What are my legal rights regarding a slip and fall in someone’s home?

I rent an apartment from my son, so technically I live in his house although it’s a separate apartment with its own entrance. He invited me over to his house for dinner one night and towards the end of the evening while I was in the bathroom, he spilled some water on the floor. He went to get towels to clean up and when I came out of the bathroom unaware of the spill I slipped on the floor and fell. I was pretty badly hurt and I was wondering if I need to get a lawyer. His homeowners insurance has agreed to pay for the extensive dental work that I will need but I just want to be sure I’m doing things properly

Asked on February 4, 2016 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your son actually is probably not liable, since he did nothing wrong: some water was spilled, but he was doing the appropriate thing and getting towels to dry it when, unluckily, you happened to slip. The law only makes people liable if they don't take reasonable steps to protect others, but your son was taking reasonable steps. Therefore, neither he nor his insurer most likely have to pay; if the insurer has voluntarily agreed to pay, you are, based on what you write, already ahead of the game.


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