I slipped and fell on some ice at an apartment complex. The ice was covering the entryway to the apartment building, and the management had already received complaints about it. I was pregnant and had to go to the emergency room to stop labor, but a week later I had the baby prematurely, probably as a result of the fall. I thought my health insurance would go after the liability insurance on the property, but they processed the emergency room claim normally. They paid for most of it but I still have a co-pay. Should I file a claim with the property's liability insurance? Are they liable just for the emergency room visit or also because the baby was born prematurely?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
When someone is injured on another person’s property it is imperative that the injured party speak with a personal injury attorney immediately. If the injured party is contacted by the property owner’s insurance carrier first, it is important that they do not give them any information without speaking to a lawyer first. Tell them politely that you call them back, then politely hang-up.
Questions to ask yourself:
1. Were there any witnesses to the accident?
2. Do you know how long the condition was there?
3. Were any complaints made to the Property Owners?
4. If yes, how and when?
5. If yes, by whom?
6. Has the property owner’s insurance carrier been contacted?
7. If yes, have they contacted you?
8. Have you given their insurance carrier a statement?
9. Do you have photographs of the condition after the injury?
10. Were any citations or summons’ ever made by a governmental or quasi-governmental agency?
11. When did you first go to the hospital or doctor for your injuries?
12. If you went to the hospital, what did you tell the hospital staff happened?
This list is in no way meant to be exhaustive and there may be other things you will want to find out. That is why it is imperative that any person who is injured on someone else’s property contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
I wish you the best of luck.
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Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. 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 time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Pascale strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
Hopefully, you and the baby are fine and enjoying one another. If not, contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. He/she can properly advise you of your rights and explain how to protect your best interests. The consultation should be free.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents due to ice accumulation can be difficult cases and vary greatly from one situation to the next. As some of the other attorneys suggested in their posts, a key question is whether or not the property owner knew of the icy condition and had a reasonable amount of time to fix it (salt it, shovel it, spread sand, etc.). In the winter here in Colorado, snow melts during the sunny days and then refreezes at night pretty regularly. If that was the case, then arguably they might have had notice of the condition and should have addressed it. On the other hand, if there was a freezing rain that just occurred right before you fell, then they may not have had a reasonable amount of time to fix it.
If you can prove that they should have fixed it, then the next question is what are your damages? If you and your baby are both doing well and there are no lingering effects, then your damages are the medical bills that were related to the fall and perhaps pain and suffering, if you had pain and suffering. However, if you or your baby are still experiencing effects from the fall, then your case is much more serious and your total damages may be unknown at this point.
In any event, it always best to speak with a lawyer in person or over the phone so that the lawyer can ask you questions about your specific case. There are many, many factors that go into determining what legal action to take and they can never be addressed adequately in a message board. A personal injury attorney will almost always give you a free consultation, so there's no harm in calling.
The information in this post is not legal advice. Do not take legal action based on it. Legal advice can only be given after a genuine legal consultation with an attorney licensed in your state and qualified to address your issue after a review of the specific facts of your case. This post is offered only a guidepost to provide general, non-specific information. If you want meaningful legal advice about your specific case, you must consult an attorney.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If the baby is fine and your sole injury is an insurance co-pay, you have no viable case.
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