I Fell down 7 stone steps in a business building. The landing of the steps appeared longer, and the stairs all appear to be the same color leading to the appearance of a wider landing.. Railings along each wall on the side of the stairs. Not visible as you walk toward the front of the stairs. Fell down 7 steps, shattered the right radial head requiring surgery to replace it. 3 facial fx. Ins. adjustor for the bldg. stated probably no liability, $2,000 offer currently, but will call in two weeks with final decision. I will require physical therapy on my arm to regain use. I had been in the bldg. twice before recently, but never took notice of the stairs going in or coming out, so I didn't second think the distance to the end of the landing.
I am sorry to hear about your horrible injuries. You should speak to an attorney and have these stairs examined by an expert. The information you provided is not enough to determine if the building owner is responsible for a dangerous condition. Don't accept any offers until you consult with an attorney.
It is unlikely you have completed treatment, meaning you do not even have a total cost of damages. You would also need to have the steps viewed by an expert in premises liability.
The short answer is to stop talking to the building owner's adjuster and start talking to a qualified attorney. The Seattle and WA bar associations can assist you with referrals.
No question you need a lawyer. An insurance company's entire purpose is to take money in every day (premiums), invest/grow the money, and NOT pay it out. They hate paying money out. So the adjuster is of course telling you there is no liability because they don't want to pay you money. You need a good personal injury lawyer in your area - I would contact my friend Tom Breen at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender. Good luck.
> Do not talk to the adjuster again.
> Do not post any details online anywhere - not even Facebook, etc.
> Consult directly with an attorney who can, among other things, hire a human factors expert to examine the stairs. Do so soon, in case they change the condition of the stairs (repaint with differentiated colors, for example). Changes may be inadmissible as a subsequent remedial measure. In plain English, repairs/improvements after the fact are not allowed as evidence.
> Do not settle until treatment is complete and you know the extent of the injuries and the impact of injuries on your life. Once you settle, it's over.
> Do not procrastinate. Talk to an attorney now.
I am sorry to hear about your accident. I agree with my colleages - you should definitely contact a personal injury attorney in your area IMMEDIATELY to assist you in this claim. Moreover, I would contact an attorney before making any additional statements to the adjuster. EVERYTHING YOU SAY, can and will be used against you! I would be careful in posting questions like this on a public forum like avvo and giving details of your claim and what you thought the landing looked like, or its distace, as these statements, your statements, can be used against you by the adjuster to disprove liability and argue you were not paying attention, etc.
You should talk to a lawyer. Avvo rates and profiles 90% of the personal injury lawyers in WA - see the list below. You might also look into speaking to a couple of the many attorneys who gave you excellent advice here. I'm sure that one of them could help you.
Yes, you need a lawyer to appropriately assess the situation. Do not give any statements to the insurance carrier.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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