Is my son's school liable for my broken ankle since they had no caution signs?
(Post Falls, Idaho USA)
I went to my son's school to pick him up. It was raining outside at the time. I walked through the doors and when I stepped off the carpet runner onto the tiled floor, it was like stepping on ice. I fell, breaking my ankle. There were no wet floor signs or anything else.
The people in the entrance way did almost nothing. They called the nurse and the school principle walked by and did nothing and said nothing, acting like (not my problem). I had to have surgery on my ankle the next day. They installed a steel plate and seven screws to put it back together.
Now I`m laid up for 12 weeks (all summer). I'm 60 years old so this really is causing a lot of problems. Isn't the school responsible for my medical bills and the time it will take me to recover? They didn't have any wet floor signs up or anything. What can I do?
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ANSWER for "Is my son's school liable for my broken ankle since they had no caution signs?":
Rick (Post Falls, Idaho USA):
The school appears to be liable. More specifically, the school administration is liable for your injuries and resulting damages. Damages normally include medical bills, costs of medications, out of pocket expenses, lost wages and your pain and suffering, sometimes called emotional distress or mental anguish.
The school had a legal "duty of care" to make their premises safe for students, visitors, vendors and others legally on the school's property. Quite obviously they failed in their duty, referred to as a "breach of their duty of care." Their breach is considered negligence. Negligence makes the school administration liable.
Personal injury claims against governmental entities are different than your standard personal injury claims. Because school systems are governmental entities they are entitled to receive notice of claims via a "tort claim" procedure. Filing a tort claim must be done within a short period of time, sometimes as little as thirty days.
There are some personal injury claims which can be handled without an attorney. They are usually "soft tissue" claims and include injuries such as sprained tendons and ligaments, pulled muscles, and minor cuts and bruises.
More serious injuries including broken bones, deep gashes, burns and scarring should be handled by an attorney. Because of the seriousness of your injury, you'll need the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Most attorneys don't charge for an initial office consultation. If they accept your case you won't have to pay any legal fees until and unless they settle your case, or win it at trial.
Gather your medical bills, receipts for medications, medical records, and any other documents related to your injury. Ask your employer for verification of the amount of your wages. Bring all of this information to your 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,
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