for his elbow injury and no fractures were present. However, the hematoma proved to be more problematic.

Progressively, our client’s mental state declined. He was in severe pain from headaches, imbalance and even “rolling” out of his bed. In a weeks-time, our client was again airlifted to UVA, went to multiple ERs, underwent more CT scans, and was ultimately recommended for a craniotomy. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with seizures and slurred speech that a Burr Hole Procedure took place. Two holes were drilled into his skull and the hematoma was released using monopolar electrocautery.

While in the hospital, he lost over ten pounds. An occupational therapist referred him for rehabilitation due to him being a fall risk. After a week, he was discharged from UVA to a rehabilitation program at Augusta Medical. He continued on anti-seizure medication and attended physical therapy as well. His cognitive function eventually improved and the hematoma was resolved, but he still continues to get headaches and his balance is impaired. He is at a greater risk for brain damage if he is ever to bump his head or hit the area where the surgery was performed. We were able to settle this case for $190,000.

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