I work as an Independent Contractor for a pet sitting business. I was scheduled to go to the client’s home to let their dog out for a potty break. I unlocked the back door and let the clients dog out and walked with her towards the backyard.
I took a step onto a brick sidewalk that is on an incline and it had been raining previously, the sidewalk was slippery and I began to slip, to break my fall I used my left hand but that resulted in breaking my bone in my arm. I called my boss to let her know what had happened and that I would be unable to do the other clients I had scheduled.
I went to the emergency room and was treated for a broken arm. They said I needed to not work for a week, to make sure the break does not slip out of place, if this occurs for whatever reason I would need surgery on the break to repair it properly. I am curious to know who, if anyone, would be liable for my injury, medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering?
I am not entirely certain that the home owner is aware of the sidewalk conditions. My boss was aware of it and she stated I should have let the dog out from another area, but that makes no sense when I got there and opened the door the dog came out.
I was never told about any special precautions or which area to let the dog out at.
I have let the dog out from this door every time I go here and have walked in the same path that I did on this day.
Can you please advise me as to who would be liable and how I should proceed? It is very difficult to do anything with only one hand available for use.
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.
Yours is a typical premises liability case. This means that, when an injury occurs on the property of another, the property owner may be liable for the injuries.
Typically these are “known” conditions, however knowledge of the dangerous condition may be imputed to the homeowner if they are out in the open. It is too difficult to know whether liability would be accepted without first submitting a claim. The homeowner should provide you with the home owners policy and you can submit a claim to the adjuster once you have an idea of what your past, present and future medical bills are.
As far as your employer is concerned, you have stated that you are an independent contractor and as such, you would not be entitled to workers compensation benefits that are provided in a normal employee-employer relationship.
Learn more here: Sidewalks and Walkways
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!
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