Back Injury from Slip and Fall at a Pool...
(Oak Lawn, Illinois)
On October 8th, 2010 I was sitting by a pool at a motel in Clearwater Beach, Florida talking to my cousin. I got up to go into the pool. I took a few steps toward the pool which was about three feet away and my feet came out in front of me. I went down hard on the bottom part of my spine. I rolled to my side and immediately knew where the pain was.
My husband was sitting at a chair under an umbrella and he saw me go down. He went to the office to have them call an ambulance which came very quickly. I was taken to a hospital. I believe they gave me pain medications, did an x-ray, and then an MRI or CT scan. At this point I was totally out of it and delusional. I had no idea who I was or where I was. I did not eat for a long time.
I have multiple sclerosis (about 24 years). I can walk although I do have walking sticks, and an electric chair for long distances, such as going to the mall, parks, etc. I had complained at the hospital that I may have had a bladder infection (quite common with MS).
On 10-16-2010 I was still in the hospital in pain. A doctor came into my room and told me there was nothing more they could do, and that I had to go to rehab. They said something was cracked and that it would heal on its own.
I did not understand what they were saying. The effects of the pain meds made me hallucinate. I heard him say there was nothing more he could do. I did mumble that I couldn't move (my husband was there so he knew what was going on). They put me in a back brace before I left the hospital.
I'm wondering if I have a valid personal injury claim against the motel? I slipped and fell on their property but it was a pool, so will they deny liability? Any info you could give would be very helpful. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Back Injury from Slip and Fall at a Pool...":
Patricia (Oak Lawn, Illinois):
Without evidence of the hotel’s negligence, it will be difficult to convince the hotel’s insurance company of their insured’s liability for your fall.
It would be inappropriate for us to compare Multiple Sclerosis to other examples of various causes and effects of injuries.
If you pursue a claim against the hotel, their insurance will seriously investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding your fall. They will look to see if there were any foreign substances at or about the area in which you fell which might have contributed to your fall.
They will seek out any available witnesses to the fall; possibly employees of the hotel, including life guards and maintenance personnel.
Other than the effects of your Multiple Sclerosis, the facts you present do not include any evidence of one or more independent factors which may have precipitated your fall.
You state “I took a few steps toward the pool which was about three feet away and my feet came out in front of me.” This evidence, by itself, will probably not result in an admission of liability by the hotel’s insurance company, or a finding by a Judge or Jury of the same.
One of many symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis is “a loss of muscle control” (WebMD). It appears on that day, at that time, this symptom unfortunately manifested itself, resulting in your fall and accompanying injuries.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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