Visitor Question

I Fell in the Parking Lot of My Job…

Submitted By: Shontia (Poughkeepsie, New York)

I fell in the parking lot of my job when I was on my way to the car to go home. We had an ice storm the night before and the parking lot was not shoveled. I have a lumbar sprain and a pinched nerve and can no longer do my job. Can I sue for personal injury?

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 Shontia,

When you are injured on the premises of another, you may sue under the theory of premises liability and negligence.

Here, the issue is whether their failure to shovel the snow after the snow storm gave rise to negligence?

I can see the answer going BOTH ways.

Negligence: If your employer always shoveled snow after snow storms creating a reasonable and foreseeable assumption that the ice would be shoveled, their failure to do so could create liability. This is because your employer would have assumed a duty and would have breached the duty by failing to shovel snow which then proximately caused your fall leading to the damages you describe.

No Negligence: If however, it had JUST snowed, or your employer did not own the parking lot but merely occasionally shoveled as a courtesy for example, then no duty would arise and where there is no duty, it is nearly impossible to hold someone liable.

Act of God: Even if negligence could exist which would support the premises liability theory, there are certain circumstances for which a party has no control, such as Acts of God. Things like snow, perilous conditions, weather, etc. are considered acts that are outside of a party’s control such that no liability inures as a result of injury occasioned by those conditions.

The answer to your question falls within the descriptions given above depending on the particular facts of your case.

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: June 6, 2010

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