Compensation for serious back injury after fall on landlord's property?
(Solvay, New York)
I slipped and fell on my former landlord's residential property because of snow and ice. I had a lower back injury of spondylolthesis of L5/S1 vertebrae and broke a lamina bone. I have not been able to work since the injury, which was January of 2015.
I found out the insurance policy of the company is only $300,000. I have had a spinal fusion surgery and laminectomy in April 2016. I believe my total medical bills will be greater than the policy limits.
My question is, would I be able to take action against the homeowner as well as the insurance company? Would it be worth it? How would I go about doing this? Thank you for any information you can provide.
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ANSWER for "Compensation for serious back injury after fall on landlord's property?":
Ed (Solvay, New York):
Answering your question is a bit of a challenge. You appear to have fallen on your former landlord's residential property. That could be interpreted as falling on your landlord's home property (where your landlord actually resides) or on another property owned by your former landlord which is rented out as a residence to a third party tenant.
Property owners have a legal duty of care to do everything within reason to assure the premises (property) they own or manage is free from dangerous conditions (which could result in injuries to third parties who may be legally upon the property). This is generally referred to as Premises Liability.
For your former landlord to be liable for your injuries and resulting damages will require a showing of negligence.
Negligence may be established by proving your former landlord knew, or should have known the property was dangerous, and with that actual or implied knowledge, failed to exercise reasonable caution to remove or repair the dangerous condition; in this case the snow and ice.
Damages are unique to every accident and to every person involved in the accident. In landlord-tenant premises liability claims, damages can include medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses (for such items as medications, slings, crutches, etc.), lost wages, and for pain and suffering.
From the facts you present, it's not clear if your former landlord or the insurance company has accepted liability and agreed to pay you $300,000. If so, then if the $300,000 isn't sufficient to cover your damages, you can pursue your former former landlord personally for the balance. For injuries resulting in this amount of damages, you must retain an experienced personal injury attorney.
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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