- 4 years ago
Legal bees, I need your help! I’ve never been in this type of situation before, so I’m really not sure what to do. This will probably be a bit lengthy, so I’ll put a shorter version at the top here:
Short version: I slipped and fell on the sidewalk at my apartment building due to them not using any type of salt on the sidewalks. I hit my head pretty hard on the concrete, ended up blacking out for a few seconds. SO took me to the ER where I got a CT scan which came back clear, but I am suffering some other injuries due to the accident. We’ve tried contacting management, but they haven’t returned calls.
Long version: For the past few weeks we’ve been having some crazy weather. About two weeks ago we got an ice storm that knocked down a tree on our complex’s property, and covered us in a sheet of ice. Between the time that storm came and the beginning of last week we’ve had two more substantial snow storms which have left us with an accumulation of about two+ feet of snow on the ground. Yesterday we experienced higher temperatures which resulted in some snow melt, but it quickly refroze on the ground once the sun went down. Our apartment complex is usually great about these things, but all I can say is that the keepers have gotten a bit lazy after these storms. I understand that it’s hard on them due to the sheer amount of snow we’ve gotten, but they’ve had a snow free week (plus two warm days now) to get things cleaned up before next week’s big snow storm. The last time they threw salt on our sidwalks was two weeks ago when the big ice storm came. They have cleared out the main roads in the parking lot, but haven’t bothered to actually clear any of the spaces out. Some parking spaces are still covered in a good 2-3 inches thick of ice, and have up to two feet of snow piled in the front of the spaces. The only clear spaces are the ones that tenants have cleared themselves.
We have a bunch of parking spaces in front of each building. There is also an overflow lot for overnight visitors outside of the grounds of our complex. Management sent around a note basically saying that despite the weather it was still our responsibility to clean up after our dogs even though they didn’t dig out any of the waste deposit containers. The note also stated that if we weren’t leaving for work during the next few days we should move our cars into the overflow lot. Only problem is that the groundskeepers haven’t bothered to plow that lot in the past 6+ weeks, so it is filled with 4 feet of snow. Someone’s car is actually stuck in it. Probably 99% of our lot is empty during the day, and the keepers still havent’ bothered to plow out any of those spots even when they are empty.
My SO has fallen twice in the parking lot and on the sidewalk, and counting last night I’ve fallen three times. When he fell and the first two times I fell it was right after one of the storms, so we didn’t bother to say anything since we weren’t really expecting them to be out there salting and plowing at 9 PM. Plus, neither of us were seriously injured until last night.
Last night I had to go out to my car to retrieve something. Due to all of the snow being packed into the front of the parking spaces I couldn’t just exit the sidewalk right to where my car was parked. I had to walk down the sidewalk, into the crosswalk and then across the parking lot (which is a sheet of ice). I knew that there was ice on the sidewalk, but when I went to walk on the part of the sidewalk that slopes down to enter the crosswalk I guess the angle caused me to slip. I ended up hitting my head on the concrete and blacking out. When I came to I laid there for a few minutes hoping someone would come out, but then I eventually had to drag myself up the steps to my apartment. SO took me straight to the ER where I had CT scans of my head and neck. Everything came back okay, but I do have a concussion, a lot of bruising, and I am in substantial amounts of pain today (can’t sit or stand for longer than 10 mins at a time, have to have constant support for my neck or I’m in pain, etc.) I have a follow up appt with my GP next week.
SO went down to the office to complain about the situation today. Why are we exected to uphold our part (cleaning up after dogs, making sure to move our cars for them to plow, etc.) when they haven’t bothered to clear out any of the spaces? We aren’t the only ones that have been falling on our arses (my SO has witnessed at least two other people fall). When he went to the office around 1PM they were out showing an apartment. We left to go to his mom’s house. He called the office around 2 PM, but got voicemail, so he left a message explaining what happened, and that he would like to talk to the property owner. They never called back (they were there until 5). We called them again at 4, but they didn’t pick up again.
Bees, I’m not really sure where we should go from here. I know that we need to be shoveling out our own cars, which we have, but SO and I have now shoveled out a good 10 parking spaces since we don’t have designated spots. It just really upsets me that they’ve had so much time to remedy the situation. The groundskeeping building is right outside of our particular apartment building (our complex is broken up into about 10 buildings), so they know that there is an issue at least out front of our building. They haven’t even bothered to remove the tree that fell down that’s laying across a good two parking spots.
I’m not really sure where we should go from here. Do we call again and tell them that we expect to hear back from them by Monday? Should we write a letter documenting everything that happened, and what we expect from them? I really don’t even know what to expect from them as I’ve never been in this situation. Should we be contacting a lawyer next week? It’s only been a few days, but I honestly think that more damage was done then we even realized. I’m pretty sure I have whip lash and maybe bruised ribs. I’m hoping this pain is able to go away on its own, but I’m worried I’ll end up in PT. I already had to call off from work today as I work with infants, and I couldn’t even lift a gallon of milk today let alone a 20 pound baby. I’m not the type of person who wants to sue over every little thing, but frankly I think the complex isn’t taking responsibility for what needs to be done, and they are just incredibly lucky that a 21 year old fell rather than an older person. We have a lot of older people and families living here. It is hard enough to climb over the snow and walk on ice carrying a bag of groceries, so I can imagine it’s much harder with a carseat.
Sorry about the rant, but I am just so livid right now, and I need advice on what I should be doing to document all of this just in case. We’ve taken pictures of all of the ice and snow in parking spots. The bruise on the back of my head is hard to see since I have so much hair. I don’t bruise easily on the surface, but I can feel the pain of the impact even where there aren’t any marks, such as my elbow/ribs.