Can I sue the apartment complex if I slipped on ice in the parking lot? 29 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I slipped on ice at an apartment complex on the way to my car. The entire parking lot is ice. Can I sue the complex?

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Harvath Law Offices | Michael T. Harvath
I am sorry to hear about your accident. An accident with injuries that occurs on another person's property, due to a defective condition on the property (such as ice build-up), is known as a "premises liability" case. If the ice should have been removed and was in a place where people frequently walk, there is a good chance that you have a claim against the property owner, in which you are entitled to payment of any and all medical costs, pain and suffering compensation, and additional compensation for expected future medical costs. These cases are highly fact-sensitive. Additional detail would be needed to make an assessment of whether you have a strong claim, and to provide an approximation of the amount of compensation you could be entitled to. There are time limits for filing claims for injuries due to slip and fall accidents, so you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. I hope this helps you, at least to some extent. Thanks.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/9/2012
Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
If the landlord or management company in charge of the parking lot was negligent in not using reasonable efforts to keep the parking lot safe, then yes. You, of course, must also have an injury to make a claim for pain and suffering. Every case is unique, and an experienced slip and fall attorney would be able to assess your particular situation. There are many factors that go into determining whether an entity is "negligent."
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/8/2012
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
There are cases that discuss suing the property owner for icy conditions. There are a lot of factors that go into it and your question does not contain very much information. Do you live in Lake Tahoe where there is ice 5 months out of the year? or do you live in Northridge where there is ice once every 3 years? Was the ice from sprinkler water? or just dew frozen over? did you take pictures? Were there warning cones? Did you see the ice? How long had it been there one day or several? These are just a few of the questions I would ask before I could even begin to make a determination as to whether the property owner is liable for this incident. I recommend that you speak to a personal injury attorney that handles slip and fall cases and he or she should be able to give you a proper assessment with more information that you can provide.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/8/2013
The Torkzadeh Law Firm
The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
Depends on many other questions. It is impossible to answer your question without a proper examination of the parking lot itself.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/2/2013
Tenge Law Firm, LLC
Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
Yes. You will need to prove that the owner and/or management company for the complex and/or the lot (to the extent there was separate ownership) "knew or should have known" that a dangerous condition existed on the premises. While slip and falls on ice/snow in Colorado are somewhat difficult to prove, and to win, it certainly can be done. You will have better odds of establishing liability if there is a failure to maintain the premises after a snow or ice event, or if the area is chronically problematic due to roof line or gutter dripping, gutter discharge, slope or depression in the lot, etc. Finally, if you or someone you know slipped and fell in that location previously, and the owner knew about it, then liability will be established fairly easily at that point. You ought to consult with a qualified injury attorney who has handled slip and fall cases.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 1/6/2012
    McKell Christiansen
    McKell Christiansen | Michael McKell
    Yes you can sue the complex. You will be required to prove your case as well as your damages. If you slipped but did not sustain an injury you will not have a case. Slipping alone is not sufficient grounds for a claim. You must sustain an injury and it must be proven with medical records.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Yes. However, it depends on how long the ice had been there and what had been done to treat the parking lot.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Suing for a slip and fall on ice in Michigan is tough. Was there any way you could have avoided the ice.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Slipped does not mean hurt. Were you really hurt? The issue is always what is reasonable is it reason able to expect the owners of an apartment complex to keep the entire parking area free of ice. How are they going to do that? How long are you going t give them to do that and what happens if you "slip" before they clear the whole area? See how difficult your issue of "slipping" is.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    If you can prove that the apartment owner/manager knew or should have known ice was there, that it was dangerous, and did nothing to remove it or warn you. You must prove that it was not open and obvious and that you did not know it was there unless where you fell was the only route to and from you apt.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    That is not a question we typically see in Florida......but since you asked it, probably not successfully. In Florida, before a landowner is liable, they must be negligent. Negligence is just the failure to use reasonable care. Simply allowing ice to be our your parking lot does not necessarily constitute negligence. Additionally, in Florida, before a landowner can be liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition which existed on its property, the dangerous condition or circumstance has to be one of which the landowner either knew of or should have known of in the exercise of due care, AND has to be one of which the person on the property neither knew of nor in the exercise of due care should have been aware of.....(sorry about ending the sentence with a preposition).....
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to make a claim against a property owner (including stores, parking lots, apartments, etc) the injured party has to show that the owner knew or should have known of the hazard, had an opportunity to correct it, and failed to take action. So, you would have to prove that the owner of the parking lot knew of the ice, had time to salt or sand it, and did not do so. If it was a sudden ice storm that was in progress or had just finished, there may be no case. But, if it built up over a period of time, you may be able to go forward.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Law Office of Jason D. Baltz | Jason Daniel Baltz
    You may sue the apartment complex for injuries sustained in slip and fall accident on ice. Snow and ice are a part of life here in Wisconsin, but a landlord or parking lot owner can still has a duty to clear the parking lot, stairs, walkways, and sidewalks. If possible, I would recommend taking as many pictures of the parking lot as possible, document your injuries, and retain an attorney to contact your landlord's insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    I have to give the lawyer like answer; it depends. The Supreme Court has held that a parking lot is not part of an apartment complex. A landlord has a duty to keep the premises safe. Was the ice visible? Was it black ice? Was it covered with snow. All of these are factors that determine if you have a case or not. There is no black and white answer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    Yes, I have handled a number of these cases and already have them coming in from this winter with the exact same facts of your case. The main issue is usually whether there was black ice or "hills and ridges" and the corresponding law.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The category of cases dealing with situations like that is called "premises liability". An analysis of a premises liability case starts with determining the status of the injured person as trespasser, licensee, or invitee. "The possessor of land is liable for injuries to a business visitor caused by a condition encountered on the premises only if he (a) knows or should have known of such condition and that it involved an unreasonable risk; (b) has no reason to believe that the visitor will discover the condition or realize the risk; and (c) fails to make the condition reasonably safe or to warn the visitor so that the latter may avoid the harm." Huston V. Church Of God, 46 Wn. App. 740, 732 P.2d 173 (1987). (You can read relevant cases on the MRSC website.) You should call an attorney to help you with your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    You can almost always sue someone for your injuries assuming there is a reasonable basis to believe someone is at fault. However, the more important question is whether you would be successful in your suit. The answer to that question is "maybe" depending on additional information not contained within your Question or the Question Detail. Assuming this fall occurred in privately owned parking lot, the owner may be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and other damages. Before the parking lot owner (hereinafter referred to as "Owner") would be responsible for your damages, you must prove they were at fault for your fall. Generally, to prove liability for a fall on ice you must prove all of the following: (1) That the Owner either caused the ice to be in the parking lot, knew of the ice, or, by the exercise of reasonable care, would have discovered the icy parking lot; (2) that the Owner should have realized that the ice involved an unreasonable risk of harm to people walking in the parking lot; (3) that the Owner should have expected that people either: would not discover or realize the danger; or would file to protect themselves against the danger posed by the water; and (4) that the Owner failed to use reasonable care to protect people from the danger posed by the ice. The information necessary to establish these items is not continaned within your Question or Question Detail. The following is a partial list of questions that would need to be answered to determine whether the Owner is at fault based on the items set forth in the prior paragraph: what the weather (temperature; precipitation) for at least the 7 days before your fall; how long had the ice been on the parking lot; did the ice cover the entire parking lot or just parts; had the Owner made any attempts to remove the ice; was the ice "visible" to people walking on it or was it covered by snow or "black ice"); what time did you fall; the lighting conditions of the parking lot; whether you had walked on the same ice you fell on prior to your actual fall; the type of shoes/ boots you were wearing and their tread; how fast you were walking; what were you doing and looking at just prior to your fall. Again, this is just a partial list. In addition, you would have to examine your own actions in determining whether you were 50% or more at fault for your fall. In Nebraska, to recover you must be less than 50% at fault. The main questions as to your own "possible" fault involve: (1) whether you knew about the ice; and (2) how carefully you were walking, which involves your speed and what you might have been carrying; and (3) whether you were watching where you were walking. Again, the information provided does not permit me to determine the likelihood of prevailing in a lawsuit against the parking lot Owner. DISCLAIMER: This response is based on the limited information provided, makes certain assumptions, and assumes that all events took place in Nebraska. In addition, this response is not a substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. If you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. You should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your rights. If you believe you have a claim against someone, you should consult an attorney immediately, otherwise there is a risk that the time allotted to bring your claim may expire.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    Generally, property owners have no duty to remove "natural accumulations" of ice from their property. However, one may recover damages for falls on icy sidewalks or parking lots, if one can prove that the negligent design or maintenance of the underlying pavement caused an "unnatural accumulation" of ice. In order to successfully prove such a case, one must prove the following: a) there was an unnatural accumulation of ice on the property which presented an unreasonable risk of harm to people on the property; b) the property owner knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known of both the condition and the risk; c) the property owner could reasonably expect that people on the property would not discover or realize the danger or would fail to protect against such danger; d) the property owner was negligent; e) the plaintiff was injured; and f) the property owner's negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC
    Chalat Hatten Koupal & Banker PC | Linda Chalat
    This type of case is very fact-dependent, the successful claims have strong documentation as to the facts of the accident and the injuries suffered. When an accident occurs because of a known condition, such as a leaking water line which management is aware, then there is a better argument to be made concerning landowner liability. And if the accident victim is immediately treated by EMT personnel or personal physician, then it is easier to prove an injury from the accident. It is difficult to determine how strong your claim may be given the little information you provide.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    In short yes. Also the management company and plow company depending on the facts. You must prove they knew or should have known of the specific conditions or defect that caused your injury and had a reasonable time to address it.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. Absolutely.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2013
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