What shall I do about an injury that I suffered when I fell through my patio/deck?

I fell through my patio/deck. I have been telling my landlords for over 6 months that my patio/deck needed to be repair because it was going to fall any day. I immediately went to the hospital and had X-rays taken and seen a doctor. I took pictures and a video of the patio/deck and also took pictures of my injuries. This patio/deck is very old and moldy and rusted out and I have been telling them for months to fix it. Well injury has happened and I am not happy about it at all.

Asked on August 30, 2016 under Personal Injury, Michigan


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the landlord based on premises liability, it may be possible to settle your case with the landlord's insurance carrier. 
Notify the landlord's 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 medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the landlord's insurance carrier should include those 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 landlord's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the landlord's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the landlord based on premises liability.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the landlord 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 4 years ago | Contributor

Because you had put your landlords on notice (i.e. they had warning) that the deck was failing (old, moldy, rusted, etc.) but they refused to fix it, they are very likely liable for your injuries: when you have notice or warning of an unsafe condition but fail to take reasonable precautions, that is negligent, or unreasonably careless, and makes you responsible for any resultling injuries. 
Therefore, you may sue for 1) your out-of-pocket (not paid by insuranc) medical costs; 2) lost wages (if any); and, for long lasting (many weeks or longer), signficant disability or life impairment, some amount for "pain and suffering" (if the injury is not long lasting or signifiant, the amount you could get for pain and suffering is usually very low, perhaps nothing).

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