What to do if I slipped and fell on ice at my apartment complex?

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What to do if I slipped and fell on ice at my apartment complex?

We had freezing rain overnight; I left out to go to work at 6:30 am. When I left out of my apt building, the stairs were a sheet of ice. I held on till I reached a patch of grass. When I reached the parking lot to go to my car, I stepped down and slipped and fell and hurt my hand. Since I work at a doctors office I came straight to work and was seen by one of my physicians. My right hand is bruised due to my fall. Can I send any medical bills to my management company and is there anything else I can do?

Asked on January 15, 2014 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can try sending your bills to the management company; however, from what you write, it is very unlikely that will pay; or that you could force them to pay; or even if you could force them to pay, that it would be worthwhile doing so.

1) Liability: for the management company to be liable, or financially responsible for your medical bills, they would have to have been at fault in some way; a property owner or manager is NOT liable for all injuries on its property, but rather only those which it contributed to in some way. In slip and fall cases, fault is typically based on negligence, or unreasonable carelessness--that is, not being as careful as a reasonable property owner or manager should be. You say the freezing rain occured overnight, and that you feel early in the morning, at around 6:30am; it is not reasonable to expect a property manager to be out there in "real time" getting rid of ice. The time between the freezing rain and the fall seems too short to have imposed on them a duty or obligation to have done anything about it.

2) If they won't pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them to try and force them to pay. But all you could collect is the medical bills, from what you write--you say your hand was bruised but do not describe any long lasting or servous disability, injury requiring surgery, etc. It is unlikely that the medical bills connected with a bruise, even a bad one, would justify the time, effort, and cost of litigation.


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