If I slipped and fell on ice as I was leaving my friend’s condo complex, do I have any recourse against the condo complex, their insurer or their snow removal company?

I slipped on the ice in the parking lot and as I was falling I reached for my car. I dislocated my shoulder and had to go to the ER.

Asked on February 7, 2015 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Notify the condo complex and its insurance carrier in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim. 

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the condo complex's insurance carrier should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the condo complex's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the condo complex based on premises liability.

If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the condo complex must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is fault: was the complex (or anyone) at fault in not removing the ice? That will turn on the facts: basically, was it obvous (or should it have been obvious) that there was ice? If so, was there sufficient time for the complex or their contractor to de-ice? If the ice had just occured or it was still snowing/sleeting/freezing raining/etc. and so in the process of icing up, there would probably be no liability. Only if the complex had (or should have had, reasonably) the knowledge and opportunity to take some action but nonetheless failed to do so, might they be liable.


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