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What to do about getting restitution from fall that caused broken patella (knee cap)?

Clovis, CA |

Fell on silt on sidewalk that was to be cleaned up every day. This was a New construction site & the house next to us wasn't finished. It rained and mud ran on sidewalk then left silt that I thought was dry. Others slipped & one other fell. Reported by phone 3 times that silt was not cleaned up to construction company, but still wasn't cleaned up till after I fell. Called their claim adjuster & filled out many forms. He now tells me I may not be compensated. I have called 4 attorneys but no one wants to represent me. Why? I don't know. Do I need attorney & if so, who do I call. Thanks,

Attorney Answers 9


  1. Keep trying to get an attorney. You obviously have damages, so the issue is liability. Slip and fall cases are difficult, but based on the facts you presented, I would be persistent, and find someone local. I can't tell you why the other attorneys turned it down.


  2. Sorry that your injured. Hopefully, you've only complicated the difficultly in pursuing a personal injury claim by speaking with the claims adjuster and filling out forms. Contact local and qualified personal injury litigation counsel now. Ask those you trust and respect (usually the best way), call your state's trial lawyers association, search avvo for recommendations. Interview a few and look to hire the one you most comfortable with and confident in.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com


  3. In most states in order to recover on a slip and fall accident such as this you must be able to prove that there is a duty on the part of the owner or contractor to keep the premises in a safe condition, and that they violated that duty either because they created the dangerous condition or did not fix that condition in a reasonable period of time after they knew or should have known of its existence. This is sometimes difficult to prove and that may be why those attorneys were not interested in taking the case. The fact that it had rained and the debris spread out and made more slippery would probably also tend to limit the opportunity that the contractor had to respond. You should try to get an explanation from the attorneys that you contacted as to why they did not want your case. It would of course be easier for them to explain the reasons if you made an appointment and spoke with them. This is not a claim that is likely to be resolved in your favor without an attorney.


  4. Since you reported the “dangerous or defective condition” prior to your fall, the adjuster has probably taken the position that the condition was open and obvious and that you were aware of the risk and therefore assume the risk of the injury by walking into the area where silt and debris was present. In other words, in your own comparative negligence could either reduce the value of your claim or bar your claim entirely. This would be difficult and contested case to win so most attorneys would be reluctant to represent you.

    Attorney responses are PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DO NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Such responses represent the attorney’s initial analysis based only upon the facts set forth in the question. Since the question may not include all of the facts or omit material facts or timelines which could affect the attorney’s conclusions, attorney responses should not be construed as legal advice for any particular set of facts but only as a preliminary opinion.


  5. This sounds like a good liability case to me. It may be that you have not talked to the right lawyer yet. I suggest you keep trying. Do you have photographs depicting the condition of the sidewalk at the time of the incident? That will be important for your case.


  6. Call one of the above lawyers to investigate this in full.


  7. I would be glad to review the case. Don't speak with the insurance company any further until you get legal representation.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery. Any testimonials or endorsements should not be construed as a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your case.


  8. As stated by the other lawyers here, slip and fall cases are extremely difficult. Your case seems to have some merit and depending on the state law it might depend on your status as either an invitee or a licensee and what duty the construction company owed you. Also, it doesn't seem clear whether this occurred on private or public property which depending on state laws could impact liability. I would contact a personal injury lawyer in the city where the accident occurred that handles premises liability cases. Good luck.


  9. Any construction/development permit requirements for the work done on the construction site will factor into the analysis of duty.

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