Visitor Question

Broken Ankle from Fall at Retirement Complex…

Submitted By: Diana (Northfield, MN)

My mother lives in a retirement complex. She saw a note to move her car so the plows could plow the next day. When she walked outside she slipped on ice and fell. We took her to the hospital and the doctor said her ankle was broken vertically. She had a cast put on and is in long term care at the hospital and is getting rehab.

The retirement complex’s insurance said they will only pay up to $10,000 dollars. My question is, if her medical bills come to more than $10k, what can we do to make sure everything is covered? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Diana,

The retirement home’s offer to pay up to $10,000 dollars sounds “magnanimous,” but if your mother’s injuries, and resulting medical bills exceed that amount the retirement complex may be liable for that excess amount, whether they want to be or not.

Before we start talking about any compensation for your mother she would have to be able to prove the nursing home was negligent. If the nursing home knew there was an accumulation of ice on their property and took no action to remove it through one of many de-icing techniques, your mother would have a strong case.

In the alternative, if the nursing home de-iced their property and the ice continued to accumulate faster than they could keep it de-iced, then your mother’s case might not be as strong.

Your mother will have to wait until she knows the exact amount, or the proposed

future amount for her medical bills, out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, and an amount she believes is fair for her pain and suffering. Once she knows those amounts she can proceed with her claim against the nursing home.

There is no “yes” or “no” answer to your question. The best answer is “It depends.” It would be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most don’t charge a fee for an initial consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 29, 2012

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