On the eve of a trial scheduled to commence later in the month, a New Jersey plaintiff has agreed to settle her claims against a Highland Park Dunkin’ Donuts location for injuries she sustained in a trip and fall incident outside the Raritan Avenue store on January 19, 2012. According to court documents, the woman suffered serious burns as well as injuries to her hand, knee, back and shoulder which ultimately necessitated surgery.
Curb hazard led to serious harm
Court documents reveal that the plaintiff was in the process of carrying multiple cups of hot coffee out of the shop when she came into contact with a dislodged curb stop, ultimately tripping over a misplaced rebar spike made of metal. Unlike some other fast food coffee lawsuits that have made in into the news, this case did not center on the temperature of the beverage itself, but rather a premises maintenance issue which led to harm.
The plaintiff’s attorney stated that the purpose of basic parking lot care and maintenance standards is to keep the public safe. He asserted that permitting a metal spike to stick out of the ground in the way of passersby represented a clear departure from those standards and that his client hopes the settlement reinforces to business operators the need to safeguard the well-being of their customers.
The high cost of personal injuries
Whether stemming from a hot drink, an exposed rebar spike or the acts of a negligent motorist, there can be no doubt that personal injuries of all origins routinely come with extremely high costs. Mounting medical bills, physical therapy expenses, lost wages and other unexpected costs can place entire families on the brink of financial ruin. For many who find themselves in the unenviable position of having suffered a traumatic personal injury, anger, frustration and sometimes panic begin to take hold.
Fortunately, the legal system affords victims the opportunity to pursue justice and accountability while also seeking fair compensation for the losses sustained. Depending on the specifics of a given case, it may be possible for the injured to obtain payment for things such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills (past, present and future)
- Physical rehabilitation expenses
- Home accessibility modification costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
The important thing for any injury victim to remember is that there are definite time limits within which a claim for damages must be made and that when it comes to securing fair compensation, time really is of the essence. To build the strongest possible case, it is important to begin all necessary medical treatment immediately, document the facts surrounding the injury event itself and obtain the assistance of an experienced legal advocate who is committed to asserting the rights of victims.
Help for New Jersey injury victims
If you or someone you love have been injured due to the negligence of others, a seasoned personal injury attorney can be your strongest ally in the quest to hold responsible parties accountable. For a no-cost initial consultation to discuss available legal options, contact Eisbrouch Marsh at 201-342-5545.
- CNBC, New Jersey Dunkin' Donuts settles personal injury lawsuit for $522,000, http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/15/new-jersey-dunkin-donuts-settles-personal-injury-lawsuit-for-522000.html
- NBC New York, New Jersey Woman Settles Hot Coffee Suit With Dunkin' Donuts for $522k, http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Dunkin-Donuts-Hot-Coffee-Lawsuit-Highland-Park-Spilled-500k-327664561.html
- Consumerist, Woman Settles Dunkin' Donuts Hot Coffee Lawsuit for $522k, http://consumerist.com/2015/09/15/woman-settles-dunkin-donuts-hot-coffee-lawsuit-for-522k/