Visitor Question

Slip and Fall Ankle Fracture…

Submitted By: Leaette (Billings, MT)

I slipped and fell on the steps at the shelter in billings. The carpet is slippery so I fell and broke my ankle bad. A double Malleolus fracture. The medical bills are stacking up and the shelter has never offered to help.

They know I don’t have insurance and I lived there at the time. I want them to pay for the medical bills bills and my time off work. Do I have a personal injury case? What should I do?

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 Leaette,

From the facts you present it appears you do have a case. As in almost all personal injury cases, before liability is assessed the issue of contributory negligence is considered. In your case if your actions didn’t contribute to your fall you will have a better chance of success.

For example, if you were intoxicated either by alcohol or other drug the liability of the shelter will be lessened. Presuming you didn’t contribute to your fall there are a few things to be considered…

Go and talk with the most senior employee at the shelter. Explain what happened and that you can’t afford to pay the medical bills.

Ask her to reimburse you for any bills so far, and to make arrangements to pay for any further of your medical costs. If she refuses you have a couple of options.

Send a certified letter to the sponsoring agency. Explain the situation. Further explain if they don’t help you will consider filing a personal injury lawsuit in Small Claims Court.

If that doesn’t work, you can actually go to your local Small Claims Court on Billings and file a lawsuit. The filing fee for Small Claims Court in the State of Montana is $75.00. If you can’t afford the fee, the Court may waive it. The maximum amount you can sue for in a Montana Small Claims Court is $3,000.00 dollars.

If your bills are greater than that you can consider hiring a Personal Injury Attorney. You won’t be charged anything for an initial office consultation, and you also won’t have to pay anything to the Attorney unless she wins your case. And then the legal fees will only be a percentage of the amount you won; normally between 33.3% and 40%.

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 17, 2011

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