Visitor Question

Fell Down Parking Garage Stairs…

Submitted By: Audrey (Redwood City, CA, United States)

I am a part-time hostess at a restaurant in California that is part of a block that contains a parking garage next door. The evening I was injured I parked my car in the underground parking garage and walked up the two flights of stairs to street level where I walked two doors down to the restaurant.

Upon completing my shift I then clocked out and walked out the door back to my car to go home; but on the way down the two flights of stairs I tripped and sprained my left ankle so badly that I could not get up or walk anywhere. A group of kind citizens helped me to my car where I made the 5 minute drive to my house and then my family helped me to the emergency room.

After the exam with the doctor it was determined that I would not be able to walk for another two weeks and therefore was not be able to work for another two weeks; as my hosting job requires that I walk guests to their tables.

Many people have asked me if I am going to sue my employer or get any type of compensation for my injury. The question I have is, if I actually have a case enough to do so? 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 Audrey,

Regrettably you don’t have a legal claim against your employer. (If your injury occurred on your employer’s property you might have had a workers compensation claim.)

If your injury occurred as a result of ice, water or other foreign substance on the stairs, and that substance should have been recognized by the garage ownership or management you might have a claim.

Barring those two scenarios you are in a difficult position.

Even if you had a legal claim your recovery of compensation would be primarily limited to reimbursement for your medical bills, possibly some out of pocket expenses and lost wages.

The medical costs of treatment for a sprained ankle are not substantial. In the personal injury business your injury is considered a “soft tissue injury”.

Compensation for soft tissue injuries is usually relatively limited. The treatment for soft tissue injuries, especially an ankle injury is usually not very much more than resting the ankle and keeping weight off it for a week or so.

The good news is your injury is only a sprain. It could have been much worse.

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: November 9, 2011

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