While leaving work 6 days ago, I fell down a flight of 12 granite stairs. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance, but luckily only suffered a sprain/contusions to my knee, hand and face. The building I work in is not owned by my company. And a report was filed with building management.
My question is: who is liable for my hospital bills? Me? Building management?
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.
There are several issues to review…
First: What precipitated the fall?
When attempting to establish negligence there must first be an examination of any possible contributory negligence. Did you have a drink before you left work? Were you under the influence of any prescribed or otherwise illegal drugs?
Second: Was there a handrail available, and if so did you neglect to hold onto it?
Third: Verify any lost wages.
Once the above issues are eliminated you can turn to investigating liability. Gather your medical bills, including out of pocket expenses such as the cost of the ambulance, any prescribed medications, bandages, and so on.
Normally office buildings are owned by a person or a corporation and managed by a management company. You will need to secure the names and addresses of both. You should then ask the management company and owners for records of any previous reports of people falling down the stairs. That information is quite important.
You might also go online and see if you can find any building construction articles which discuss using slate for staircases, and if so if whether slate is not suggested for building staircases.
Once you have all of the above information you can then move on to formally notifying the owners and management company. In the notifications you should ask for reimbursement of all expenses related to your fall and resultant injuries. You can also ask them for additional monies for pain and suffering.
Now comes the reality of these types of injuries…
You will probably not persuade the management and ownership to provide the requested information. You will surely not be able to persuade them to pay an additional amount for your pain and suffering.
Normally we can suggest to our readers means of pursuing their own claims, but when it comes to buildings and management companies you are dealing with layer upon layer of holding companies, corporations and the like. It will be the same with the management company.
A skilled Personal Injury Attorney knows how to “pierce the corporate veil.” She can use subpoenas, and other pre-trial discovery to exact what is important, and to omit that which is not. She may also be able to secure additional funds for all the above costs together with Pain and Suffering. Most PI attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation.
Learn more here: Third-Party Lawsuits and Workers' Comp
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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