Slip/Fall best practice
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Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Jul 10, 2021 1:44 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by WMH [NC]) Jul 10, 2021 2:08 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Pmh [TX]) Jul 10, 2021 2:23 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Robert J [CA]) Jul 10, 2021 2:30 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Vee [OH]) Jul 10, 2021 3:14 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Jul 10, 2021 3:55 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by dino [CA]) Jul 10, 2021 6:30 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by W [CA]) Jul 10, 2021 9:42 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Robert J [CA]) Jul 10, 2021 11:08 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by dino [CA]) Jul 11, 2021 1:08 AM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Jul 11, 2021 5:10 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by tryan [MA]) Jul 12, 2021 9:36 AM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Nicole [PA]) Jul 12, 2021 12:06 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by RentsDue [MA]) Jul 12, 2021 5:38 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Ken [NY]) Jul 12, 2021 10:55 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jul 13, 2021 3:23 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by mike [CA]) Jul 13, 2021 3:35 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by ZAKHD [CT]) Jul 13, 2021 8:42 PM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Jim in O C [CA]) Jul 14, 2021 8:53 AM
       Slip/Fall best practice (by Fishsticks913 [IA]) Jul 16, 2021 5:32 PM

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Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 1:44 PM

Hi fellow LL,

A few days ago, I posted a question "Attorney Lien" after receiving a letter from a lawyer informing me that he represents my tenant who fell in the apartment and he is entitled to 1/3 of the settlement. After getting a lot of good advice, especially from Dino[CA], I've decided to let my insurance know about this. I'm gathering the info on what to do when this ship & fall incident happens (I'm calling it slip & fall best practice). There is a lot of good info for the injured but almost none existence for the defendant (us landlords).

- Contact your insurance and let them handle the case

- Provide as much useful information to the insurance as possible. So they could use it in the negotiations. In my case, the tenant is a 70+ years old overweight grandma with trouble walking (she walks with a cane) who could easily fall anywhere. She blamed her fall on the kitchen floor. I was never notified and have no knowledge of the defective floor. 

- Maintain a good relationship with the tenant while the case is still active. We might need cooperation for other problems while she is occupying the place.

- This one is my own idea. Let the insurance company work directly with tenants. Lawyers would inflate the damages and add his unnecessary hourly fee.

- After the case is over, get rid of that tenant because she could fall again in the future and hurt herself even more (older people are prone to ugly fall as they age).

Any more ideas are appreciated. Thank you

Slip/Fall best practice (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 2:08 PM

After years of reading that one should hide from an insurance company any possibility of a lawsuit, one of the speakers at a Mr. LL Convention put that myth to rest in a very emphatic way one year. IF you know of a potential lawsuit, you are REQUIRED to notify your insurance company that it COULD happen, even if it doesn't.

If you do know of one, and don't tell, they can refuse to defend you and refuse to pay out on a liability claim.

We had a tenant slip and fall and break her arm in a very nasty way. It WAS her fault, elderly lady, she "forgot" the steps were there (moving in) but it was very bad.

We immediately emailed our agent and reported it. Nothing came of it and we were not cancelled and our rates did not go up. But I slept better!

Slip/Fall best practice (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 2:23 PM

ins cos are the biggest employers of attorneys. not sure why anyone will be afraid of telling their ins co of a possible claim. you pay ins premium each month for protection.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 2:30 PM

Once an insurance company or lawyer (other side) gets involved, then they will bombard you with information requests. Such as, Who have you discussed this matter with, their names and telephone numbers. Information about your assets, etc.

Your insurance company will have to do a cost analysis. Weather to settle or fight the claim. In most cases if your tenant wants $10,000 or less, they will settle and label you the landlord as at fault.

For this reason I sometimes hire a private detective. They will put on an act and contact other tenants in the building and family member and discover if the tenant really got injured at home or somewhere else.

When one of my tenants claimed she tripped on my asphalt walkway leading to her apartment, I contacted a private detective and my insurance "agent". My PI found that if she really tripped in front of her apartment on a specific day, why did she go to work the next day, walking 2 blocks to the bus stop and putting in a full day at work, then returning by bus. PI pulled the tenants TAP card information.

The tenant tripped at work but was afraid to tell her boss and maybe get fired.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 3:14 PM

Best advice I can give is get the blood alcohol ratio within 3 hours of the incident, this relates the conditions at the time of occurrence and may not be any injury whatsoever...

Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 3:55 PM

WMH[NC], thanks for the info. I've never know that before.

Pmh[TX], true

Robert J [CA], wow! what a story. Thanks for sharing. One question though, why would the tenant's attorney request any info about the LL assets? No LL is going to provide that info.

Vee [OH], do you mean if the defendant was a driver when the incident happens? Good idea.

Slip/Fall best practice (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 6:30 PM

Chicago LL,

I am glad you are having your insurance company handle this matter. Although I was not comfortable with your delay in contacting them, I never want to tell people to not get legal advice from a good lawyer if that is what they want to do. Do remember though that it is very important to comply with the requirements in your policy regarding notification of your insurance company. Otherwise you risk giving them an excuse to not fulfill their obligations regarding your coverage.

You previously said you were not aware of any accident for some period of time after it occurred. You should be sure your insurer knows that since they should not be able to make an issue of not receiving notification during that period if you never knew yourself.

I would again suggest caution in not making assumptions that you don't have reason to make. For example, be aware that if tenant is being represented by lawyer, it is highly unlikely that lawyer would want tenant to have any communications with you or your insurer on this particular matter. Do not expect the tenant to be dealing with the insurer directly. In fact, you want to be sure to avoid giving tenant any reason to claim that you are attempting to intimidate or harass. Lawyers like to look for that stuff.

Also, in the "Attorney Lien" thread you already said lawyer fee is 1/3 of amount paid to tenant. This is typical. Therefore, why be concerned about running up hourly charges from tenant attorney. I am sure your insurer will do that type of analysis in deciding whether to settle the case and for how much.

Don't get yourself in trouble by discussing something that would be viewed as retaliation against tenant for injury claim. I am sure that you misspoke or upon reflection, you would not want to get rid of tenant for this issue. I am sure you will only stick to those issues that are within the usual bounds that allow termination of tenancy.

Slip/Fall best practice (by W [CA]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 9:42 PM

I read the experts on this is the Disney Company. There was an article about how Disney handles accident claims at their properties - they investigate and get the victim to put everything on paper as soon as they are aware of a possible claim. "I drank too much at lunch" or "I was angry at Johnny and pushed him and I slipped" etc is what they look for. With all the visitors at Disneyland and the accidents that go with that, they are pros at avoiding liability.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jul 10, 2021 11:08 PM

I guess many of you haven't been involved with prior litigation, I have, I own/owned many other businesses. It is a tactic that all attorney's use, to wear you down it court appearances, examinations under oath, interrogatories, etc.

Slip/Fall best practice (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2021 1:08 AM


My experience with PI attorneys is that they operate like a mill cranking out as many settlements with as little work as possible. They might drag them out but during that lull they are doing almost nothing. They just don't want to make it seem like they did very little so they will not want to bring an offer to their client too quickly.

Now when it comes to real litigation, yeah they will try to wear you down, but they are also hoping to force you to spend big money on legal fees to create an edge in their favor when the next negotiation takes place.

Of course, when your insurer is paying the bill, the policyholder doesn't have that issue to worry about.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Chicago LL [IL]) Posted on: Jul 11, 2021 5:10 PM

dino[CA], yes thanks to you to open to my eyes. I already contacted the insurance company yesterday :-) I also let them know that I did not know about this problem until the attorney letter arrived. True, it was my "wish" that the tenant would deal with my insurance directly. If the lawyer coached her well, she would not talk to my insurance. Let see. I'm waiting for the insurance adjuster to contact me (between next Monday to Wednesday). Thanks for reminding me about retaliation. In fact, I'm selling this building and already have the contract. I'm waiting for the buyer to get the loan from the bank. I'm pretty sure that the tenant changed her mind after knowing that I'm selling the building. She doesn't have to care about the relationship with me anymore...

W[CA], that's an excellent point! Put everything in writing before they get a lawyer. Great idea! Definitely should go to slip/fall best practice. Thanks for sharing.

Robert J[CA], the attorney will deal with the insurance company. Does the insurer need to appear in court much? Statistics show that over 95% of cases settle out of court.

dino[CA], thanks for the reply to Robert J[CA]. Sounds good :-)

Slip/Fall best practice (by tryan [MA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2021 9:36 AM

Had a third floor tenant in the hood claim she fell down the stairs and had the bruises to prove it. So I told my ins agent there may be a claim coming.

Then I talked to the neighbors to collect info ... turns out the couple was fighting and she was PUSHED down the stairs.

Insurance company sent a rep out to the site ... I told them what the neighbors said .... POOF!! the problem disappeared.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2021 12:06 PM

...- This one is my own idea. Let the insurance company work directly with tenants. Lawyers would inflate the damages and add his unnecessary hourly fee....

I see my answer was given above and I also was going to respond to the prior thread where you wanted to keep the lawyer's billable hours down.

The tenant has contacted the attorney - perhaps just watching tv and calling the 800 number to generally ask a questions or perhaps looking for a pay day. The attorney absoutely told her not to talk to you or to your insurance carrier. As to billable hours, he is charging her a percentage basis and it's none of your direct concern.

Slip/Fall best practice (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2021 5:38 PM

As Robert stated, a lot of LLs here hot been sued…..yet. The rest of us know how this really works. In a perfect world the tenant would just deal with the insurance company, the lawyers would stay hidden under their rocks and the birds would be happily chirping lullabies. --68.191.xx.xx

Slip/Fall best practice (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jul 12, 2021 10:55 PM

Rentsdue how would the tenant deal with the insurance company directly? I wouldnt give that info to my tenant or tell my insurance company to call them and the only way to get it is to sue me so they have to get a lawyer to sue me.And yes i have been sued probably more times than most here

Slip/Fall best practice (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jul 13, 2021 3:23 PM

Document what you can

Pictures of the fall site, the weather that day and any all witnesses that might have seen it. Get contact numbers/methods for the victim's friends

Slip/Fall best practice (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Jul 13, 2021 3:35 PM

i have a lawyer friend in portland that used to be the atty for the insurance company and who now represents plaintiffs. he advises that all claims be tendered promptly...THAT'S WHY WE HAVE INSURANCE. as advised previously you are unnecessarily taking on liability if you do not alert the company to a possible claim and then at a later date open a claim. if you EVER get a letter from a lawyer DO NOT SAY ANYTHING...that's what your insurance company's lawyer is for. no need for PI's or other exertions...most claims are truly routine and are simply a part of doing business for us rich landlords. ;) --75.80.xx.xx

Slip/Fall best practice (by ZAKHD [CT]) Posted on: Jul 13, 2021 8:42 PM

Insurance defense paralegal here. Your insurance company will provide coverage for you and pay for the attorney. It sounds like the lawsuit hasn't actually been filed and this is a pre-litigation notice that you received from tenant's attorney. Your tenant's attorney will most likely try and settle the claim with the insurance company without actually having to file a lawsuit. If the insurance company does not settle, then tenant's attorney will file the lawsuit. CT statute of limitations for a slip and fall is 2 years and probably similar in IL. The insurance adjuster is going to record your conversation and that will be potentially available to tenant's counsel so be careful what you say!

Slip/Fall best practice (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Jul 14, 2021 8:53 AM

Fortunately my tenant told my insurance company she fell while carrying a box downstairs when she was moving out. Asked if this was the first time she fell she said yes. No box no fall no case.

Slip/Fall best practice (by Fishsticks913 [IA]) Posted on: Jul 16, 2021 5:32 PM

Wait. Hold the phone.

She fell INSIDE the apartment? How are you responsible? I mean, if the floors are crap., that is one thing, but I am confused? And maybe because it is Friday. But falling inside the apartment?

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