Can I place a claim against the property owner where I work?
I work for a company who rents their office from the property management. I fell in the parking lot and broke my shoulder after slipping on water draining on a rainy day. My employer is providing worker's compensation benefits for my surgery, and partial loss of salary (70%).
Is the property owner responsible for the difference in my salary, loss of business, having someone else clean my home, and whatever long-term disability I may have from my injury? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Can I place a claim against the property owner where I work?":
Donna (Dallas, TX):
Yes! Although you are bound by workers compensation rules related to your employment you have the right to sue a third party who you believe separately contributed to your injuries.
In your case you might be able to file two separate lawsuits, one against the property management company and the other against the property owner.
Your facts indicate you fell as a result of water drainage. To be able to prevail in a lawsuit against the property owners and managers you will have to be able to prove they were negligent. That could include a faulty drain, their failure to keep it clear so water didn't pool, or any other problem with the drain or drainage which unnecessarily contributed to your injuries.
Before taking on the property owners and management companies, give serious consideration to the reality of the action.
If your injuries aren't much more severe than a bruised shoulder it might not be worth it. When you sue big companies they fight back. If they believe you have sufficient proof of their negligence they might settle with you even before you file a lawsuit, but in reality, they probably won't.
They won't because as soon as they do they are admitting they were negligent or that there is something inherently wrong with the drainage system. Once they do that they are inviting untold amounts of additional lawsuits.
If your injury is serious and you will require substantial medical treatment and related medical bills, it might be worth contacting a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.
If though your injuries and related medical bills aren't very high, it might be better to stick with the workers compensation.
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,
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