Brian D. Knauth, lead attorney in the personal injury department at Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC, recently settled a case for $200,000 for a slip and fall injury. The client, a 62-year-old man, was not offered any money by the insurance company.
“The client had lived in a rented duplex for seven months and while carrying laundry down the basement stairs, he fell and severely broke his ankle,” Knauth said. “He had been up and down the stairs multiple times since he had lived in the home, and alleged there was a defective step which caused the fall and the handrail did not extend to the bottom of the stairs so he was unable to save himself when he slipped.”
The injured ankle required surgery and the client missed several months of work during his recovery and rehabilitation. The claim included his covered out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages, and his pain and suffering.
“At first, the insurer blamed our client for the fall pointing to the minimal defect in the stairs and the fact that the client had used the stairs a number of times in the past without incident,” Knauth said. However, as we prepared to move forward with the case, the insurer was concerned about the severity of the injury, and the amount of the medical and wage claims. Despite trying to fight liability and blame our client, the insurer offered significant monies to settle the claim and protect itself and its insured.
During the early years of his career, Knauth represented insurance companies and defended cases like this. He understands the goals and strategies of insurers, which gives him an advantage representing injured persons. He has successfully tried and settled hundreds of cases, and has been able to earn the respect of local insurance industry claim representatives.