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slip and fall//not staged//off the subject.

cindi o'h

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Here is the deal.. I need feedback...honest good old fashioned feedback on this one.

Last week I was returning an item at a major/major dept. store chain. I pulled into the parking lot. There was a handicap open right in front of the door.

I got out of the car and slipped on the ice and fell on my hands and knees. Two passers by picked me up and I shakily walked into the store. As I was standing in line, I was feeling pretty wobbly and noticed that my heart rate was rapid. When the clerk addressed me, I told her that I had fallen and needed to report it.

She called the general manager. I have been going to this chain since I was a teenager. With all of the problems that I have had, I have never seen a manager. He had a side-kick with him. She just smiled and nodded. He was overly concerned to say the least.

Can I call anyone? Do you need anything? He filled out an incident report. He told me that if I needed medical attention, that I should get it. There was an 800 number on the bottom of the report. He said that the ER can call that number and that they will bill the ins. company. He said that I didn't have to worry about a thing.

I was sore when I got home. I scraped up my knee and it was bleeding. No big deal.

The next day I had pains all over that would come and go including my jaw, neck, back, headache, shoulders and knees...! The next day was even worse. I hardly slept.

I decided to go in to see what that is all about. You know how I hate ER's so for me to go in.. well. Doc said that the pain I had was exactly consistent with soft tissue injury from the fall that I had described to him.

Heat, massage and percoset.

The hospital said that they would not honor the 800 number. They would bill me and then I would have to negotiate with the insurance.

I went back to the department store where this happened to talk with the manager. He said that he never told me that they would pay for it. But that I needed to call that number, not the hospital. I asked him if they would fill my Rx..they have a pharmacy there as part of their business. He said No. I told him that I didn't have money for the Rx. He said that I would have to take it up with the insurance company.

I said they are open until 5pm and it is 6 pm..and they are closed for the weekend. He said that I had two days to call them and that it was neglectful on my part to be thinking about it now.. !

He said that the reason that I was mixed up on his original instructions is that I was pretty shaken and wasn't thinking right.

I got home and called the personal injury powerhouse. The attorney wasn't interested at all. Slips on ice are to be expected...it IS Minnesota and it is winter. Juries do not like slips and falls especially involving walmart, kmart, target, etc.

I told him that I would have thought that they would pay special attention to handicap stall. Oh,,,, he says.. handicap..well that is different...!

That was late on Friday afternoon. Now I have some work to do on Monday. I do not want to have to pay that ER trip. No, I don't.

And I am mad that the manager pulled this on me. I know what he said originally...I was listening and asking questions.

I asked him if he had a tape of my fall. He was noncompliant in his answer. I don't know what is going on down there, but I don't like it....

What would you do??

cindi o'h

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Hi Cindi,

Geez, you poor thing! I've had a few falls since the onset of my cancer dx but nothing like that. I just tend to take an extra pain med. I think my stupidest stunt was when I dropped the Iron on my leg when it was set on WOOL! That one really had me scared of infection. My husband wouldn't let me sew for 3 weeks till I finally told him that if he wanted to take away all the remaining enjoyment in my life, I was going to discontinue treatment. Life wasn't worth living without some sort of mental stimulation. Oh, oops - now I'm off the track.

I really think you should persue this. Have you contacted anyone associated with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Cancer patients are covered under that act & it tends to get a little more attention than your average "slip & fall". I ended up with a $3000.00 cost of moving settlement with my ex-landlord because he did not comply with the appropriate handicapped parking accessibility laws. If I remember correctly, I had to contact the City Law Director which I looked up on the computer. I really don't feel that you should be responsible for those ER bills, so you go girl!

Good Luck,


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I think the legal costs etc would probably be more of a pain than the actual damage that was done. I would say to pursue it if you have the time and energy to devote. If the lawyer wants $$ up front as a retainer that wouldn't make me feel confident about your chances of a settlement. Regardless, I hope you are feeling okay. This exact situation happen to my father twice (in the last 2 months). Good luck.


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If you make a report to their insurance company they should pay all your expenses. It is much cheaper for them to do that then to defend a lawsuit.

Something similar happened to my mother but she was not treated as well as you were. It was a chain, so I called the district manager for that store and reported it. They paid her expenses pretty quick.

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My daughter Kelly while in the 3rd grade { 10 years ago } had asked

to be excused to use the restroom. The teacher allowed her to go and

while in the schools restroom she almost lost her left arm. Kelly was in

dance so it took some removal of clothing to use to restroom. When she

tried to hang her over shirt on the hook provided in the schools restroom

she hooked her upper arm instead. The hooks were high on the door and

broken and rusty. Kelly was hung on this hook for sometime until her

skin gave way and only leaving her arm still attached by very little skin.

This whole time the teacher still has not noticed that Kelly has not

returned to class. :evil: Kelly only being 8 at the time holds her arm to

go get the teacher. Then a ambulance was called and she was rushed to

Miami valley hospital . My aunt was there and told Kelly she would give

her a dollar for every stitch she got. The doctor said you may want to

reconsider that offer or get a mortgage on your home. :shock:

The pharamedic on the scene happend to be a friend of ours and said

he believes the only reason Kelly survived { not to much bleeding } was

do to her being chubby at the time and the extra fat saved her life.

At that time we had no insurance and assumed the school would be

responsible for the bills. They said no they would not pay Kellys bills.

We hired an attorney who felt we had a sure fire win. In less than 24

hours all the broken, rusty hooks had been removed not only from her

school but, every Dayton public school. The janitor had repaired the

spots of were the hooks were. When my attorney wanted to speak to the

janitor the school claimed he quit and they had no way of contacting him.

End of story after near two years we could not win the law suit and we

had the largest hospital bill you could ever amagine plus we even had

to pay for the ambulance service. :evil: Hope things go smoother for

you Cindi. Haylee

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See what you can get directly from the insurance company first, medical bills plus a little for pain and suffering. They will usually settle and ask you to sign a release. If they won't pay up to your satisfaction, call another good personal injury lawyer.

These types of cases are handled on a contingency basis (no money from you except for expenses), are common and are quickly settled by insurance companies, especially if a lawyer gets involved.

You shouldn't have to pay anything, except maybe the court's filing fee - small fee if it's filed in a small claims court. If you have a good p.i. lawyer, he should be able to not only get your bills paid, but get you a little pain and suffering money, too, without a lawsuit ever having to even be filed. They love these cases - they aren't bad enough to ever make it to court, but good enough to get them a small quick cash payment - it's their bread and butter money.

Just be sure you go to a lawyer that only does p.i. cases. They usually have rooms full of paralegals that do most of the work since this type of work is so routine.

If you ask for the moon, the lawyer probably won't take the case. There is no way he/she will want to put the time and expense into a lawsuit/trial fo a case that will only pay little $$.

The lawyer usually gets 1/3 (before expenses are deducted). Example: The settlement is for $3,000, lawyer gets $1,000, medical bills are $1,000 and paid out of the settlement, and then you keep $1,000.

A lot of people think it works this way: $3,000, minus $1,000 medical bills, lawyers gets 1/3 of $2,000 (or $666), and you keep $1,334. That's NOT the way it works.

Don't hesitate to pursue this. That's why these places have insurance, and handicapped areas should be their top priority.

Hope this helps.



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Our laws are different than in the States, but all the

stores have to be insured in case of accidents.

Try to deal directly with the Insurance company instead

of the manager, can you find the people that helped you

when you crashed down, they would be good witnesses.

Hope the pain is gone.



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This made me think of a story that happend recently to my mom. She had an appointment with the doc that did the back surgery a few months ago. We had only met the dr at the hospital so we had never been to his office. When we arrived, i dropped mom off at the front door and i went and parked. When I get in we find out the office is on the otherside of the building thru a different entrance. Mom decideds the car is close enough and she can walk. This is a fairly new medical complex and they were still working on the flower beds. Also there had been much much rain in recent days. In order to get to the car there was a flower bed actually 2 next to each other, one was planted the other just dirt or mud. I could tell my mom was thinking she was gonna go thru the flower bed right to the car, and I TOLD HER, no mom walk around so she did, some, about half way around it was like 3 steps to the car thru the bed as opposed to 10 around it. Her first step she immediatly goes down to her knees. I swear it was like quicksand, weird, She was wearing oxygen, and i could tell getting ready to have a MAJOR panic attack, i tried, went in with one leg to pull her out, no nothing, i could not budge her, the mud was so deep, i yelled at a man walking thur the parking lot who came to help but he could not get her either, by then employess were coming out and 2 big burly men got her into a wheelchair,covered in mud and wheeled us back in. This is a spine and back hospital so they did have anER, and took us there. We were actually laughing at this point, mom was wonderful, she never did panic (xanax can be a wonder drug attimes).

They spent well over an hour doting over her, called her dr and came down there to see her rather than us try to get to his office. They took exrays to make sure all was ok,and even gave mom a really cool pair of scrubs to keep and wear home. Everyone was so incredibly nice, and mom and i laughed that sure they were, i mean we could sue the pants of them. There at least should have been caution tape around the flower bed (within 2 days there was). But all in all mom wasnt hurt, just kinda sore and maybe pulled muscles in her legs and arms where we yanked on her trying to get her out.

But then they asked for mom insurance info. I thought that was BS, but didnt say anything. I really never looked to see if it got paid i had kinda forgot the whole thing till this post, and now it makes me wonder if we shouldnt have done something, heck a thousand bux to my mom is like a million. a least they should have not billed her for the er trip i would have thought. I wonder if its to late........................

Good luck if you decide to go after them, to me it shouldnt make a difference where you live and the season. I hope you feel better soon and let us know whatcha do.



ps im all for getting whatever you can.

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well...I talked with a dufuss at the 800 number. He said that they had stopped paying medicals a few months ago.

I told him the store manager said that the insurance would pay. He said that he needed to do an In-ves-tigation.. (I think he learned this word in his training session). I asked him how long his investigation would take. He wasn't sure.

What a fiasco.

I do not like this *ickin' around.

Thanks for all of your quick replies. I am not done with this one yet. I am still hurting. And I am getting scared and mad. (not a good combination of emotions.)


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I can't add anything to the great advice already given. I woudl pursue a claim with their insurance company and even consider taking them to small claims court sicne it is a lot cheaper than a lawsuit, assuming your bills are under or at the limit set by your state for small claims

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Boy Cindi not a fun day for you!

I think I told you this before, but I work for a property management firm that manages commercial properties. We have had many instances of slip and falls at our properties that have produced claims for reimbursement for medical/prescription costs. You definetly have a legitimate claim here. Since it was a big corporation where you fell, the company is probably just dragging their feet because I am sure they get many bogus claims from people just looking to collect some $$. This is not your case, definetly pursue it. You shouldn't need a lawyer on your side, usually the company will step up to the plate with their insurance carrier. With the disability attached to the accident, someone will take notice.

Put the company on notice with them needing to respond 14 days. I would also notify your insurance carrier (home owners) who can direct you on what bases to cover. Typically when we get a claim, we just contact our insurance carrier and they go from there. Unless there are life treatening injuries, most claims for trip and falls (on typical retail properties) are settled out of court.

I hope you are feeling better soon kiddo!


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District manager sounds like it might be a better deal. At least give it a shot. A lawsuit take soooo much time and energy. People that should

win lawsuits never do. The scam artists are great at it. To bad you don't know one. LOL! I fell on the ice at work in Feb. of 2003 and shattered two fingers on left hand. They still aren't right.

Cindi, I'd use the phone and call as many people as phone # 's (of the store) that you can get. The handicap parking space should of absolutely

been clear. Call a few more lawyers, it can't hurt. Good luck. I've fallen

more times in the last several years than I want to admit. My kids think

I'm nuts. I'm in a hurry and not paying attention. Cutting corners and

running down steps. I learned my lesson after the fingers. Take care and

good luck. Hope you feel better. But get those creeps to aleast pay the

ER bill!! It could of been much worse. Thank God it wasn't.

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Feb 2003 I was going into the clinic at the hospital for my radiation tx. I was about 10 feet from the door and slipped and fell on ice. I broke my R leg and had to have surgery to repair it.

You would think the hospital would pick up the tab-----NOPE. They should of had salt down, especially at the doors near a cancer clinic door!!!!!!

I am going to court in June for the court date. They have dug their heels in and it was so stupid of them!! All I wanted was for them to pay the bills related to the injury back then. Now I have to sue for enough for the attorny.

I have never been involved in a law suit before. NOT worth it!


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well Cindy...there is nothing too much worse than an accident. I was in a lawsuit too..some ---hole decided to pull out in front of me thereby running me off the road to avoid killing us all ... I was hurt badly.

his word against my word was what it came down to . The jury decided that there was no evidence...He said I over reacted Lie! and caused it myself.

It was the worst year of my life..very traumatic. Physically, financially.. everything gone. I do not like this...no I do not.

That is why they are *ickin' around with me, I am sure. Anyone who thinks that lawsuits are fun are gravely mistaken. Especially against the big boys... I learned firsthand that anyone ( big orthopoedic surgeons) can be bought for a buck to say anything as long as the price is right. It is sad. This doc made 250,000 a year in video taped testimonies for insurance companies. My surgeon was busy saving lives while this guy was taking acting classes.

That is partly why this is so scary for me and why I am mad. I just want them to do the right thing. I know what the right thing is. Why don't they???

Just an example of how our world has changed over the last century..if this were the wild west, I'd have strapped my gun and done some shootin' by now... at their boots first...just to watch em dance... remember those old cowboy movies?? The brothers had control of the TV when we were growing up so I am a victim of cops and robbers and cowboy character.


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