Fell in a parkinglot.

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Fell in a parkinglot.

I was walking out of a store and i fell over a
piece of wood that i think came from the work
that they are doing on the building. I sprained
my ankle and cut my knee up. Can i sue?

Asked on July 21, 2018 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There must be fault involved to sue; if there is, you can sue whomever was at fault.
So if the wood was in an inappropriate or dangerous place (like on a sidewalk or in front of the door) and was left there (i.e. it hadn't just fallen and they hadn't had a chance to pick it up yet), then that might be negligent or unreasonably careless, and that could establish fault. In that case, you could sue whomever had left the wood there--the store if it was their own employees, but the contractor, if they had an outside contractor doing the work.
Bear in mind that you can only recover compensation equivalent to your out-of-pocket (paid by you, not insurance) medical costs; lost wages, if any (i.e. if you missed work due to this); and, if you experience months or more of significant life impairment or disability, some amount for pain and suffering. If you have a sprain which will be fine in 2 or 3 weeks and small out of pocket medical costs, and maybe lost only a day or three of wages, it is NOT worth suing--you will spend more time, effort, and/or money than the case is worth.


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