Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Lombardi Law Firm. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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Can an injured person file against the homeowner, even if he claims he has no homeowner insurance?
Question Detail: My mom recently lost her job due to the fact that she broke her ankle in 2 places slipping down the second floor stairs. Apparently it was covered with hard ice, she was hospitalized and had to have surgery. I had to take a flight to help her with her kids since she's a single mother with 3 kids. I was wondering if she can sue the home owner even if he states he has no homeowners insurance, he also raised her rent since I'm here helping her with her PT and house stuff.
Answer: If the homeowner has a mortgage it is doubtful they are telling you the truth about not having insurance. All lenders require homeowner's insurance. Firmly request the name of their homeowner's insurance company and you will contact a lawyer to sue them.
Can I sue if I fell in a parking lot of a gas station?
Question Detail: I was coming out of the gas station and held the door for another customer. When I turned around, I slipped and fell. I broke my arm and skinned my knee.
Answer: You can sue or you can just file a claim with the owner's business liability policy. But first what did you slip on? Was it something slick or your own clumsiness? For the property owner to be liable there must be a defect in the property. A defect may be ice or snow that has accumulated and not either been removed or salted.
If I got hurt on someone's property causing me to be paralyzed, what should be my next step?
Question Detail: Hello. I was hurt after being hired to trim a tree for a guy. We started the job; I put a rope in the tree to have the owner and his friend pull the limb out. When limb was almost cut through, they let go of the rope and the limb broke free and knocked me out of the tree 15 feet above the ground. I fell on my back and broke my spine. I have a spinal burst fracture and several broken ribs. I am paralyzed from the waist down now and will have to always be in a wheelchair. My doctor bills are 500 thousand dollars. I don't know if his house or insurance policy is enough to cover the medical bills let alone the pain and suffering. What should I do?
Answer: You will most likely need to hire a lawyer to pursue a legal claim against the homeowner's insurance. So long as he was helping you should be alright with the claim. You'll have to show he did something wrong or in a negligent manner. Injured people can’t just collect from the homeowner’s insurance just because of the injury taking place on the property. This is one of the most misunderstood areas of the law. You have to show a defect in the property or that the owner, an insured was negligent and that negligent act caused your injury.
Sorry to hear about your injury, if we can help let us know.
What is my legal recourse against the management after a slip and fall incident due to ice outside my apartment?
Question Detail: I'm pregnant. I slipped and fell on ice right outside my apartment. I complained to management twice. Do I have a claim against my complex? There is no way to avoid the ice the second I stepped out the door I fell.
Answer: Your options are fairly limited because you fell and while I’m sure it hurts, your injuries aren't enough to justify a lawsuit. Ask management to provide you with a bucket of ice melt and before going out throw some onto the ice in order to make the steps safer.
What do I do after I slipped and fell off my deck from the house that I rent?
Question Detail: It's all rotten and mossy. She was cited by City Inspections to have deck replaced within 10 days. I have had surgery, rod, wire, screws and plate and have 82 stitches up my leg. I have not been able to do anything for three months and then got a clot in my leg. I am doing therapy and will have to another month. I have a lawyer but not sure what should be asked.
Answer: In Iowa this would be covered under the Iowa Residential Landlord and Tenant Act along with common law premise liability. I've litigated somewhat similar to this one and years ago an attorney from Des Moines litigated a somewhat similar issue involving moss and a faulty sprinkler head shooting water into the roadway. You may actually have a pretty good case. So see a lawyer.
If a trespasser is hurt can he sue the property owner?
Question: What covers the Trespasser Law?
Question Detail: Frankie age 12, lived with his mother, Vanessa, in a rental house next to a farm owned by Daphne and Brando. On the back of the farm property was a small creek that had good fishing, but there were deadly piranha in the waters. Frankie would often sneak onto the farm property to fish. One day, while fishing on the farm, he was bitten by a piranha and severely injured. While running to help her son on the farm property, Vanessa tripped on a wire and broke her leg. The Smiths sue the Browns for their injuries. Explain whether the Browns owe a duty of care to Frankie and Vanessa.
Answer: Answer: First I'd want to know more about the wire she tripped over. Why was it there? What was it used for? Was it part of a fence or designed to injure someone, sort of like a spring gun?
Next I'd want to know if Frankie and his mother Vanessa had been warned to stay off the farm or if they'd been given permission to fish. The question about duty turns on whether Frankie was a permissive user or a trespasser. You must be a law student because piranha's can't live in water as cold as it gets during Iowa's winters.
Did the store owner assume responsibility when they stated have the bill sent to them?
Question Detail: I had fallen at the local grocery store, the day after an icy snow storm. I hit my head very hard on the ice. I waited all day for the pain and headache to go away. I was concerned that something was wrong, and had expressed this to the store owner. They told me to go to the hospital and have it checked out, and to send the store the bills. So I did. Now that they have talked with the insurance agency whom they carry their liability insurance with, and they told her that she was not negligent they will not cover the claim. The store owner is now telling me that they will not pay the bill. They know I had no insurance and no way to cover the bill.
Answer: This is a common practice by large retail chains. They say one thing and do another. As far as whether they are responsible for just advising you to go to the hospital, the answer is no. No, just saying have the bills sent to us is not an admission of fault. It's a store's way of getting rid of you at the moment and giving anyone in earshot the notion this store takes care of its customers when in fact the opposite is true. You will still have to prove they were liable and what that entails is beyond this Q&A. Read further on our blog.
My husband slipped on ice on the side of the house that we are renting and was injured can we sue our landlord?
Maybe or maybe not. Maybe you can and you don’t even have to sue. Perhaps you need to simply file a claim for medical expense. But let’s get to the legal issue of who is responsible for clearing the sidewalks. Who, according to the terms of the lease, are required to conduct the snow and ice removal? Go and read your lease. Know the terms of the lease before accidents occur. And landlords why not send a letter at the beginning of every winter season reminding tenants if they are responsible for keeping ice and snow off the walks.
How can I get out of a remodeling contract I signed?
Question Detail: I signed contracts to have both of my bathrooms remodeled. They are in the process of completing the first bathroom (3 months later) and I not sure I want them to do other one. It has taken them twice as long as I was told. I am not happy with the whole disorganized procedure. Can I get out of the contract?
Answer: Is the contract written or oral? What does the contract state about termination? Have you tried talking with the contractor? What did he say? Can the two of you resolve the issues including not remodeling the other two bathrooms? I suggest you sit down with a lawyer who will review the contract and give you more specific advice which should cost you a whole lot less than what you’re going to spend remodeling the other two bathrooms.
Who should I sue, the homeowner or the guy who poured gas on the fire and burned me?
Question Detail: I was sitting a few feet away from a fire pit and a guy was pouring gasoline on the fire. He spilled gas on me and burned 29 percent of my body. The guy who burned me was not the homeowner but a close relative. He was also very intoxicated. The homeowner's don't have homeowner's insurance either.
Answer: You'd sue them both. The idiot with the gas can for being stupid and the homeowner for failing to supervise him and allowing gas to be poured on the fire. Gee, intoxicated? I would have never guessed. Your biggest problem is there being no insurance, try finding a lawyer to sue someone with no chance of recovery. That’s probably not going to happen.