Q: Do i have a case If i broke my leg in a apartment parking lot due to ice/snow I had surgery and i am unable to work?
I slipped in a apartment complex parking lot where their was a lot of snow and ice. I broke my leg and had to have surgery. This happened in janurary I have been unable to work since then and have no income. My bills are piling up from the accident. I am wondering if i have a case on suing the apartment complex or someone for not clearing the ice? I had to wait to do this until now because I was unable to walk or drive until last week. I have witness statements and the ambulance receipt showing they had to come get me at the parking lot. Really i am wondering if i have a case, how much it could cost me and if its worth fighting.
First, if you have a case, it will not cost you anything up front, as attorney's take these on a contingency basis.
That said, it is at least worth it to file a claim with the apartment complex, as they often have medpay insurance, meaning they will at least cover your medical bills up to a certain limit (often $5k). Now, with having to have leg surgery, I am guessing your medical bills are a lot more than that, but $5k is $5k.
Then, as to going after them for negligence, that gets harder. I have not researched Oregon's snow case law before, but in past research as to other states, usually unless the landlord caused the snow/ice hazard, then this naturally occurring hazard is not the landlords fault. Classic example of when it would be the landlord's fault, would be say a broken gutter caused water to run all over the parking lot, and then it freezes, causing a slip and fall. While the cold was naturally occurring, the water that froze was not.
A: Contact a member of the Oregon Assn for Justice--they gvie free consults. Slip and falls aren't easy, but Assn for Justice members take cases on a contingent fee basis.
Depending on your relationship to the apartment complex and the circumstances, you may have a claim under the landlord/tenant act if you are within the one year statute of limitations, which is 1 year from the incident date. The landlord tenant act allows for reciprocal attorney fees under ORS 90.255. This means that if you prevail after a lawsuit is filed the other side had to pay your attorney fees. However, if you lose you have to pay their attorney fees.
Depending on local statutes, there may be some statutory negligence in which you would have a two year statute of limitations in Oregon. If we determine there is a reasonable basis for liability, we consider these cases on a contingency fee basis.
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