While visiting a friend, a viewer tripped and fell, breaking his wrist. He doesn’t want to sue but the injury is bad. Premises liability attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli explain his options.
Dave Kuharchik: An injury at a friend’s house. Not a good situation, let’s see how it gets sorted out in this edition of “The Law & You.” Back with us are attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. These guys are friends until the end.
Ed Ciarimboli: Well we just hope that nobody gets injured at any friend’s house on July 4th this year.
Dave: Because it complicates things.
Greg Fellerman: If I get injured at Ed’s house, I’m suing him. Right now, I’ll take him.
Dave: They’re going to suspend the friendship. All right, here’s our question. Let’s see the scenario for Gavin in Stroudsburg. Gavin says, “I was walking into my friend’s house and tripped on the broken sidewalk. I broke my wrist and sprained my shoulder. I don’t want to sue my friend but this is really bad and I didn’t do anything wrong.” So obviously, there’s the legal end of things. But the friendship complicates things.
Ed: Well obviously, the friendship aspect of it does get a little sensitive, does get a little dicey because you are going to be suing your friend. However, the money isn’t going to be coming out of his or her pocket. The money is going to be coming from the insurance company if they have homeowners insurance. The reality is the homeowner is responsible for the sidewalk. And if there is a defect in the sidewalk then the homeowner is responsible for either fixing that defect or giving notice to anybody who’s going to be walking along that sidewalk, “Look there’s a defect here, I haven’t been able to fix it yet but we’re in the process.” I’ll let Greg tell you some of the things you need to do if you have a defect like this but you do have a case.
Greg: With those types of cases, it’s always good to take a look and inspect them to make sure that they’re safe. And if there is something defective, it’s always ok to warn. If you see in some cities, we have a lot of tree roots, the sidewalks pop up, they will spray paint them orange, they do a bunch of different things to warn. Because at that point, you have a duty to warn and probably repair would be the next logical step in that conclusion. You have a lot of people getting hurt. And another thing is, make sure you if you have a home, you have the insurance because nobody wants to sue their friend. I don’t want to sue Ed but, I mean, he does have a lot of insurance. But my point is you want to make sure your guests are safe. I mean that’s really the big picture here.
Dave: Ed, did you know with the virtual law center now we had a demonstration. Like a spray painting, with gestures. Unbelievable. You can give the guys a call, check them out online, and if you need legal help, don’t forget results matter. Attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli, thanks, guys.
Ed: Thanks, Dave.
The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.