Visitor Question

Broken hip from fall in damaged private parking lot…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Orange, California)

A few week ago my wife fell in a pre-school parking lot while there picking up our grandchild. She slipped because of damaged, neglected pavement, the pot hole and loose stones surrounding it. The parking lot was in generally poor condition so there was no clear path way to her car.

She broke her hip, and had a partial hip replacement. It’s difficult to determine the financial loss beyond what Medicare will pay; hospital and nursing home expenses are not covered by insurance, nor is support equipment like walker and cane, etc. She is certainly in great pain, and we had to hire someone to perform household duties she would normally have done.

Of course we do not know what future expenses, pain and suffering are in for her in the future. What can we do in this situation?



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 Anonymous,

We presume you are asking about the liability concept applicable to the preschool. The legal principal known as Premises Liability applies to homes as well as businesses.

Premises liability is directly related to personal injury claims, where an injury is caused as a result of an unsafe condition on someone’s property. These personal injury claims require the person who was injured to show that s/he was harmed as a result of the property owner’s negligence.

The property owner must have known the property was unsafe or should have reasonably known it was unsafe.

Most premises liability cases are referred to as “slip and fall” accidents because the injury is the result of a fall of some type. Slip and fall claims can result in serious injuries, with those injuries resulting in substantial medical bills and related “Damages.”

Damages can include medical bills, out-of-pocket costs (such as medications, wheel chairs, slings, crutches, costs of travel to treatment, etc.), lost wages, and an amount for pain and suffering.

Based on the facts you present, it appears the pre-school parking was not adequately maintained. Because it was quite clearly in poor condition for a longer time than that of your wife’s latest visit, the pre-school (presuming they own the parking lot) knew, or should have known the parking lot posed a danger to those persons legally invited into the property for picking up children.

Clearly your wife was a person legally upon the property. As a result, the property owner should be responsible for her damages.

Contact the preschool owner or administrators and explain what occurred. Hopefully you or your wife notified the preschool administration or owner at the time she slipped and fell. If so, there should be a report of the accident. If all you are seeking is reimbursement for her medical bills and those costs associated with her injuries, then ask the school to reimburse you (her) for those amounts.

However, if you want to pursue additional amounts for your wife’s pain and suffering, you and your wife would be best-served by seeking the counsel of several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most reputable injury attorneys do not charge any fees for initial office consultations.

Once you have visited with several personal injury attorneys you will have better idea of the viability of your wife’s claim, the time it may take to settle the claim (or if necessary, to bring it to trial), and a general amount the claim is worth.

Learn more here: Injuries in Parking Lots or Garages

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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