(TNS)—Q: A parcel delivery driver tripped on his way to leave a package by my front door. I saw it happen later, reviewing the video from my doorbell. It was a bad fall, and he slowly limped back to his truck and left. I hope he is OK, but I am worried if he can sue me. Can he? — Walter
A: As a property owner, you owed the driver a duty of care. This means you are responsible for making sure no dangerous conditions could injure someone on your property.
If the hazard was not in plain sight, like a loose step leading to your porch, or a rotted handrail, you need to warn people until you can fix the problem. If someone gets hurt because you did not live up to your duty of care, you could be sued for their injuries, suffering, and lost wages.
In your case, you did not mention if some issue with your property caused the driver to fall or if it was a freak accident.
Either way, your first step is to save the video of what happened. This could prove crucial to your defense later, especially if it were a random event or if the driver’s actions, maybe by playing with his phone rather than watch where he was walking, contributed to his fall.
You also need to call your homeowners insurance company and tell them what happened. If you live within a community association, report the accident to them too.
The driver is most likely covered by worker’s compensation insurance, covering his medical bills and most of his lost wages.
Unfortunately for you, his insurance company could look to you for reimbursement if you were at fault.
The driver could also sue you directly, although he would have to pay part of any recovery to worker’s comp to reimburse them for what they spent.
Your homeowners insurance company should help you with this issue, including your legal defense. This is why it is essential to report the issue to them immediately.
Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Florida. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.
©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC