Visitor Question

Torn Rotator Cuff from Fall on Landlord’s Steps…

Submitted By: Carol (Michigan)

I had written and called my landlord several times regarding a broken front step off her front porch and asked her to replace it. She said she would, later. A few months later I was coming out the front door and when I stepped down on the broken step carefully, it still caused me to fall over because it crumbled under my feet.

I fell off the porch and tried to break the fall with my hand. As a result I ended up injuring my rotator cuff, hurting my neck, and twisting my knee which is currently filled with fluid and very painful.

I’ve been in therapy for months and now they want an MRI to see if surgery will be my best option. They believe my rotator cuff may be torn because the months of therapy have not been successful healing me.

I’m dealing with my landlord’s insurance company but I don’t know what would be a reasonable settlement. I haven’t worked in seven months, and was making approximately $28,000 per year prior to my injury. I may not be able to work again because of my inability to use my arm and walk without limping.

Should I deal directly with the insurance company or hire an attorney? I’m 63 years of age but enjoy working and plan on doing so for many more years. I like the extra money and besides this injury am active and have been in very good health.

What would you suggest to proceed? And what would be a reasonable settlement? Thank you for the information.

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 Carol,

The insurance company may question why, after you were injured so many months ago, are you or your doctors just now considering an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) examination. That’s a bit like putting the “cart before the horse”.

When you were first injured it would have helped your case if the rotator cuff damage was identified at that time. An injured rotator cuff can be quite painful. These many months after the original injury will make it more difficult for you to convince the insurance company of the seriousness of your injuries.

At this point, the diagnosis of an injured or torn rotator cup will undoubtedly sound a bit suspicious to the insurance company as well.

You say as a result of the injury you haven’t worked in seven months. From the facts you present, that would imply you have been receiving therapy for at least seven months as well. That’s a long time to go without a rotator cuff diagnosis, especially if, as a direct result of the injuries, you can’t use your arm and walk without limping.

Most attorneys don’t charge for an initial office consultation. You would be best served by speaking with several. They will be able to review the medical and therapeutic treatment you have been receiving, and then evaluate the merits of your claim, including what a reasonable amount of settlement might be.

Although it isn’t always necessary to retain a personal injury attorney for every injury, you may need to consider one because of the delayed appearance of the rotator cuff injury.

Learn more here: Homeowner Insurance Injury Claims

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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One comment on “Torn Rotator Cuff from Fall on Landlord’s Steps…

  1. Carol, Michigan says:

    I guess I wasn’t clear regarding the injury to my rotator cuff…

    I did go to the hospital emergency room with my injury and they said they thought because I had limited range of motion it could be a rotator cuff injury; that is in the report. They then suggested I see my physician.

    I did and he prescribed therapy. During the therapy my therapist believed my injury was more extensive and wrote my doctor suggesting I be further evaluated.

    I was then sent for an MRI following the unsuccessful therapy. So, I didn’t wait a long time regarding my injury, it was only a few weeks. When it started feeling worse, I went to emergency where they diagnosed the possibility of a torn rotator cuff.

    Regarding my knee, I’ve been injected with cortisone.

    Just to clear things up…

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