Visitor Question

Slip & Fall Handicapped Victim at a Subsidized Housing Facility

Submitted By: Daniel (Las Vegas, NV)

I lease an income-based apartment for homeless veterans.

When I applied I told them that I have mobility problems related to leg and spinal injuries. They told me that I would get a one bedroom apartment for my wife and I DOWNSTAIRS. When it came time to move in they only had an upstairs.

I use a cane to assist walking and balance. About a month ago I slipped going down the stairs which does not have security cameras as does the hallways, walkways and other facilities. I further injured my back and cracked my head several times and went unconscious.

My wife found me about 20 minutes later and I was taken by ambulance to a VA Hospital. The facility said I am stuck with upstairs because they have no available downstairs one bedrooms.

I think I need an attorney to represent me in the slip & fall and handicapped rights actions. What do you think? Have my rights been violated?

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 Daniel,

The law that assists handicapped individuals is the Americans with Disabilities Act. In short, this federal law requires businesses to make their entrances accessible. When it comes to your residence, you have a few problems potentially.

For one, you chose to move upstairs. There is no requirement that they make a handicapped accessible apartment available to you, but rather that they have them in the first place. It sounds as though they do have residences that would meet ADA requirement, but that they were simply not available at the time.

Whether you have a straight personal injury case is another issue. Property owners are required to keep their property in a condition free of potential dangers. They are further required to regularly inspect their properties.

If there was something that caused you to slip such as a loose step, pooled water, etc. you may have a claim for premises liability.

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 26, 2010

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