Visitor Question

Failure to Maintain the Premises Causes Injury…

Submitted By: Amy (Worthington, Minnesota)

I was walking out of a Hotel at 6:45 am, I took 1 step out of the door and went down on the ice. There was no awning and NO icemelt. I got a compound fracture of the humorous bone in my shoulder. I think the hotel should have removed the ice.

I am experiencing other physical pains in my neck and back as a result of compensating for the immobility of the injured shoulder. Do you think I have a case against the hotel?

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.

Answer

Dear Amy,

There are two major issues here: Issue # 1 is who owns/manages the property. Issue #2 is whether the owner is liable. Many times sidewalks are publicly maintained by the city in which the building is located. If this is the case here, you will have to file a claim against the city within the 6 month statute of limitations that applies to municipalities.

Only after the 6 month administrative statute of limitations, you are then free to pursue a civil claim against the city.

If the sidewalk is owned and/or maintained by the hotel, you have the statute of limitations applicable to your state within which to file.

Now to issue #2, liability. A property owner will only be liable if he fails to maintain his property and fails to inspect and warn of a known dangerous condition. Often, issues such as snow, ice, wind, rain, etc. are considered Acts of God for which liability typically will not follow.

For example, if there was a recent storm and snow accumulated at a rate that could not be removed quickly, this would not constitute failure to inspect or warn because there would not be adequate time to do so.

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 3, 2011

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