Slipped down a residential flight of stairs and broke my tailbone...

by Vanessa
(New Orleans, LA)

My friend needed a ride to his friend's house, so I took him. It was raining that evening. I proceeded up a flight of cement steps to meet and talk with my friend's buddy. After our visit, we said our goodbyes and proceeded down the steps. His buddy said be careful, it was slippery and still drizzling rain.

The stairs had an anti-slip black patch in the middle of the steps, but it was not covering each step completely. About the second step, my left foot missed the slip guard and I began to fall.

They had at least 10 to 12 steps in the stairway. I went down butt first, bouncing on my butt until I was unable to control myself and I tumbled on my head. I finally managed to stop the fall with my right foot. I was so scared and busted up.

I broke my second toe on the right foot, and brush burned my toes and ankle. In the middle of my shin an orange-sized contusion had already swelled up. The next day I was in such pain I went to the hospital. My injuries were worse than I could imagine.

The doctor said x-rays of my ankle and back showed my ankle was severely bruised and I also fractured my tail bone. My neck was also misaligned. I went to my Orthopedic doctor and he has ordered 2 MRIs: spinal and lower lumbar. I already have back problems and now my back has gotten worse.

What can I do about this? Do I have to sue my friend's buddy to get my medical bills paid? Will I get anything since I already had back problems? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Slipped down a residential flight of stairs and broke my tailbone...":

Vanessa (New Orleans, LA):

You may not have to sue anyone. While you don't specify the type of home you were visiting, because of the number of steps, we will presume the home was in an apartment complex. As a result, the entity responsible for your dealing with your slip and fall injuries will be the apartment complex owner.

In the event the residence you're speaking of is actually a home, then your friend's buddy may be responsible for your injuries.

The apartment complex owner or your friend's buddy's responsibility may not be as clear as it would appear. You stated the stairs had black anti-slip material on each step. It could be argued the material used was a reasonable exercise of caution in the protection of those who walked up or down the steps.

For your friend's buddy or the complex owner to be liable will require a showing of negligence. From the facts you present, negligence is at issue.

If your friend's buddy was a homeowner, and the injuries occurred on the steps to his residence, his homeowners insurance may cover your injuries and resulting costs. If your friend's buddy carried homeowners insurance, ask him for the name and contact information of his homeowners insurance company.

In the event it was an apartment complex, contact the management company or owner of the complex. Tell them you were injured and want to file an injury claim. Most apartment complexes carry premises liability insurance, meant to cover injuries such as yours occurring on the property.

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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