Injured in parking lot where I work...

by Anonymous

I am a Remax agent and am considered an independent contractor. I work for a broker who also owns the office building where I work.

I left work after dark recently. The parking lot was rather dark and snow was piled up here and there. While avoiding a pile of snow, I stepped off the edge of the blacktop and broke a bone in my foot. The blacktop drop off was about three inches or more.

I have spent a good deal of money so far in doctors fees, etc. due to the broken foot, and now the specialist thinks surgery is indicated. My insurance covers none of this, and I haven't been able to conduct much work since I am not allowed to put weight on the foot.

My question is, would my broker/building owner's insurance pay my medical bills? I don't want any other kind of compensation, just the medical bills that I will otherwise have a tough time paying. What options do I have? Thanks!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Injured in parking lot where I work...":

Anonymous (Virginia):

The first consideration is whether or not the broker owned the parking lot or was responsible for all or part of its maintenance.

If so, the broker may be responsible for your injuries and resulting medical bills. However, to be legally liable you must be able to prove the broker was negligent. From the facts you present, to established negligence will require you to show the parking lot was poorly lighted, and as a result of that poor lighting you were injured.

If the broker owned or maintained the parking lot he or she likely had liability insurance. If so, ask the broker for the name and contact information for his or her liability insurance company. You can then contact the insurance company and file an injury claim. The insurance company may agree to pay your medical bills even without a showing of negligence.

If the parking lot was maintained, even partially, by a management company, or other business, contact them and tell them you were injured and would like to file a claim for reimbursement for your medical bills with their insurance company.

Because of the relatively minimal amounts of medical bills associated with your injury, and the absence of clear negligence, you may have a difficult time finding an attorney to represent you. There's just not enough money available to make it worth an attorney’s time and effort.

You can file a small claims lawsuit against the broker, management company, or other entity responsible for the maintenance of the property. Virginia Small Claims Courts have jurisdiction over civil lawsuits up to $5,000.

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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