Fractured foot after stepping in a hole in a strip mall parking lot...

by Christine
(Brandt, South Dakota, U.S.A)

In April 2011 my husband and I went to town to spend the day together and do some shopping. I wanted to stop at the pet store to look at some fish. We pulled into the parking lot and pulled into a parking space. It had rained that morning so the ground was wet. When I stepped out of the vehicle my shoe got caught on something and I fell.

I was in excruciating pain in my left foot and ankle. My husband helped me off the ground. When he looked to see what I'd got caught in he saw a dip in the asphalt and a hard to explain cover in it. I did not see it before I exited the vehicle. I went to the emergency room and had to see an orthopedic doctor. I had fractured my foot. I also had to see a neurologist who diagnosed me with having reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), due to the injury in my foot.

I was told that I could no longer do my jobs, that RSD is incurable. I have been in touch with the insurance company for the parking lot owners. The claim adjuster told me that the cover was turned upside down and no one knows how or why. He also told me that I was partly liable for the injury I sustained for parking close to that cover. This is a parking lot with stores, the hole and cover are in a parking space.

So does that mean that because I chose to shop there and park in the parking lot that I'm responsible for my injury? This doesn't seem right. What should I tell the adjuster? Is there anything else I should do about this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fractured foot after stepping in a hole in a strip mall parking lot...":

Christine (Brandt, South Dakota, U.S.A):

Presuming you parked in a legitimate parking space, the owner of the parking lot should be liable for your injuries. Don't accept the insurance company's position. Insurance companies are notorious for finding excuses not to pay legitimate personal injury claims.

Some personal injuries can be handled without legal representation. Those injuries normally include sprains, muscle pulls, minor cuts and bruises. More serious injuries such as broken bones, deep gashes, head and neck trauma and other serious injuries require the help of an experienced attorney.

Your injuries are serious. As a result you will need legal representation. Gather your medical bills, receipts for medications and other out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering, also called mental anguish and emotional distress.

Stop talking with the insurance adjuster and contact several personal injury attorneys. Most wont charge for an initial office consultation. Bring with you all your medical records, receipts, etc. Place the case in the hands of an experienced attorney. You'll be glad you did.

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,

Judge Calisi

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