When you think about vacationing in South Carolina, you expect to see the diverse natural and historical sights of our beautiful state. You certainly don’t expect to see the inside of a hospital room. But that’s exactly what happened to our client. While visiting the Holy City, John Schroeder was seriously injured after a poorly maintained stairwell collapsed under him. The insurance company tried to rush Jeff into taking a small settler, but he knew he had to protect his rights. Our premise liability lawyers got Jeff $2.75 million for what happened to him.
The Joye Law Firm, LLP obtained a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of an injured client. Jeff Schroeder of Ohio was severely injured during a visit to Charleston. While standing on an elevated exterior walkway at a local business, the walkway collapsed and Jeff plunged approximately fourteen feet to the ground below. Jeff sustained various injuries, including a crushed heel, fractures to the fibula and ribs, and various internal lacerations.
Before returning home, Jeff sought advice from the Joye Law Firm regarding how to best protect his rights.
“Initially, Jeff and his family thought the injuries, although serious, would not be life altering. That all changed as time went on,” commented Joye Law Firm attorney Chris McCool.
Because of the severity of the heel and fibula injuries, McCool advised Jeff not to rush into any type of settlement with the business or its insurance carrier.
“I told Jeff to be a patient patient, use his health insurance to pay for his medical bills, and that the health insurance company would be reimbursed down the road,” said McCool.
Before Jeff hired the Joye Law Firm and while he was in a Charleston area hospital, the insurance company for the business indicated to Jeff that it was willing to settle his claim by paying for the medical bills he incurred while in Charleston and an airline ticket home.
“While such an act appears to be a nice gesture, it is just that, a gesture. It does not take into consideration past and future pain and suffering. It does not take into consideration the cost of future medical care. It does not take into consideration lost income and wages. And such a gesture comes at a price. The insurance company would have required Jeff to sign a release that would have eliminated his right to recover for these additional damages,” explained McCool.
Shortly after returning home, Mr. Schroeder’s condition worsened.
His heel, which had been totally shattered, was not healing properly and doctors were required to amputate Mr. Schroeder’s foot at ankle level.
“This development is exactly why I felt it was important for Jeff to hire a lawyer and not rush into a settlement with the insurance company,” said McCool. “It takes time for the body to recover from an injury and sometimes an injury is so severe the body simply can’t recover,” added McCool.
In an effort to get a better understanding as to why the walkway collapsed, and in turn to better protect Jeff’s rights, the Joye Law Firm filed suit against the business. The information obtained during the lawsuit was invaluable.
“The evidence we obtained showed that the walkway had not been properly maintained or repaired over the years. The collapse was directly attributable to lack of action by the business,” said McCool.
Armed with this information and the fact that Mr. Schroeder’s life was forever changed by the negligence of the business, the Joye Law Firm entered into settlement negotiations. After several months of negotiations, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached on behalf of Jeff (the specific terms of the settlement are confidential).
“I was glad to get involved in the case early. If Jeff had signed a release while still in the hospital in Charleston, he would have been prevented from obtaining a full recovery. Because he was a patient patient and client, we were better able to protect his rights,” said McCool.