Visitor Question

Can I sue for personal injury damages walking in to work?

Submitted By: Claire (Monroe, NY)

There was a huge crack and heave in the cement sidewalk immediately in front of the entrance to work.

It ran the entire length of the entranceway and was there for 6 – 8 weeks.

There was a 3″ elevation and heave that was tripped over by many, but I was the one who actually went down.

I had a bad ankle sprain, two cut knees, and I’m generally sore all over. The very next day, the hazardous condition was fixed.

The entire sidewalk was ripped up and replaced. My question is, can I sue for personal injury because I was not actually “on the clock” as I was not in the building yet? Can I get compensation any other way? Thanks.

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 Claire,

You might have the basis of a personal injury claim. You do not though, have the basis of a workers’ compensation claim. Injuries to workers which occur before or after the work day begins or ends are not covered, especially when the worker is either on his or her way to work, or after leaving the employee’s premises.

You do though appear to have the basis of a personal injury claim. Your claim would be against the person or entity which is responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk. That could be the city or a private property owner, including, but not limited to your employer.

Your injuries appear to be quite minor, often referred to as “soft tissue” injuries. An ankle sprain and two bruised knees, while painful, will not be sufficient to support any type of viable personal injury claim. At most, you might be able to receive compensation for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses for medications and bandages.

It appears you didn’t miss any work, so lost wages would not be included. As to pain and suffering, once again, albeit painful, an ankle sprain is not sufficient to support much of a claim for pain and suffering.

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: March 14, 2015

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