I was in buffalo for a funeral and i was in the parking lot of the holiday inn and fell on a raise in the sidewalk. received bruises on my elbows and knee and also sprained my trapeziums and neck. no other treatment was required except heat and cold and anti-inflammatory and pain pills. do you think i can sue
Ellen, most claims such as yours get resolved before a person actually "sues". But to answer your question, yes, you most likely can make a claim for your injuries.
I am a Florida accident lawyer specializing in car accident, slip/trip and falls, and workers compensation claims. Laws vary from state to state, so you should always check with an experienced accident attorney in your area to get more information.
Your trip and fall injury is one that occurs to many people. Portions of sidewalks get raised up over time, either due to wear and tear, or roots from nearby trees and bushes. However, just because you tripped over the sidewalk at the Holiday Inn, does not necessarily make Holiday Inn responsible for your injuries.
In Florida, a business owner such as Holiday Inn owes two duties to its customers - maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn its customers, or persons lawfully on the property, of dangerous conditions that cannot be appreciated. In other words, the raised sidewalk must have existed for enough time that Holiday Inn knew, or should have known, it was a problem. That way, HI could have taken steps to fix the sidewalk, or at least warn people on the property about the raised sidewalk. You or your attorney will have to explore the facts of your case to see whether Holiday Inn failed to maintain the sidewalk as it is required.
You'll also want to determine if some other entity, such as a city or county is actually responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. If it is a sidewalk at the front of the property and adjacent to a city or county roadway, it may not be Holiday Inn's responsibility to maintain the sidewalk.
It is best to explore making a claim soon after the accident occurred. For starters, you'll want to get pictures of the sidewalk now, before it is fixed or torn up. The Holiday Inn may also have videotaped surveillance in the parking lot, so you need to request that any videotapes be preserved. Otherwise they'll be destroyed after a certain period of time, usually 7 to 30 days. You should also be looking to obtain statements from any witnesses that may have seen you fall. Their names may be listed on an incident report, or just by asking around in the area where you fell.
Once you establish a basis for liability against HI, or any other person or entity, you would put your medical records and bills together with evidence of any other damages you have, ie. lost wages, pain and suffering, etc, and forward to Holiday Inn. Many claims get resolved at this stage. If not, you can move forward with a lawsuit.
In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to bring a claim. However, you don't want to wait that long as witnesses disappear and their memories fade, witnesses move on to different jobs, and evidence can be lost.
You should speak with an attorney specializing in trip and fall injury accidents in your area to see whether you should pursue a claim. Also, an experienced trip and fall lawyer is going to know the laws in NY and how best to proceed. Most trip and fall lawyers handle cases on a contingent basis which means if the lawyer does not recover any money for your claim, there is no charge for costs or attorney's fees.
South Florida Attorney Joseph M. Maus and Associates has been helping victims of injuries and accidents for close to 17 years. The firm prides itself on having the resources and experience of the largest state-wide law firms, yet providing individualized attention to each and every client.