Tripped and fell in handicapped parking space getting into car...
I was getting into my car on the passenger side in a handicapped spot and I fell onto the dirt. The pavement was uneven and not smooth. I broke my glasses and my ring when I fell. The manager of the store where it happened came out and took my information.
I went to the emergency room at Hilton Head Hospital in South Carolina. They did a CT scan of my head and had to put 6 stitches in. My arms and knees were also treated for cuts to prevent further infection.
The claims department of the store contacted me on April 18 and I gave them the information about what happened. They called me back on April 26 and told me that the claim was denied. They would not pay for anything because it didn't look like the pavement was a problem. I asked them where I go from there? They said do what you want. They were not paying. I have not received anything from them in writing.
Should I continue pursuing this claim? I think that they should at least pay for my broken ring and medical bills from the hospital. What can I do about this? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Tripped and fell in handicapped parking space getting into car...":
RuthAnn (Bluffton, SC):
You have every right to pursue a personal injury claim against the owner of the parking lot. Unfortunately, because your injury claim was denied, pursuing the claim will be a challenge. Because of the the small amount of stitches and resultant medical bills, it may be difficult to find an attorney to represent you.
Your injury claim is based on the legal doctrine of Premises Liability. This doctrine states property owners have a legal duty of care to maintain their property so as to be free of dangerous defects which might cause injuries to persons legally on the property.
When a property owner knows, or should know a dangerous condition exists on his or her property, and fails to repair or remove the defect, and as a result of that omission a person legally upon the property becomes injured, the property owner becomes liable for the damages sustained by the injured person.
Damages can include compensation for medical, chiropractic, dental, and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses (for such items prescription and over the counter medications, bandages, costs of travel to treatment, etc.), lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Don't despair. There is an alternate route you may take in your effort to seek compensation for your injuries and resulting damages. The State of South Carolina has small claims courts available to those who want to file injury or property damage claims.
Pursuant to Title 22 Chapter 3 Section 22-3-10 (1), South Carolina Magistrate courts have jurisdiction over small claims cases where the amount sought is up to $7500.00.
To read more about the policies and procedures in South Carolina’s Magistrate Courts, read "Your Guide to Magistrate’s Court" by the South Carolina Bar Association.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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