Visitor Question

Slip and Fall Claim for Injury in Parking Lot at Work…

Submitted By: Karen (Houston, TX)

I slipped in the parking lot of my job when getting out of my car. The property is owned by a management company. My company leases offices.

They water the grass each morning and I parked in the last spot, where it was like a culdesac. There was grass in front of the parking spot and to the left side, where water ran off onto the parking lot each day and where grass would collect after they mowed.

It caused it to build up and made a thin, slimy coating on the ground. I slipped in the slime breaking my ankle in 3 places and tearing the ligaments. Nobody saw me fall, but several people finally found me. I was covered in the slime and my purse and things were scattered.

My husband and I went back after we left the ER to take pictures, but they had already scraped up the slime removing my skid marks. My secretary had already made the report for me that morning after she took me to the ER. I now have to have surgery and be out of work for a couple months.

My surgery alone is 40K and my insurance only covers 80%, and I have a 4K deductible which I have to come up with first, and I’ll need therapy afterward. Is the property management company responsible? Shouldn’t they have not allowed anyone to park in a spot that had regular build up of water, grass and dirt that became slimy?

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 Karen,

Karen:

That was a terrible fall. From the facts you present it does sound as if the management company may be liable. If you are sure the management company owned the property then they should be the entity responsible. Normally management companies do just that – they manage the property for the owner.

If you think it is possible they are the managers and not the owners of the property, then the owner AND the management company may share the liability.

The facts you present evidence a clear case of liability. The management company/owner should have known about any danger their actions or omissions might directly or indirectly cause to the public. They have a duty to make their property safe for the public. They have invited people to park there and in so doing should be responsible for injuries suffered by the public.

At one time or another we have all seen sprinklers on and water running off onto a sidewalk or street. The management company would be hard pressed to say they were unaware their sprinklers might have caused water to run off.

At a minimum the management/owners could be liable for Actual Damages such as:

• Your 4K insurance deductible; and

• The 20% you are supposed to pay over and above the 80%; and

• The lost wages you have already lost and will lose during your recuperation: and

• Your loss of Consortium

Beyond that they should be liable for:

• Your Pain and Suffering; and possibly

• Punitive Damages

In addition, the pain and suffering you’ve endured, and still yet unquantifiable medical problems you may continue to endure, the courts have traditionally designated the term Pain and Suffering as “catch all” to cover those events.

In some cases, the courts may award an additional and sometimes substantial amount as Punitive Damages. Punitive damages can be likened to punishing the responsible party for actions or omissions the court believes to be egregious.

Because time is of the essence in these cases, especially the Statute of limitations period of 2 years, if you decide to seek compensation for your injuries it would be in your best interest to begin legal proceedings at the earliest possible time.

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: April 1, 2011

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2 thoughts on “Slip and Fall Claim for Injury in Parking Lot at Work…

  1. Dear Sir:

    I have been following your advice and I am at the demand letter stage. I got a response from my demand letter which required me to send a revised demand letter, so I made the revision adding new comments to some of the comments the adjuster was making.

    I mentioned that “as you can see I am not asking for any punitive damages” however if I am forced to hire an attorney I will. The parking lot is still in the same condition and has not changed since my accident. I let them know I take pictures daily. I sent them a picture taken today of the exact spot I slipped in which is still in the exact same condition as the day I slipped.

    Have I messed up my case by saying if I am forced to retain an attorney I will, and I’ll sue for punitive damages and further pain and suffering? Could this jeopardize my case?

    Also, does the statute of limitations start from the day my case is actually filed in a court of law, or from the time I notified the insurance company? And if I need to hire an attorney do I need to do it by the anniversary of my accident so the attorney can file in court?

    Thanks again.

  2. Dear Sir:

    I just wanted you to know that I have been following all your instructions on how to settle this matter I wrote you about last year. I have not yet settled, but everything has been going the way you said it would and I feel I will settle soon. Thank you so much for this website!

    Karen

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