Visitor Question

Chair collapsed beneath me at motel pool…

Submitted By: Vic (Sacramento, CA)

I was enjoying an afternoon at the motel pool with my family. I was sitting on a white plastic chair that is very common at hotels’ pool areas. I suddenly stood up to retrieve my daughter who is going on 2 yrs old.

She was b-lining towards the edge of the pool. So naturally I jumped, prepared to keep her from heading into the pool if that had been her objective.

Well it wasn’t and so I’d commenced to relax in the summer heat. I sat on the chair and choosing to avoid the direct sun lifted my body weight and scooted with the chair a foot or two backward.

While in the same movement without a thought I dropped my weight back into the chair, only adding to the impact of gravity as my body hit the cement and the bordering cement drainage wall at the base of the security gate.

I reported the fall and my injury to the attendee that evening, then again the next afternoon with a phone call placed by my wife requesting the info of the insurance company so I could see a doctor without having to go to the E.R. We were told that the manager would be in at three.

We haven’t heard anything and it’s now been 2 days. I’ve had a migraine headache since the fall, as well as pain in my hip as if it needs to be popped like a knuckle or something like that.

The migraine stems from hitting the top edge of the wall with my head and neck, causing the entire right side of my neck to feel tight all around the base of my head.

What can I do about this? How can I get the motel management to respond and give me their insurance information so I can go to the doctor? I’m worried I won’t get treated and may have serious injuries. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Vic,

Unfortunately the motel isn’t under any legal obligation to render their insurance information. Nor are they legally bound to return your telephone calls, e-mails, texts, or faxes.

You are putting “the cart before the horse.” If you are injured, seek medical care. Your case is quite weak, especially if you are waiting for the motel’s insurance information before seeking medical help for your migraine headaches.

Your facts aren’t entirely clear. Did the chair fail and break under your weight, or did you hit your head in the event wall as you “scooted” back on the chair?

At this point it appears you have a very weak case. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to locate a personal injury attorney who will accept your case under the present circumstances. You might be better off focusing on your headaches. Go to an emergency room or to your own doctor. You don’t have a case without compensable damages or proof of negligence.

Compensable damages include things like medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At this point your only damages are your migraine headaches.

Finally, you haven’t established any proof of negligence. Once you put these legal elements together you’ll be on your way toward a personal injury claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 24, 2013

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