Visitor Question

Fall Down Steps After Slipping on Water…

Submitted By: Ivelisse (Bronx, NY)

My mother in law slipped and fell in her building in New York City. She is 60 years old and got hurt pretty bad. She fell down 7 steps and lost consciousness for a couple of seconds. The ambulance came to get her and saw a leak on the staircase. We went to the ER and they took x-rays of her shoulder, neck, head, back, and chest. We are going for an MRI today.

The building’s superintendent knew of the leaking water problem but did not fix it.

So my question is: Can she sue the building? Does she have a strong case? Can they throw her out of the building if she does sue? Also, I don’t think we can get a lawyer because we don’t have any money. Thank you.

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 Ivelisse,

If the building is owned by a private person or company the filing of a lawsuit will not be difficult. To be successful in filing a suit your mother will have to have suffered serious pain and discomfort which resulted in extensive medical treatment.

The medical treatment would result in medical bills. Medical bills are really what successful lawsuits are based upon.

Although we certainly hope your mother’s injuries were not too serious, if the results of the X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Examination), and other tests indicate any long-lasting adverse medical problems, your mother’s case will be stronger.

Your mother can’t be evicted if she has a lease and if she has not violated any of its terms – specifically those terms which are listed as grounds for eviction.

You do not have to have money for an attorney. Personal Injury cases are handled by attorneys in a different way than others.

In personal injury cases, attorneys do not charge any amount until, and unless they are successful in the case. Then, and only then will they deduct a percentage of the settlement – usually anywhere from 33% to 40%- bit no more.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney. Most will not charge you or your mother for an initial office consultation. They will be able to explain the way the case works and whether your mother has a good case.

Remember though, the Statute of Limitations, meaning the time period in which you can either settle your case or file suit, is only up to 2 years from the time of your mother’s fall.

Learn more here: Dangerous Stairways

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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