Visitor Question

Concussion from fall in an underground garage…

Submitted By: Lana (Commerce City, Colorado)

My mom has a time share at a resort and I used it for vacation for a week with my family. We parked in the garage underground and I got out of car and slipped on large puddle of water and grease or oil. I don’t know if I hit my head on the ground or car, but I think I passed out for a couple seconds or so.

My husband was already getting out of the car and I had to scream for him to help me up, as I couldn’t get up on my own. I was wet from head to toe and he had the hardest time getting me up.

I took pictures of spill and of bruises on my arm and cleaned myself up. I noticed the maintenance man walking in the garage as we pulled up and prior to me getting out, and I noticed the garbage look sprayed down because there were puddles throughout the garbage.

I was in pain with a headache and was sore afterwards. I told management the next day and they saw my bruises and took pictures of water/oil spill which was still there for management and I to see.

I got the manager’s card and told her I’m going home to go see doctor. She told me she’s going to talk to the maintenance man and get back to me. So far I saw a doctor a few times and got a Rx for pain. I was diagnosed with a concussion with neck and back pain.

I’m doing a CT scan for head/neck and might do a back scan as well. I also started to see a chiropractor. Sometimes I can’t care for my kids or husbands due to the concussion, or pick up my 2 year old son.

The manager at the resort is not responding to me. I asked for her insurance so I can get my medical bills paid as my insurance will find out soon enough what happened. They should be held accountable. What can I 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.

Answer

Dear Lana,

Your case is governed by the legal concept of “Premises Liability.”

Under Premises Liability business owners are required to take reasonable care to protect visitors who are legally upon their property from undue harm or injury. However, a business owner may not be required to provide protection from hazards the owner was unaware of, or could not be reasonably anticipated.

There are three (3) primary types of visitors:

Invitees:

Invitees are persons who are invited onto the property primarily for business or social purposes. A customer in a store would be considered an invitee. A guest at a party would also be considered an invitee. Based on the facts, you appear to have been an invitee.

Licensees:

Licensees are persons permitted to enter onto the property to provide a service. Delivery persons, mail carriers, utility workers would be examples of licensees. Because of their job duties, licensees may be aware of certain hazards, and cannot expect to receive the same protection an Invitee would.

Trespassers:

Trespassers are persons who are not permitted to enter onto the property. Burglars or vandals would be examples of  trespassers. A property owner does not owe trespassers any degree of care of protection.  However, a property owner may not take extraordinary unsafe or dangerous measures to purposely harm a trespasser.

In  your case, to be liable, the property owner must have known there was debris or oil spill on the ground and failed to remove it, or should have known it was there and failed to remove it. The property owner appears to have failed in that duty. That failure is considered negligence.

Based on the negligence, the property owner should be liable for your injuries and resulting damages. This can include your medical bills, related out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and possibly an amount for your pain and suffering.

Submit a claim to the property owner or management company.  If you aren’t satisfied with their response, consider contacting several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.

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) 647-2490.

Best of luck with your claim,

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