Legal Question in Personal Injury in Delaware

Injury in the parking lot of my apartment.

On November 18, 2001 I stepped in a hole covered up with by leaves in the parking lot of my apartments and craked a bone in my right ankle. I was not going to do anything about it at first because my Foot Dr. said it should heal in 2 weeks but 2 weeks came and went and I still have problems with my ankle. The reason I'm writing is because I reported the injury to my apartments and they have not shown any concern for me nor have they got the parking lot fixed; and also, since it's been cold and snowy they have not put any salt down for the ice and the parking lot is covered with ice, I almost fall trying to get to my truck. So my question is, ''is it to late for me to sue or try to get them to pay for my medical bills and get some kind of discount on my rent or free rent?'' I have pictures of my foot with the little boot I had to wear and pictures of the parking lot where the injury accured.

Asked on 1/09/02, 12:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jamie Black Black's Law and Mediation

Re: Injury in the parking lot of my apartment.

The proper way to approach your case is not to request a discount on your rent but to substantiate a personal injury case properly through an attorney. You have two years to file such a case from the date of the accident and we usually make recovery before two years. In that event, no case would be needed to be filed at all.

In short, the owners of the apartment complex are covered by business insurance (required by law) and it consists of liability coverage for these types of accidents. The apartment complex has a reasonable duty to keep the grounds safe under negligence law. The particular facts of your case will determine whether they met the level of that duty (how deep was the hole, where was it located, did it remain covered by leaves after accident, how long was it obscured prior to your fall, etc?). You are very smart to have kept photos and notes.

The money awarded is determined by the actual extent of your injuries, medical costs, lost wages etc. The standard practice among attorneys is to take personal injury cases without any money up front. We only get paid if we win your case in court or make a good settlement for you with the insurance company. If you have a good case, you can apply your portion of the money award to a lot more than rent.

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Answered on 1/09/02, 1:47 pm
Michael Cortson Law Office of Michael D. Cortson, Esq.

Re: Injury in the parking lot of my apartment.

You have plenty of time to file suit. The main question is how long the condition existed before your fall which would put the landlord on notice had he made a reasonable inspection. Also in issue is your knowledge of the condition prior to the fall. Get your doctor to help your condition. You will no doubt need an attorney to get the insurance company involved. I have practiced in civil matters since 1985 and am licensed in Indiana and California. I worked for insurers and know the things they do to frustrate a claimant. You can call me at 219-340-3890 for more information.

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Answered on 1/09/02, 12:53 pm

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