Can I get compensation for an injury if I don’t have a picture to back up my claim?

UPDATED: Sep 5, 2011

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Can I get compensation for an injury if I don’t have a picture to back up my claim?

On a recent visit to a medical center, my sister and I entered an elevator that had a plastic floor mat that was sticking up on the end. She fell, but in doing so hit the side of my knee which is now possibly broken slightly. Do we have any recourse if we only have our story and no picture to prove what caused the problem?

Asked on September 5, 2011 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Did you file any type of incident/accident report with the medical center when this occurred?  Were there any witnesses, other people in the elevator whose names and contact information you have? 

If the answer to either or both of these questions is no, it may be difficult to prove that the injury happened in the elevator.  Another possibility is if the medical center was aware of the condition of the plastic floormat.  For example, if there were any reports from maintenance personnel or other employees about its condition the day of your injury.

If the medical center's insurance carrier accepts liability, your personal injury claim would consist of the medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss when you have completed your medical treatment and are released by the doctor.    It would be advisable to contact the medical center and its insurance carrier before incurring huge medical bills in case the insurance carrier denies liability.

If the insurance carrier accepts liability, then proceed with your medical treatment.  When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject those offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the medical center.  If the case is settled, no lawsuit is filed.  If the the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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