Broken Arm From Falling in My Condo...

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.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Broken Arm From Falling in My Condo...":

Lauren (San Diego, CA):

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 an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Comments for Broken Arm From Falling in My Condo...

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Can't pay rent...
by: Anonymous

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.

Rent problems...
by: Law Guy


Unfortunately if you can't pay the rent you may be obligated to leave the premises.

Whether you are living in the leased apartment with the same landlord, or are living at another property with another landlord, unless your lease permits you to go "rent-free" during your treatment and recovery, you don't really have any legal grounds to remain.

The negligence of the landlord and subsequent settlement should have no bearing on your lease.

Without a lease provision or court order permitting you to remain on the premises without paying you must be prepared to vacate.

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