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Old 03-06-2021, 11:06 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by kjpliny View Post
If you can sue over a half inch height difference of a walk or path, you can sue over a step that you "didn't see".
And indeed you can sue over either of those situations. Outcomes can be highly variable from one case to the other, even if the circumstances are similar. We aren't widely described as a "litigious" society for nuttin' ! Late night TV in our area seems to be almost totally sponsored by personal injury legal firms promising big settlements.

In OP's situation, I wouldn't sue for, or chase in any way, compensation beyond any out-of-pocket expenses incurred. And I liked OP's thoughts that going forward he would be more conscious of his DW's propensity to stumble due to her artificial knees, etc. Our oldest grandson is afflicted with cerebral palsy and when we're out with him, we always take his unsteadiness into account and pay attention 100% off the time.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:11 AM   #42
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My condolences for your DW's injuries.
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:14 PM   #43
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So sorry this happened to your DW. I once had a bad fall as a result of a pot hole in a parking lot. I called a of couple of those injury lawyers here in VA who both told me that as long as the area was visible to me, I didnít have a case. I had a duty to watch where I was putting my feet.
Thank you Letj; Very helpful. I hope you have fully mended from your fall.
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:31 PM   #44
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I would think insurance will ask if this was the result of an accident and pursue seeking damages from the HO policy regardless. Just a guess though.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:38 PM   #45
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Yikes! So sorry that happened to your DW.

Agree with the others. Wait and let emotions cool down.

Iím curious - what was the impression of the house (other than the tripping incident)? Is/was it something you would put an offer on? With a drive of over 175 miles, there must have been something piquing your interest with the house. Can the incident be used as leverage a discussion point to get a better deal on the house?
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:26 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Retired Expat View Post
Yeah, so sorry this happened. And of course we all need to watch where we are walking but this is why people carry homeowners insurance. The owners should contact their insurance carrier who should step up if they have coverage. You might not need to sue and get lawyers involved. That means there is a dispute, so donít start there but see if the insurance will cover it.
Thanks Retired Xpat. If they offer, I would accept, but won't push it if they don't.
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:34 PM   #47
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Wow that sounds like a horrible fall, and very scary. As most of us find out the hard way, head injuries bleed profusely which exacerbates the alarm.

So two things: Sidewalk - where I live that's the county's responsibility. I have to keep them clean, because they are in my property line, but repairs and uneven pavement are the county's job. Not the homeowner. Different jurisdictions might have other rules, city, county, state, etc.

Your wife does walk with a bit of a low scuff - she's fallen before. I do that, some shoes worse than others. I'm more prone to tripping and catching my foot on something than other people. I'm the one who gets static shocked all the time because of it. I'd probably face plant if I didn't see a 1" raise in a sidewalk.

My advice would be put this all out of your mind for the next 30 days. Don't bring up suing with your wife, if she does, refocus the discussion on her getting better. Deal with all of that, and once she's healed up then see how you feel.

Then if you're still inclined, talk to a local injury lawyer. You likely have at least 6 months or longer to file if you decide to go that route. I think this just gets chalked up to an unfortunate accident, vs. provable negligence, but I'm no lawyer.
Thank you Aerides. Yes, I'll concentrate on DW's care.

DW's arthritis and knee replacement cause her to not pick up her feet very high while walking. She can do it if navigating something uneven. As mentioned here, she needs to pay attention to what is in front of her feet. And I've just learned I need to make sure she does. I'm the younger and by far more agile one (I still go up on extension ladders to fix stuff, but probably shouldn't.
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:37 PM   #48
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To all talking about the sidewalk, the OP said:

This does not sound like the sidewalk by the road, but rather a walkway in front of the house to the driveway.
Yes, that's correct. There are no public sidewalks in this neighborhood (one of its detractions we thought).
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:44 PM   #49
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I am not a lawyer. I believe their homeowner and umbrella (if they have it) insurance should cover the medical. I would pursue that. I would hope that doesn't require filing a lawsuit. If your wife makes a full recovery, that would be it. If you think it will cause long term issues, I'd be considering all options.

This is one of the reasons I carry umbrella insurance. I'd be losing a lot of sleep if I were the homeowner without it.

I took a similar fall last year at a cabin we were renting. Tripped on a very odd shaped hearth and hit my head hard on the cast iron stove. Plenty of blood and a huge black eye. Luckily my nurse GF was able to patch me up so no hospital expense and no lasting damage. The owner responded well and arranged a nice dinner at a restaurant we were already considering. I had no intention of suing, but would not have signed any kind of release of liability if he or his insurance company asked just in case it did turn out worse.
Good point, something to keep in mind (the text I bolded). She may need surgery (her ENT needs to evaluate her), but if all turns out ok, that's still no reason to sue. I do know in auto accidents, sometimes medical issues related to the accident happen a good while afterwards.
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:50 PM   #50
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Yes, that's correct. There are no public sidewalks in this neighborhood (one of its detractions we thought).
Ah so this is basically a pathway, part of the homeowner's landscaping, not in the easement. So not really what most of us would consider a sidewalk.

Still, your insurance will probably guide you here as they will be SUPER happy to find a reason to get another companies policy involved.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:02 PM   #51
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Homeowners are always liable.
Oye. This is not true. I could ramble for hours and hours on this subject but will keep it to myself.

Bottom line, if you think there is a chance that there is liability, contact a lawyer that IN YOUR JURISDICTION. Laws vary wildly across states and the answer to the OP's question can't be simply answered. Don't rely on the internet for legal advice.

Oh, one point I will make (and it may have been brought up, I haven't read the other posts)...when you submit your claim to the insurance company, the codes will probably trigger an "accident review" and the insurance company will probably seek out indemnification from the homeowner's insurance. This is pretty standard, so I would expect this. Whether you would want to sue or not, ultimately your health insurance may sue on your behalf. -NOT legal advice.

To the OP...hope all works out OK and your DW is doing better.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:27 PM   #52
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Sorry for your travails.. Here's to a swift recovery.

I'd be surprised if you have any uncovered medical expenses, given Medicare and United Health.

And pain and suffering? I can't imagine it given the circumstances of this situation.

To boot medicare and UHC would be able to be reimbursed from any settlement. (subrogation https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordin...sing-Medicare- ) Is she currently working i.e. is there any lost income involved? So while you could sue for medical expenses any recovery would go to the insurance carrier or medicare in this case. If there is no lost income then other then medical, it is not clear what the economic damages might be.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:37 PM   #53
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This is exactly the reason we had our sidewalk in front of the house repaired (ours, not along the street) after part of it settled creating a 1/2" raised portion. I'd seen delivery people and the lawn guy stumble on it and I figured it was only a matter of time before someone fell.

I called a handyman who advertised small concrete jobs and it cost $200 about three or four years ago. I was so impressed that he broke up the two sunken sections with a sledge hammer instead of a jackhammer that I gave him an extra $40. That's doing it the hard way!

So I disagree with those who say "no case". I very clearly saw that there was a hazard to other people and I took steps to correct it.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:38 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ATX78701 View Post
I’m curious - what was the impression of the house (other than the tripping incident)? Is/was it something you would put an offer on? With a drive of over 175 miles, there must have been something piquing your interest with the house. Can the incident be used as leverage to get a better deal on the house?
Leverage? I'm without words.

Wishing the OP's DW a speedy recovery!
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:49 PM   #55
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Sooner or later your medical insurance company will ask your wife how the injury happened, specifically if work related or otherwise could be billed to someone else. At that time, tell them the story you told here. They will determine if they need to collect loss from coverage for their client.

I would also seek legal advice. This isn't personal and the homeowners have insurance, or else the listing agent's company will also be liable.

In the end, your wife has suffered and so have you. That needs to be addressed and reconciled.
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Old 03-06-2021, 05:58 PM   #56
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Sooner or later your medical insurance company will ask your wife how the injury happened, specifically if work related or otherwise could be billed to someone else. At that time, tell them the story you told here. They will determine if they need to collect loss from coverage for their client.

I would also seek legal advice. This isn't personal and the homeowners have insurance, or else the listing agent's company will also be liable.

In the end, your wife has suffered and so have you. That needs to be addressed and reconciled.
Yeah. This was my first thought. Ultimately there might may be a tussle between the carriers. But yours (OP) is going to want someone else to pay, if they can make it happen
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Old 03-06-2021, 06:46 PM   #57
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Yeah. This was my first thought. Ultimately there might may be a tussle between the carriers. But yours (OP) is going to want someone else to pay, if they can make it happen
I doubt there will even be a tussle. These companies work together to resolve the medical expenses. Each will discover the cheapest way to handle it, may even keep running tallies as to who owes more to the other based over many years and claims to balance the books. It's very much a business and nothing personal to them as they manage claims. The bigger issue is when they want the person who suffered the injury to sign off that they are satisfied. Don't sign away your rights, know the implications of signing anything doing with liability. There may be both a criminal and a civil restitution owed by any number of insurance covers; homeowner, injured party's own coverage, the listing realtor, etc. A simple consult with a reputable lawyer can advice you with an initial consultation.
I had an injury claim, the consult attorney said the party involved didn't have coverage of any consequence and didn't have assets worth seeking. He was just doing his job and frankly there wasn't enough there to even pay his fee, let alone dragging me and DW through the process of our court system. In the end, we settled with the insurance company for the max limit on their policy and signed off.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:04 PM   #58
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Brutal fall. Prayers for swift recovery
Thank you MrsHaloFIRE. DW is looking much better today and is able to stand a few minutes to do simple tasks (we have a walker and raised toilet seat from her knee surgeries. I installed the toilet seat last night). Nose no longer bleeds. I don't leave her alone, though.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:20 PM   #59
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Yikes! So sorry that happened to your DW.

Agree with the others. Wait and let emotions cool down.

Iím curious - what was the impression of the house (other than the tripping incident)? Is/was it something you would put an offer on? With a drive of over 175 miles, there must have been something piquing your interest with the house. Can the incident be used as leverage a discussion point to get a better deal on the house?
No, we decided the house is too small and the neighborhood is not as nice as we anticipated. We have made the decision to move out of the Shenandoah Valley (we live near Winchester) due to air quality issues and any place we are looking is at least 50 miles away. The place we saw yesterday was near Charlottesville, VA. After we left the hospital, we stopped for gas a few minutes later and the traffic was bad, Northern Virginia (where I lived most of my life) bad. I was quite surprised.

We also plan to look in, and visit the Lynchburg area. If that does not pan out, we'll look in North Carolina.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:26 PM   #60
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....In OP's situation, I wouldn't sue for, or chase in any way, compensation beyond any out-of-pocket expenses incurred. And I liked OP's thoughts that going forward he would be more conscious of his DW's propensity to stumble due to her artificial knees, etc.
Thank you youbet.
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