Visitor Question

Concrete chunks fell from outside wall, injuring resident standing below…

Submitted By: Chris (Milwaukee, WI, USA)

Thanks in advance for considering my query. I’m hoping you might point me in the right direction, regarding potential lawsuit/litigation. I live in an apt. building that is an old brick and stone factory (100+ years old and 13 stories tall) which was converted into a loft style residential structure of about 150 units.

I was standing outside the main entrance on the sidewalk, when concrete chunks of the actual structure on the 3rd floor fell and hit me, injuring my arm. I suffered cuts and bruises. The police and medics came and filed a report, but couldn’t provide any legal advice.

I believe similar incidents of falling parts of this structure have happened previously…as the commercial property owner hired a small patching company to work on the external integrity of the structure by doing patchwork about 3 years ago.

That also could have been a proactive measure by the property owner to prevent problems, like what I experienced, from happening. But it obviously didn’t work.

I am wondering if anyone (the property owners, or contractors hired to do the patchwork) may be liable for negligence, or what initial steps I might take in regards to filing any damage claims or lawsuit?

Any generic or detailed tips or recommendations you could provide would be extremely appreciated! Thanks again.

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 Chris,

The injuries you describe are referred to as “soft-tissue” injuries. Soft tissue injuries include minor cuts, abrasions, burns, bruises, strains and sprains to muscles, tendons, or ligaments, whiplash, and other relatively minor injuries. These type of injuries normally don’t require hospitalization, but may include one or two trips to an ER or medical clinic.

Soft tissue injury claims can usually be handled by the victim and without the need for an attorney. In the case of your soft tissue injuries, you have the right to reimbursement for “damages.” Damages can include your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages (if your injuries caused you to miss work), and a small amount for your pain and suffering.

Contact your landlord or the property owner (or both) directly. Tell them you were injured and required medical attention. Further, tell them you would like to be compensated for your damages, including those listed above which apply to your situation.

They will likely refer you to their insurance company. Contact the insurance company and file a personal injury claim. When you do, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your claim. Be sure to ask for the claim number, you will need it as a future reference..

In your claim a fair amount for your settlement would be about 1.5 to 3 times the amount of your medical bills. That multiple is meant to cover all your damages.

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: September 22, 2014

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