Visitor Question

Fell where a bollard had been removed but hole was not covered…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Alabama)

I fell and rolled my ankle, resulting in a broken ankle and fibula. It happened in a parking deck owned by a hospital. I am an employee of a doctor’s office that rents a suite inside the hospital.

The area I rolled and broke my foot was were a bollard had been, but for whatever reason it was removed and the pavement was not filled in.

All the other levels of the parking deck still have the bollards in place. I unfortunately fell in the only one that had been removed for whatever reason.

Is this a violation of a building code for the parking deck, to not have the bollard there when all the other bollards were in place? Who is liable for this oversight? Can I get compensation for my medical bills? 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.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Without knowing in which city or county you worked it’s difficult to tell if the failure to fill in a hole left after the extraction of a bollard was a violation of the city or county’s building code. With that said, this appears to be a clear case of negligence.

Under the legal doctrine of premises liability a property owner has a legal duty of care to do everything reasonably possible to make his or her property safe for all those people legally upon the premises.

When, as a result of a negligent act or omission a person is injured while on another’s property, the property owner may become liable for the injured person’s damages. Damages can include medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and for the person’s pain and suffering.

If your intention is to pursue the property owner for reimbursement for your damages it will require some evidence.

Having photographs of the area upon which you fell would be a very important piece of evidence, especially of there were no cautionary signs around the hole left by the extracted bollard.

One or more witnesses and their statements would also be important. If there were witnesses, be sure to get their contact information.

Gather copies of your medical and therapy bills, receipts for your out of pocket expenses, and a letter from your employer verifying the days you missed and the amounts of pay you lost while recovering from the fall.

Unfortunately, the State of Alabama does not have a specific statute creating liability of landowners for injuries to persons legally upon the property. See Alabama General Duty of Care. As a result, injury claims based on property owner negligence are determined on a case by case basis.

Your injuries were quite serious. This is the type of injury claim which should be handled by an attorney. Unlike less serious “soft tissue” injuries like sprains and

strains, your injuries included a broken ankle and fibula. These types of injuries demand substantial compensation from the property owner or his or her insurance company.

Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Seek out several personal injury attorneys in your area. Bring along all the evidence you’ve collected. After visiting with several attorneys choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable.

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: October 25, 2015

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