Q&A: Adding Insult to Injury

Q&A: Adding Insult to Injury

Q. Hi. I tore a tendon when I bumped into a crease in the lobby carpet of my condo building. As a result I will have to wear a brace for the rest of my life. My question if it’s acceptable morally for me to ask the condominium association to pay for the expense I paid for all the therapy I will have to do.

                                                 —Tripped Up

A. Jennifer Alexander, shareholder at law firm Griffin Alexander, with several offices in New Jersey, responds again: “To begin, if your community has passed an amendment for tort immunity, you would not be able to litigate. Conversely, if the association has not passed such an amendment (and assuming that the association is responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the lobby), then the association is responsible and may be liable for negligence in the maintenance. One of the important things to consider is the statute of limitations on point (two years for personal injury in New Jersey). The association should have insurance that should handle any lawsuit for such an injury—and may end up paying you to compensate you for your injury, medical bills, etc. Importantly, should you end up suing the association, you are, in a sense, suing yourself. The cost of the increased insurance premiums and other ancillary charges will be charged back to the members of the community in the form of increased assessments.”   

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