Visitor Question

Broken Arm From Falling in My Condo…

Submitted By: Lauren (San Diego, CA)

I fell February 1 at the condo I live in (renting). There was some shoddy workmanship in my opinion, and something was sticking up where it shouldn’t have been. I never noticed it before and I have lived there for 3 years.

I fell and broke my elbow, had surgery and my health insurance paid for it, but I’d like to know if I can sue for pain, suffering and my medical bills (to pay back my insurance – it was approx $10,000).

How much might I get (if I can sue) in California? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Lauren,

You might be able to sue, but if you look closely at your health insurance policy you will probably see you are required to reimburse your insurance company for any money you might successfully sue the landlord or condo owner for.

Most insurance companies have what is referred to as a “Trust Agreement”. That means if you successfully sue the person or entity which caused your injuries and you have already been reimbursed or otherwise compensated by your insurance company for your treatment, you will have to hold at least that amount of money you may win at trial equal to the money already paid by your insurance company already on your behalf and deliver that amount to them.

In other words, you can’t “double dip”.

You may be surprised to know your insurance company may already be seeking reimbursement from your landlord. That is what the insurance companies refer to as “subrogation”.

They have a right to sue the person or entity which caused them to pay money out on their insured’s behalf.

So all in all, you probably should be satisfied that your medical bills and related injury costs have already been paid. You can also follow up with your insurance company to check if they are subrogating with your landlord’s insurance company.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 27, 2012

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One thought on “Broken Arm From Falling in My Condo…

  1. I slipped and fell at a leased property due to the owner’s negligence and I’m waiting on an insurance settlement. I now can’t afford to pay rent because my doctor hasn’t released me back to work for 8 months. Now he’s threatening to give me 3-days notice!

    I live in California.

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