Is the school responsible if I fell? 40 Answers as of June 14, 2013

I was walking down the hall and tripped over a broken cement piece. My school is doing construction and now I have a broken toe. Does the school compensate for the medical bills?

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The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
It may be responsible. However, there are several different aspects that must be evaluated i.e., size of the cement, warning signs present, familiarity with the area, etc.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 11/6/2012
Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
It is impossible to answer your question as to whether the school is responsible for your fall without additional information. While you indicate that you tripped on a broken cement piece additional information would be necessary such as: the size of the concrete piece; the lighting conditions; whether you should have been in the school during the construction; whether there were any warnings about broken concrete; whether the area where you fell was under construction at the time or whether the concrete piece was somehow transported to the area; whether the school knew of the broken cement piece before your fall and failed to do anything about it. The more the school knew about broken pieces of concrete, the lack of warnings and other items may make it more likely the school is responsible for your medical bills and other damages. In addition, besides looking at the school's possible fault, you must examine your own actions. If you were equally at fault for your fall, you cannot recover. Your possible fault may include failing to keep a proper lookout (failing to see the piece of cement and taking appropriate precautions so as to not trip over it.). Assuming this is a public school, there are certain requirement you must comply with to make a claim against the school. These are set forth in the Nebraska Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. Your time to make a claim and other things are different than if your fall occurred in a private business or place (any place not owned by a government, governmental agency or political subdivision). You should consider talking to an attorney about your fall. You would then be able to get a better idea about whether you have a claim against the school and more information regarding the above-mentioned Act.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 6/28/2012
Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
You may or may not have a negligence claim against the school. It is a government instrumentality so rules apply that do not apply to ordinary citizens. Since negligence is involved there are defenses against negligence that might apply in your case. Simply being hurt at the school does not make the school liable. I suggest you meet with an attorney without delay to discuss this injury as claims against a government instrumentality are strictly governed by statute.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 6/27/2012
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
Probably not the school's fault if you had been watching were you were going so it maybe more your fault then the school and you would lose. Consult a personal injury attorney to help you decide.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 6/27/2012
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
We have a doctrine called "Governmental Immunity." What that doctrine says is that generally you cannot sue the government or any divisions of the government, such as schools. There are some very specific exceptions to that doctrine, one of which is the "Public Buildings exception." You will only be successful if 1) the broken piece of concrete constitutes a defect of the building, as opposed to a failure to act by an employee. For example, let's say that you slipped on the floor of the school because it was raining and the janitor forgot to put down a mat for people to wipe their feet. No case. That would be a claim for negligence of an employee, which is barred by the doctrine. On the other hand, if the floor was extra slippery because the tile that was installed was known to become very slippery when wet, then it could be argued that the defective tile WAS a defect of the building. From a glance at your facts, my best estimate is that you do not have a case because the defect was not part of the school, but was created by an agent of the school through negligence.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/27/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    It is possible that the school may be liable for your injuries. I assume you are talking about a public school, and if so, the procedures of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act will have to be followed in making a claim against the school. If the work at the school was being done by an independent contractor, you may have a claim against the contractor for causing the broken cement.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    You do have the right to seek compensation from any party that you believe is responsible for your injury.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    If the school was negligent in maintaining the hallway that caused you to trip, they should be responsible for paying your medical bills. You should submit a demand letter to the school administration detailing what happened along with proof of their negligence and your injuries (pictures, witnesses, medical bills and records, etc.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    The school may have medical payments coverage. If so your bills will likely be paid. Speak to the school administrator. As to liabillty, if the broken tile was open and obvious you lose. In NC you must look where you are going and not fall into or trip over things which can be seen.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It is not clear that the school has to compensate you. You have the burden of proving that the school was negligent. This involves proving that the school breached a duty of care owed to students. The school has a duty to fix any known dangerous conditions, or warn the students to stay clear of dangerous conditions. There is no duty to warn of conditions that are open and obvious, unless the school could reasonably expect someone to be injured as a result of the condition despite the fact that it is open and obvious. Some questions are whether the cement piece was a hazard (a question for a jury to answer), did the school know it was there (the construction company might be liable rather than the school), was it open and obvious, and if so, could the school or construction company reasonably foreseen such an accident despite it being open and obvious. You could file a claim against the school and/or construction company. They may deny liability, in which case you would have to file suit to recover anything.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You need tho file a notice of claim within ninety days. Get to a lawyer right away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Are you a student or visitor or employee? Schools have some governmental immunities, but good news . . . NOT for "upkeep" of their buildings. Gov't Building Exception. Talk to the principal and file an injury report THEN go talk to an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Either the school or the copnstruction company is primarily responsible for your accident and injury unless you were negligent. Contact the school to see if it carried insurance which would cover your injury and damages. You should at least consult with a plaintiff's accident lawyer for specific legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert | David W. Hibbert
    Are you a student or a teacher? Workers compensation will take care of on the job injuries, if you are a teacher and were injured. If you are a student , consult a local attorney in your area. If a dangerous condition was the cause of your fall , then it likely will be a matter covered by the school.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    They should compensate you for it if it was their fault.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Jules D'Alessandro | Jules D'Alessandro
    The short answer is yes, however getting compensation from a municipality is quite difficult. Hopefully you took some pictures of the area and broken cement where you fell. If you have not already done so, contact a lawyer. These cases really are a bit too difficult to proceed without a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    No one can answer that without knowing more. What was your status? Are you a teacher, a student or someone trespassing? Who created the broken concrete? The contractor, a subcontractor, a student or the school employees? How long did the defect in the concrete exist? Did anyone warn you? Was the condition open and obvious? Did you have actual knowledge of the defect? You don't get compensation when you yourself are clearly negligent. Just because you get hurt on someone's property doesn't mean they pay, although many times medical expenses are paid without proving fault. You see when the politicians said the civil justice system in America was jackpot justice, they were either ill informed or outright lying.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    You have aright to notify the school of your injury and costs for treatment; but, since the construction was taking place it may well be the fault of the company doing the construction and you should also notify the construction contractor.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    They may have "medical payments" insurance that would pay some or all of your bills.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
    I am not experienced in claims against schools for personal injury, however, I know generally that schools/school districts do carry liability insurance for such accidents, and if the broken cement was caused by a construction contractor the contractor also carries insurance. You should hire a qualified attorney to investigate the matter and file claims against the school, the school district, and the contractor if the facts of your case justify the claims. You should also seek medical attention, if you haven't already done so, immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2012
    Wolk Levine & Trotter LLP | Sarah R. Wolk
    If you are an employee of the school, you are likely eligible for workers' compensation benefits if you fell on the premises of your employer. If you are a student, you may have a claim for payment of bills or compensation against the school or the construction company, if either of them acted negligently or in reckless disregard for your safety. The above answer is not "legal advice" as specified under any pertinent rules governing the Professional Responsibilities of Lawyers and should not be relied upon. An attorney-client relationship has not been established by virtue of this correspondence. Legal issues are often complex and involve local laws and facts which may not be effectively communicated without a complete consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    The school or contractor should pay for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Kased Law Group APC | Nathan Kased
    The school may be responsible depending on the specifics of the incident. For example, it would be useful to know whether the school had clear warnings conspicuously posted throughout the construction zone. Did you immediately report the incident and fill out a corresponding report? Also, is this a public school? If so, there may be special claim filing requirements that you need to follow before presenting a claim for your medical bills. And these requirements are highly time-sensitive. You should contact a lawyer immediately to help you with your claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Well that is a multi factored analysis. You better a Great Lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
    Don't have to. You must prove damages. Get a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The plaintiff in a slip and fall case has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the negligence of the defendant. In the case of commercial premises, where the plaintiff is a "business invitee", the standard usually involves proving that the premises were unreasonably hazardous.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | David E. Frank
    Yes, you probably have a claim against the school. They are responsible for compensating you for your medical expenses and pain and suffering as well. But there are strict time limits within which you must file your claim with the school, so don't delay. The best thing to do is retain an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    All property owners are responsible for keeping their property in reasonably safe condition. If the school created a hazard and failed to take steps to correct it, then it can be held legally liable for injuries that could foreseeably result. But: is it the school itself that was doing the construction, or did they hire a contractor? If they hired a contractor, then it is the contractor's responsibility.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Maybe. Depends in part on whether or not you shuld have seen and been able to avoid the hazard.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Gebler & Weiss, P.C. | Jerrie S. Weiss
    Under certain circumstances, if the defect, i.e. cement piece was not open and visible, putting you on notice, you can sue the school and/or the construction company. You should consult an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    In Indiana, schools are government entities that get special treatment under the law of negligence. If they can prove you were at all negligent yourself (like failing to look where you were walking), they are not liable at all. However, they may have medical payments coverage under their policy that might at least pay your medical bills. You should make a claim with the school and ask if they have coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    It's possible that the school is responsible. You may need to provide the school the requisite and proper notice within the proper time frame The notice time may be relatively short The construction company may also be responsible or another subcontractor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    Governmental units are immune from suit. There is an exception for a defective building. You may wish to present the claim and do so in writing and send the notice of claim to the Superintendent of Schools. You must state the exact location of the defect in order to make a claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Hire a lawyer and settle.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Property owners - including schools - can be held liable for dangerous conditions that cause injury. Consult with a personal injury attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Probably, but a broken toe won't cost much to fix.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    The school, as any place where others are invited or given permission to enter, is responsible to either make reasonable passage around the defect, or warn you about it. If the school did neither, than you might have a claim. Premises liability is a very challenging area of the law, and you should consult with an attorney to have the circumstances evaluated.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/25/2012
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston | Maxwell C Livingston
    Quite possibly. If the school was negligent, you can recover damages it caused.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/25/2012
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