Visitor Question

Improperly designed walkway…

Submitted By: Charles (Nashville, TN)

March 1st was a rainy day and I had left my rented condominium. From my front door to the parking lot are a few steps and broken sidewalk, with grass/mud on each side. If there is a car in the parking spot, the sidewalk ends and one has to step on to the grass/mud to get around it and into the parking lot.

This particular day my car was parked in the spot where the sidewalk ends at the parking lot and I went to walk into the grass area. I slipped and broke my leg. Could the lack of a proper sidewalk be grounds for a lawsuit to help pay for medical expenses? How do I go about getting my medical bills paid for? Must they fix the walk? 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 Charles,

You appear to have a legitimate basis for a “premises liability” slip and fall injury claim. Here’s a good overview of when property owners are liable.

Under the doctrine of premises liability, property owners have a legal duty of care to do everything reasonably possible to assure their property is safe for those legally upon it. As a tenant, you are one of those persons legally upon the property.

In this case the property owner knew, or should have known that when it rains the grass on the property becomes muddy. Moreover, the owner knew the sidewalk ended before the parking lot, making it necessary for some tenants to walk across the grass to get to the parking lot.

Contact the landlord or property owner. Make it clear you fell and fractured your leg when you fell on the muddy area before the parking lot.

You have two choices:

First: If you only want your medical bills paid, and do not want to pursue the property owner for additional damages, you can handle the matter without an attorney. This presumes the property owner agrees to pay for your medical bills.

Second: If you want to pursue the property owner for the damages you sustained in addition to your medical bills, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Additional damages can include your out of pocket costs (for such items as medications, crutches, etc.), lost wages, and for your pain and suffering

Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather copies of your medical records and bills and contact several attorneys in your area. After visiting with them you will have a better idea of the viability of your claim, the approximate time it will take to resolve it, and the approximate amount of settlement or court ordered judgment you can expect to receive.

Learn more here: Apartment Buildings & Other Rentals

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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