Question: My daughter was injured after tripping and falling down a flight of stairs at a Philadelphia restaurant. She fractured her shoulder and needed surgery. She also had a concussion because she hit her head on the steps. She is home recovering now; however, I feel like she is not acting like herself. She sometimes has trouble thinking of the word she wants to say in a sentence and is tired all the time. I don’t know if it is the medication that is causing this or if it is because she has a head injury. Can we sue the restaurant for the accident and can we recover for her shoulder and head injuries?
Answer: Yes, you may sue the Philadelphia restaurant for your daughter’s trip and fall accident. If she is a minor (under 18 years old), you will need to file the lawsuit on behalf of your daughter as her parent/legal guardian. Your daughter will only prevail in a trip and fall Philadelphia lawsuit if the restaurant was negligent. For instance, if there was a defect on the stairway that caused your daughter to trip and the restaurant knew about it but failed to fix it, then the restaurant may be liable.
In a Philadelphia trip and fall lawsuit, she may be able to financially recover for the following damages:
- medical expenses,
- lost wages, if any,
- other out of pocket expenses, e.g., taxi fares to the hospital, and
- pain and suffering.
In terms of her injuries, you should take your daughter back to the doctor’s office for a cognitive evaluation. She may still be suffering from the concussion and has not recovered yet. However, it is also possible that she may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury are often confused or mistaken for temporary symptoms or side effects of pain medicine. Symptoms may include:
- sensitivity to light and noise, and/or
- trouble retrieving words at times.
Often, when individuals who have a mild traumatic brain injury return to their daily lives, i.e., go back to school or work, their symptoms are more apparent. For instance, prior to going back to work or school, they may seem normal and just a little fatigued. However, when they return to work or school, they may have difficulty concentrating or experience headaches when they perform tasks that require cognitive skills. There are also other numerous symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury; therefore, it is important to take your daughter to a doctor who can evaluate her.
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