Fell down 17 steps because stair rail came out of the wall...

by James
(Atlanta, Georgia)

I live in a loft and have to go down 17 steps to the front door. I tripped on 5th step from the top of stairs and fell backwards to bottom of the stairs. I grabbed the stair rail and it came out of the wall. I received back and neck injuries.

I'm currently in ongoing treatment from the doctor and I'm on tons of pain medication for my neck and back. I'm also receiving physical therapy and have to wear a back brace. I can only sit for 30 minutes at a time and stand for 30 mins because of the pressure on my lower back. The doctor has me on 500mg of pain medication, a pain shot and other pain medication.

The building owner is responsible for this right? What can I do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fell down 17 steps because stair rail came out of the wall...":

James (Atlanta, Georgia):

It is highly likely the owner of the building is liable for your injuries. From the facts you present the liability of the owner seems indefensible. Your most important decision should be to continue to receive medical treatment. Following your doctor’s orders is vital not only for your personal recovery, but for your claim against the building owner as well.

Contact the building owner as soon as possible. Do so in writing, and make sure you send the letter Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. The letter should detain the facts leading to your fall. Be as clear as you can.

Do not threaten or even refer to legal action. Hopefully doing so will be unnecessary. Explain you are undergoing medical treatment and need to have her make arrangements to pay for your medical treatment, out of pocket expenses, and any of your lost wages.

She will most likely refer the matter to her insurance company. You will then be contacted by a Claims Adjuster who will be handling the claim. When the Adjuster contacts you she will ask for your recorded statement. That is perfectly normal. Don’t hesitate to do so.

Do not threaten legal action. The minute you do you will lose all negotiating opportunities with her. The minute legal action is mentioned the Adjuster is bound to turn the matter over to her legal department.

She will probably instruct you to continue treatment and notify her when that treatment has concluded. In the interim, she will make arrangements to take over payments of your medical bills. When you have concluded treatment you should be in a position to begin negotiating a settlement of your claim.

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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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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