Shower Door Fell and Broke My Foot...

by Anna
(Columbia, MO)

I was taking a shower in my apartment and suddenly the sliding glass shower door fell on top of my foot. I had extreme pain and deep cut. I went to ER right away with my roommate's help. It turned out that I had a broken bone, open fracture, and cut tendon. I had surgery to reattach the cut tendon which took over an hour.

It has been two weeks since the accident and surgery. Last Friday I saw a doctor (it was my second visit after the surgery). The doctor took another X-ray to check my bone. He told me my heeling is kind of slow and my bone is sagged. He said that if this condition continues after two weeks, I will need a second surgery to fix my bone.

I am a doctoral student and have school insurance. I haven't received a medical bill yet but I heard it would be quite expensive. I'm afraid I may not be able to pay it. I live in an apartment complex and I'm wondering if I can make my landlord pay medical bills? Do the people who made and/or installed the shower door have any liability? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Shower Door Fell and Broke My Foot...":

Anna (Columbia, MO):

You raised two important questions...

If the sliding glass shower door fell on top of your foot because the glass door came of its hinges or rails, or if in any other manner the door improperly fell through no fault of your own, then certainly the landlord is liable for the injuries you sustained and the resultant medical bills.

Additionally, you may have a legal claim against the manufacturer of the glass shower door. To have a credible claim against the manufacturer of the door you will have to have some evidence that the glass door malfunctioned, independent of the landlord's negligence in not repairing the door.

To successfully pursue the manufacturer you would have to show there was some type of inherent product defect in the door. Depending upon the age of the door and the exact reason it malfunctioned, that me be difficult to prove.

Your strongest and most direct route to reimbursement for your past, present and future medical bills is through the landlord and her insurance company.

The landlord should be liable for not only your medical bills, but for any of your out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, bandages, etc., any lost wages during your treatment and recovery period, and an additional amount for your pain and suffering.

There are some cases which can be reasonably handled by an individual without the services of a personal injury attorney. Your case isn't one of them. Seek out several personal injury attorneys. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. That will be the best way to learn about the various methods of pursuing a legal claim.

You won't have to pay the attorney any money until, and unless she either settles your case to your satisfaction or wins the case after trial. Then you will only have to pay a contingency fee of about 33.3% or 40% of the final settlement, depending on your agreement with the attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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