Visitor Question

Workmans Comp Back Injury Case…

Submitted By: Deb (Lakeside, California)

I was working at my brother’s farm, feeding his sheep and goats when I fell. The ramp that was built for the feed barn was painted, which made the surface very slippery in the mornings and at night. On the morning I went out to feed the animals. I stepped out of the barn with the alfalfa when both feet came out from under me slamming down on my tail bone then flat on my back. The wind was knocked out of me and I could not move for a good five minutes.

I yelled out for help when I was able to catch my breath but no one came to my aide. It took me at least 15 minutes to get to my phone to call for help. At which time my brother David told me to just lay down and he would check in on me later on to see if I needed to go to the hospital. He never did.

Two days later when I talked to him he tried to deny that I had ever told him that I had gotten hurt. I had to drive myself to the hospital. I was in so much pain. I couldn’t hardly stand it. I spent the next 3 weeks in bed.

I need to see a doctor because my back is hurting me so bad that I have a hard time sleeping and it hurts when I breath. At times my legs go numb when I sit for any period of time. I have no medical insurance. I’m in need of medical treatment and I am not sure what I should do. I am in so much pain I cant take it any longer.

I think my brother and his wife were responsible since it was their property but it’s only my word that I fell. Is there anything I can do?

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 Deb,

The problem here may be family tension more than anything; This should be at the forefront of your mind as you consider whether to pursue this claim. Property owners may be liable for dangerous conditions on their property, but they must know about them, perform reasonable inspections and then fail to warn others.

Whether a painted ramp is considered a dangerous condition is a stretch since it does not sound unreasonable or negligent to do something like paint a ramp.

Secondly, there is not affirmative duty to rescue unfortunately. This means that even though your brother advised you to lay down and did not return, he was under no duty to do so unless he created the peril. You might argue that the peril was created by him because he painted the ramp, however this is a stretch a court would be unlikely to make.

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: September 3, 2011

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