I fell in the elevator of my apt and suffered serious injury to my neck and spinal cord. I don't remember how I fell.

Asked 11 months ago - New York, NY

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.

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . 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) 344-6700
    (212) 344-5163 (fax)
    JSchwimmerEsq@verizon.net
    JSchwimmerEsq@att.net

  2. Brian Curtis Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . 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.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . If there was some elevator defect, have a personal injury lawyer investigate.

  4. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You need to show now the building was liable for the accident. Consult eith a personal injury lawyer to review your options.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  5. Dean P Murray

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . Speak to a lawyer and discuss your matter in detail.

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You... more
  6. John Arthur Daniels

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . If you slipped and fell due to conditions in the elevator, you may have a case. Seek the counsel of a local personal injury attorney.

    This is only an Avvo answer. I am not getting paid to give this response and am basing this response only on the... more
  7. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . You can't sue if you caused the accident. Is there a surveillance camera in the elevator?

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  8. Matthew C Simon

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    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . 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.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more
  9. Michael J Palumbo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . Sue who? Your dog?

  10. James D. Kiley

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . 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.

    My firm is a second generation family firm successfully handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases... more
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