Visitor Question

Fell in hole in grassy area…

Submitted By: Nicolle (Smyrna, GA)

On Friday I went to my car to retrieve some documents. It was raining and I ran from the car back into the apartment, cutting across the grass.

While running, I slipped and fell in a big hole created by some type of animal.

My right foot was stuck in the hole and my body shifted to the right as I was falling.

I broke the fall with my right hand and observed my right ankle swelling, with discoloration and scratches.

I am now walking on crutches and require physical therapy. I can not drive, nor apply pressure to the injured area. Can I file a suit against the complex, especially since these large holes are now appearing in different areas of the property? This seems like they are negligent in not repairing these holes.

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.

Answer

Dear Nicolle,

You probably don’t have to file a lawsuit. The apartment owner likely has business liability insurance. Before going further, contact the apartment complex manager or owner. Explain what happened, and how your injury resulted in medical bills, therapeutic costs, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages (if any) and pain and suffering.

Be sure to take numerous photographs of the hole. The photos will be strong evidence in support of your injury claim. Once you contact the manager or owner, he or she will likely refer the matter over to their insurance company.

Thereafter, you will be contacted and asked to submit copies of your photographs, therapy bills, and other proof of your losses (damages.)

The question to be determined is whether the apartment complex owner was negligent in permitting the hole to exist on his property, especially because of the likelihood tenants and other visitors might be injured by it.

Unless there exists evidence the hole suddenly appeared and there wasn’t sufficient time for the manager or owner to discover it, there shouldn’t be any controversy about your claim.

In the unlikely event the manager or owner fails to cooperate you can seek the advice and counsel for a personal injury attorney, or file your claim in small claims court.

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: January 17, 2014

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