Personal Injury Lawyer
$450,000 Personal Injury Ankle Injury at Gas Station
The claimant went to a Clark gas station in Lake Zurich and pulled her van next to a pump. She stepped out, placing her right foot on the seam between a concrete island where the pumps were, and the surrounding blacktop. There was a height differential at that seam, and the claimant twisted her ankle. The gas station denied that it was responsible for the accident, claiming that the height differential was small and the result of ordinary wear and tear — not negligence.
The station also alleged that the claimant caused her own injuries by not watching where she put her foot while exiting her van. The gas station denied that it caused claimaint’s injuries. In the emergency room, claimant was able to dorsiflex her ankle (bend the foot upward). While at home that evening, claimant’s small child ran into her knee and upper shin, causing severe throbbing and shooting pains. She returned to the hospital where a splint was applied. Three days later, claimant could not dorsiflex nerve. The peroneal nerve is located behind the knee and descends down the leg. The medical question involved in this case was whether claimant’s inability to dorsiflex the ankle was caused by the gas station incident, or some other cause. Claimant’s orthopedic surgeon felt that the injury “could” have been caused by the accident, but that the facts and medical presentation didn’t fit together cohesively.
The gas station’s medical expert testified that claimant sustained only an ankle sprain at the time of the accident and that the dorsiflexion problem would have had some other cause, possibly the child running into her knee and upper shin that night. However, claimant’s pain treatment doctor testified that the original ankle sprain caused swelling which, either by itself or in combination with the splint on the second emergency room visit, caused compression on the peroneal nerve and delayed the onset of drop foot, which he described as “rare and unusual”.
Despite these serious questions about liability and the cause of claimants injury, the case settled for $450,000.