Visitor Question

Fall On an Icy Dock…

Submitted By: Debbie (Oregon)

I slipped and fell on an icy dock when my husband and I went on a dinner cruise on the river. When we left the ship there was a metal dock going down hill. It was about 22 degrees out that night and the dock was frozen.

I fell so hard and fast, I didn’t have time to react. I twisted my whole body and thought my ankle was broken. A medic saw me fall, put me in a golf cart and took me to her building. Once there she treated me; she put an ace bandage on my foot and band aids on my knee that was cut and bleeding.

We were from out of town so we went back to our hotel and headed home because I was in so much pain. We decided to wait to see if the swelling went down. The next day I felt like a truck ran over me. My back, neck, shoulders, and knees were hurting, and my ankle and part of my foot had turned black and it was swollen as big as a baseball.

I couldn’t walk for 8 days. My back was stiff and it was very hard to turn my neck so I decided to go to the emergency room. They found I had a small fracture in my foot but they never really checked out anything else on me even though I’d told them the other medical problems I was having.

They wanted to put a cast on my foot but said it was my choice since I couldn’t walk on it at all (because of lymph node removal under my arms I can’t use crutches so I had to decline). The ER doctor told me I could follow up with my own doctor, and he could refer me to an orthopedist.

Do I have a case here for my pain and suffering caused by my injuries? Also, I’m not sure if this will help but another person slipped and fell on the same dock but wasn’t hurt like I was, and another friend of ours said he almost fell.

Thanks for any info you can give.

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 Debbie,

You may have a claim against the dock owner, the cruise director, and the boat owner – or a combination of the three.

To pursue your claim do the following:

1. Collect your medical bills.

2. Get written statements from the other person who fell and the person who almost fell.

3. Collect all of your medical records, including, but not limited to, your admitting charts and all remaining medical records.

4. Do some research and locate the names and addresses of the owner of the dock, the cruise company, and the owner of the boat.

5. Send each a letter telling them what happened. The manner in which you presented the facts to us should be pretty close to the letter you’ll send to each of them.

6. Tell them you want to speak with their insurance companies’ representatives, a.k.a. “claims adjusters”.

7. Once you have made contact with the insurance companies claims’ adjusters tell them you want to negotiate a settlement for your medical bills, your out of pocket expenses such as prescription and non prescription medications, any lost wages, and an amount for your pain and suffering.

You can normally determine a fair settlement amount by multiplying your medical bills by at least 3x-5x. That figure will include payment for your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you aren’t successful with them you can always contact a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge you for an initial office consultation.

Learn more here: Slip and Falls on Ice or Snow

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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