I waited 26 days to notify the premise owner of my fall are they still liable? 21 Answers as of March 08, 2013

I finished working out at a Gold's Gym on 1/9. It had snowed the day before and the parking lot was plowed on 1/9 but still had patches of snow and ice. It was 5:45pm and dark. A coworker was walking out with me and I slipped and fell in their parking lot onto my left elbow causing pain in my left shoulder. I did not notify the Gym as I thought I would be okay in a few days. The pain persisted for 3 weeks and I saw my doctor who advised me on 2/4 that I likely tore my labrum and scheduled an MRI. With that info I immediately notified the Gym on 2/4 and completed an incident report. The Gym denies liability. I did have surgery on 3/1 to repair the torn labrum as a result of the fall. Do I have a case as I have a witness but waited 26 days to notify the Gym?

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
Yes. You already realize that Gold's Gym will raise the defense that you failed to notify them immediately. They may argue that you really injured yourself somewhere else. You will need to prove liability on the part of Gold's and the owner of the land, but it seems that your damages will be easy to prove.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/8/2013
Law Office of Christian Menard
Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
The 26 day wait will not prevent you from suing the gym. It will be questioned by the defense and they will claim you hurt yourself elsewhere, if you got hurt at all, sometime in that 26 day period. They will try to show your injury had nothing to do with you being on their premises. That you have a co-worker as a witness is a good thing. How good will depend on how fair, unbiased, and believable he/she is. As far as the liability issue, I cannot say without seeing the location of your fall. A premise owner has a duty to provide a safe environment for its patrons while on the other hand is not a guarantor of its patron's safety. They are only responsible for dangerous conditions they allow to exist on their property and of which they had knowledge, or should have had knowledge. If they have knowledge of a dangerous condition, they need to be given a reasonable time to rectify the defects. All these issues need to be investigated and depending on the facts, you may have a case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/8/2013
Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
There is no legal requirement that you give the gym any particular notice in any particular time frame. You do need to file suit within 3 years of the incident or the Statute of Limitations will bar your claim. However, Michigan law, created by our Judges, indicates that if a premises hazard is open and obvious, then the business has a complete defense to any claims for such hazard. The theory of such law is that an ordinarily prudent person will see an open and obvious hazard/defect upon casual inspection and avoid it. If the person does not so avoid the open and obvious hazard, the law presumes it is that person's fault and the property owner thus has no duty to fix/warn of the hazard. When a hazard is created by negligent acts of someone, or when there is a special aspect to the hazard, the open and obvious defense may not apply. As surprising and counter intuitive as it sounds, if your fall is because some ice remained after removal, and no entity negligently created the new hazard, it is unlikely you have a case in Michigan. The law has come to this because the populace has not carefully followed what their Judges and legislators do to their rights and have not voted these people out of office for taking away their rights.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/8/2013
Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
The fact that you did not notify the gym immediately does not affect your ability to bring a claim against it. Under other circumstances, I could see the gym's attorney or insurance company trying to argue that the accident didnt really happen (since you didn't report it), but here, you have a witness to back you up. Note: there will be arguments made that the gym is not at-fault, but this is beyond the scope of the question you asked.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/8/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Yes, but under Michigan law, you have the burden of proving that they knew, or should have known of the ice, and that you COULD NOT have seen it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/8/2013
    Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
    As long as you make a claim to the gym, you most likely have preserved your case. Go to a lawyer, get a statement from the witness and file a lawsuit against the gym, since the injury happened on gym property. You also have injuries verified by the doctor and the surgery done from the fall.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If your witness is willing to testify, you have a case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Falling on my property or anyone's property entitles you to nothing where does America get that notion of entitlement? It has nothing to do with 26 days or 260 days. It has everything to do with proving fault. Proving negligence on the part of the gym or the owner of the parking lot. You must prove that what they did or did not do was negligent and that you were not negligent in any way and that the ice was not open and obvious to be seen. If you prove these things you may recover damages. See a proper lawyer for further adviced.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    The 26 days can be an issue because they can deny it happened, or they can argue that even if you fell in their lot, you could have been injured elsewhere. It will be an issue of who the court believes. However, the bigger issue is whether they are liable even if they agree that you were injured in a fall in their lot. They are no liable just because you slipped and fell in their lot. You must show that they were negligent in some way and that their negligence caused you to fall.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    While the failure to notify the premises will be an issue, it does not preclude you from making a claim or suing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S. | Wayne J. Wimer
    The fact that you waited 26 days to notify the Gym is not relevant from the standpoint of liability. If you can prove negligence on the part of the Gym, they can be held liable for your injuries. As an aside, these outfits always deny liability. Don't give them any recorded statements. Don't sign any medical releases. Don't talk to their insurance adjusters. File suit and go from there.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You have up to 2 years to bring a law suit. You should get an attorney sooner rather than later to properly build your case. You only have a case against the gym and the building owner if they were negligent. There is no automatic responsibility.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Obviously you are not inquiring from Florida, but no state has a statute of limitations shorter than 1 year. Go check with a good personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The issue is not how long you waited, the issue is was Gold's Gym negligent. Is it the only shop connected to the parking lot or are there other occupants. Does Gold's own the parking lot or is it Gold's landlord? Was Gold's or the landlord negligent in not removing all ice? In States that have a lot of snow and ice, it is not clear that snow and ice has to be completely removed. Call the Idaho State Bar and get a referral. That will give you a better idea of whether you have a case or not.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    You've got 2 years to sue. Time is not your problem. Just because you get hurt on someone's property doesn't make them liable. You have to prove they were at fault. First, you have to show that they own or are in control of the parking lot. They may not have any control over the lot as it may be owned by the shopping center owners. If they do own or control it, you have to show that you were hurt because of a non-obvious danger which they know or should have known about and which they fail to remove or repair, or guard or warn you against. If you can't prove that, and the Gym has a medical payments provision in its premises liability policy, you may be able to get your medical bills only paid for.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    If you can prove they are at fault then they are still liable.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Insurance companies do not pay money willingly. It is up to you to prove that the insured (Gold's) was somehow at fault. Gold's does not control the weather, nor do they control where and how carefully you walk. They are not required to guaranty your safety.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You probably still have a case. You should contact an attorney to discuss this matter further. Waiting 26 days does not damage your case as long as you can substantiate medical treatment following incident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    The 26 days is not a problem. You would still have a case under the Colorado Premises Liability Statute as long as you are able to prove that the gym (and/or owner of the premises if not the gym) knew or should have known of the dangerous icy conditions which existed on the property and which caused your fall and injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | David E. Frank
    You must establish that the gym did something wrong or failed to do something they were required to do. Just because you slipped on the ice doesn't make the property owner or tenant liable. How were they negligent?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/7/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    The statute of limitations in New York is three years. Go to a lawyer in your area, you cannot handle this on your own. The gym may hire out the snowplowing to a contractor, who is primarily liable. This is not a DIY job, get a professional. Seriously.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/7/2013
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