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Can I sue for personal injury and negligence?

Boise, ID |

I was shopping, recently, at a local hardware and lumber store. I happened to be looking at the ceiling fans, because I've been pondering on getting one for my living room. While looking UP (up being the key word here) at the ceiling fans, I ran into a flatbed cart really hard with both of my shins. I only suffered an abrasion to my left shin and two large bruises on each shin. But the employees that were around me, at the time, didn't ask me if I was ok, didn't offer to help me, and the reason the cart was there was to help the employees restock the ceiling fan area with a new shipment. I am a nurse and know how to care for my injuries, but if I happened to fall and hit my head on the concrete floor it could've been fatal. Do I have room to do anything?

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Attorney answers 3


No there is no case.

The owner of a property has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe to persons on the property.

The courts have grappled with what this means and how it applies in a myriad of circumstances, but having handled many cases over 20 years here is how I think it comes down on your facts: Basically you are saying they should have noticed that the flatbed cart presented a danger to you and either warned you about it or removed it. Their defense, called comparative fault or contributory negligence, is essentially that OK, we should have been on notice of the danger but so should you have noticed it. Therefore, they will contend, we are not 100% liable and we may be less than 50% liable.

So, I'm not optimistic that you can prove that they breached any duty to you.

Two final and essential requirements of any negligence case are that you have a burden to prove that any injury caused harm. To prove damages, you need medical opinion evidence in most cases. I respect that you are a nurse and know how to care for your injuries. However, the case needs objective medical evidence from a third party medical provider. Lacking an emergency room visit immediately after the accident or at lease a visit to the PCP, I have got to say the case is lacking a basic element. One thing physicians do is take a history, i.e. a recitation of the facts that led up to your injury. This is important for medical diagnostic reasons as well as for legal reasons. It gives you the legal element of "causation" which is an absolute must.

NOTE: although I have handled many liability cases, I do not practice in ID, and legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who practices in the area of your concern in a direct consultation. Most personal injury attorneys give a free consultation, so you might take advantage of this.


This is not a matter for the courts. Your damages are too slight to justify the filing fee. Your liability case is shaky because you were not watching where you were walking when you ran into the flatbed. Your proximate cause theory is one that points the finger at your conduct for the majority of the failure to act reasonably under the circumstances.

Good luck to you.

God bless.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.


In Idaho you would be considered an invitee. The landowner's duty to the invitee is to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition, or to warn of hidden or concealed danger. And remember in Idaho you can only claim damages for what did happen, not for what could have happened. Tough case.

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