If I fell stepping down the front step at a friend's apartment complex, fractured my foot in 3 places, do I have the right to sue the property owner? 18 Answers as of February 12, 2014

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Sure, you have the right. Now, whether or not you are going to win is another story. If you had no problem entering but then got hurt exiting, it sounds like you were not paying attention to the condition of the property.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/12/2014
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
You very well may. But, there's lot of bad doctrinal law on slip & fall, precluding suing. Basically, it takes detailing the facts and working around preclusions to suing. For example, there's the "open and obvious" defense, that says that, if the hazard was open and obvious," you can't collect. That's typically a jury question, so long as a reasonable juror could find on the facts that the danger was not open and obvious. Whether a "reasonable juror" could so find is, however, an issue for the judge to decide. That's where many slip and falls get thrown out of court before getting to a jury. In your view, was the danger "open and obvious" if not, why not?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/30/2014
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Depends what was wrong with the steps? Consult a personal injury lawyer in your area.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/30/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Slip and fall cases are, by their nature, difficult. First, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the property owner/occupant. Negligence could be defined as the failure to use REASONABLE care; the owner is not a guarantor. To do this, you must be able to prove that the owner put the slippery substance there, or that they had prior knowledge of the hazard and failed to take care of it promptly. Second, they will claim ?comparative fault?, meaning that you had a duty to watch where you were walking, and thus are partly at fault. The result is that most lawyers are reluctant to take a slip and fall case unless there are substantial damages, and there are at least some arguments to be made on fault.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/30/2014
Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
You very well could have the right to make a claim for this. The key is to establish negligence on the part of the owner as in failure to maintain the steps, failure to deal with ice etc. Statute of Limitations is 2 years from date of fall.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/30/2014
    Law Offices of Carl L. Brown | Carl L. Brown
    A viable claim depends on many factors not answered in your question, e.g., when the accident occurred and whether the owner was negligent Premises liability law is fairly complex. I would urge that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/30/2014
    Di Giacomo & Gruss | Christopher Di Giacomo
    I believe you would have a claim if you can satisfy the elements of negligence. You would have to prove that the land owner had a duty owed, that he breached that duty and that you suffered damages. The damages are the easiest. I would need more facts to determine the duty owed.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/30/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    You have the right to sue, but that's not the right question to be asking. The right question is whether the property owner is at fault. Liability is not automatic just because you got hurt on the property. You have to prove fault and be free of fault yourself. Presuming you can't prove that, all might not be lost. If the property owner has a premises liability policy with a medical payments provision, it may pay your medical bills only. Check with the owner or manager on the coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/29/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It depends upon why you fell. If it was not due to the negligence of the property owner, who breached a duty to you, you have no case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/29/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    You have the right but the question is whether there was any negligence on the part of the property owner. ?If the step was constructed as to the code requirements of the city, then you would have no case unless there was some defect in it. Just because someone owns the property does not mean they are liable for any injuries that happen on the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/29/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You can sue, but whether you win is the real question. Were the steps defective? Did they fail to comply with code? Was there ice on the steps for 2 days? If so, you might have a case. If you just weren't paying attention, then probably not.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/29/2014
    Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
    With all due respect this question cannot be answered without much more information being provided about what caused the fall . The mere happening of a fall is not enough to establish negligence of the property owner which would be the basis of liability .
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/29/2014
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