$1.25 Million Settlement Secured in Virginia Beach Trip and Fall Case

In a recent litigation, Kenny LaDuca and Kenneth Koppelman obtained a $1,250,000 settlement in a trip and fall case for a client from Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Premises Liability Explained: Responsibilities of Property Owners

Premises liability is a section of the law that addresses personal injury claims that occur on someone else’s property. On a more technical level, premises liability law outlines the obligations property owners must fulfill for individuals visiting their property. These property owners are not responsible for each incident or injury that occurs on their property; however, if their negligence is the cause of the injuries, they may be held liable for all damages incurred.

The Incident: How a Simple Walk Turned Catastrophic

In this particular premise liability case, the plaintiff was injured while walking towards the entrance of her office building where they tripped over an uneven concrete sidewalk, causing her to hit her head on the glass door in front of her. Before she hit the ground, the plaintiff attempted to catch herself by grabbing onto the handle of that same door but ultimately failed. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff was knocked unconscious, later waking up inside her building with no memory of how she got there.

Injuries Sustained: The Long-Term Impact on the Plaintiff

The plaintiff sustained a traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, and a shoulder muscle tear as a result of this incident. Since the incident, the plaintiff has undergone multiple surgeries to repair her spinal cord and shoulder, as well as other substantial medical treatments in the years since the incident to relieve pain and increase mobility. To this day, the plaintiff still suffers from headaches and other cognitive difficulties, in addition to a limited range of motion in her spine and shoulder. As is to be expected, the plaintiff’s ability to work was heavily impacted due to her injuries.

The Defense Strategy: Shifting Blame to the Victim

When the case was initially presented, the defense attempted to place the blame on the plaintiff, stating that she was not taking enough care to protect herself or her safety while walking. They alleged that the plaintiff was not looking where she was going and, most importantly, knew that the area where she eventually fell was a problem long before the incident occurred. Additionally, the defense asserted that many of the plaintiff’s injuries and resulting medical treatments were unrelated to the fall. Because this case took place in Virginia, a state where if the plaintiff is determined to have contributed to an incident at any level, they will not be able to recover damages, these allegations were taken seriously.

Our Winning Strategy: Establishing Defendant’s Fault & Securing Fair Compensation

Kenny LaDuca and Ken Koppelman fought to establish that the property owner was liable due to their negligence. Throughout the proceedings, our attorneys emphasized that not only did the property owner understand that this portion of the sidewalk was dangerous for months before the incident, but they allowed individuals to continue walking on it, knowing full well that it was a danger to anyone navigating that area. By establishing this critical element and consulting with medical experts, our legal team was able to convince the defense that they could be found at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries and to settle out of court.

After extensive negotiations, the defense made a settlement offer of $1,250,000 that the plaintiff agreed was fair compensation for their injuries.