Visitor Question

Fall on Uneven Concrete at Apartment Complex…

Submitted By: Linda (Gainesville, FL)

On December 17th I fell because of uneven pavement on a walkway at an apartment complex. I found out that the lady in charge of the property had told corporate about the bad spots in the pavement.

When I tripped, I could not get my balance because the sidewalk was going downwards. I saw that I was close to hitting my head on a car bumper, so I somehow figured a way to hit my left side away from the car. I had x-rays taken and was told I had several bruised ribs. I have been in severe pain for 3 weeks.

The insurance company for the apartment complex has called and sent me papers, but I don’t know how to respond. What should I do? 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 Linda,

If you only sustained a few bruised, but not broken ribs the insurance company may only offer to pay your medical bills to date, and may also offer a few hundred dollars more for your pain and suffering.

The papers sent to you by the insurance company are probably RELEASE papers. Those are the documents you will be required to sign if you want the insurance company to reimburse you for your medical costs and compensate you for any lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering resulting from your fall.

If, as a result of your fall it was necessary for you to take time off from work to either treat the injury, or to recover from it, the insurance company should offer to pay the wages you may have lost during those periods.

You may also be entitled to those amounts of money you had to outlay to pay for prescription and over the counter medications and aids required by you as a direct result of your fall.

Finally, you may be able to convince the insurance company to add an additional amount for your pain and suffering.

To calculate an appropriate amount for the entire settlement take the medical bills, X-rays and any other related medical costs and multiply them by about 4x. That number is the approximate amount you should settle for.

Before signing any of the insurance company’s papers you need to contact them and tell them you want to speak with the claims representative for your case. She is the one you will need to convince to pay you the above amounts.

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 8, 2012

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