I slipped after reporting a ceiling leak in my subsidized apartment...

by Angie

I slipped and fell on a puddle of water in my kitchen. The water came from a leak in the ceiling that I have reported a number of times to the maintenance emergency line and the rental office voicemail (because they never answer the phone).

I spoke to maintenance 3 days before I slipped. They told me that nothing was leaking and that the tenant above me spilled something on the floor and the problem is fixed. This isn't the 1st incident where my ceiling has leaked and maintenance gave the excuse of water spillage. Now my back is injured and I don't know what steps to take.

I live in subsidized apartments in Florida. Who do I go after for compensation for my injuries? Do I even have a case?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "I slipped after reporting a ceiling leak in my subsidized apartment...":

Angie (Florida):

It sounds like you certainly have the basis for a personal injury claim against the owners and management of the apartment complex. Write down the number of times you contacted management via the maintenance emergency line to notify them about the leak. Be sure to include the dates you called as well.

Write down the name of the maintenance person you spoke with, and an account of what he told you.

Write down the names of the doctors who treated you and, if you were taken to the emergency room, the name of the hospital as well. Ask the doctor or hospital for copies of your medical bills, and a copy of your medical chart.

Your chart will include the diagnosis of your injury and your prognosis. The prognosis will deal with the nature of future treatment you may require.

Make copies of your medical and chiropractic bills (if you were treated by a chiropractor). Make copies of receipts for any medications you were prescribed. If you had to miss work, ask your employer for a letter confirming your absences and rate of pay.

Send a certified letter to the management company. In the letter tell them you were injured as a result of the leak. Include a reference to the number of times you contacted the emergency line and spoke with the maintenance person. Be sure to tell the management company as a result of the leak you have incurred medical, chiropractic and other bills related to the injury and your treatment.

If you've had to miss work, tell them the number of days you've missed and the amount of wages you've lost.

In the letter ask for the name of the complex's insurance company. If management fails to cooperate, (and from the way they've dealt with the problem it's likely they won't) contact a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation.

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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