I had a serious fall which caused me to fracture two bones in my neck and a blood clot in my spinal cord. I had emergency surgery to remove the blood clot but I'm still in a lot of pain and it looks like I'll be in a neck brace for the next 3 mos. I suffered no permanent damage-- yet. I guess I'm wondering if I just slipped, tripped or got knocked down by my dog, whether I could sue for that.
You certainly suffered some very serious injury, for which I wish you a speedy recovery. Having handled many an elevator accident case, and as commented upon by other responding attorneys, merely claiming that you were injured while using an elevator, without identifying what the cause of your injury might be (as relates to the operation of the elevator) will typically lead to one result - a dismissal of a lawsuit. The happening of an accident on a property, by itself, does not entitle you to compensation. You also do not make it clear if the accident happened as you were getting into the elevator, out of the elevator, etc. Many commercial buildings, and better residential buildings have surveillance cameras which may have captured your incident. However, be aware, many camera systems work on a "loop", meaning it is set to record for a scheduled period (ie- a week, 2 weeks, etc.) and then starts recording over the old video material. Is the building where your accident happened one of them. If you believe that there are more details that you can provide about your incident even if you are not sure what caused your fall (what is written in the hospital admission records), then consult with an attorney.
Jeffrey I. Schwimmer, Esq.
20 Vesey Street - Suite 1200
New York, NY 10007
(212) 344-5163 (fax)
You could not sue for being knocked down by your dog. Im not sure why you would think you could. For instance, a property owner is not liable if you passed out and suffered injury. The bottom line is that if you are unable to state what caused your fall, you will likely lose your case.
I agree with all of my colleagues. With that being said, if there was some dangerous condition or defect which caused you to fall, you should hire an attorney to investigate further. Your medical bills also may be covered under your landlord's insurance policy. If medical bills are an issue, request reimbursement from your landlord under the "Med Pay" provision of his or her insurance policy (if it applies). Good luck.
If you do not know what caused you to fall... thats a problem. I assume there are no witnesses? As the plaintiff, you would have the burden of proof to establish that the owner or elevator maintenance company was negligent in order to recover money damages for your injuries. If you slipped or tripped, you may have a case but you would need to show that there was a dangerous condition on the property or that the elevator malfunctioned (didn't level off with the floor) and that the owner/maintenance company either created the condition or was on notice of the condition. If you tripped over your dog, I think you are out of luck.
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