In addition toi the good answers above, have someone get out to the hole before it gets fixed. Have them take photos including some with a ruler or tape measure visible so the size and depth of the hole are clearly visible in the photos. Have some photos taken when approaching the hole from the direction your girlfriend was going before she stepped in it. You dont mention if it was daylight or not when it occurred, or if there was snow etc that could have obscured the hole. These are all important details, and why she needs to get with a good local atty right away, assuming she physically can do so.
Yes, a pothole would be a defect, and a local personal injury lawyer should be retained who can investigate and get an expert out to document the pothole and pursue a claim. Good luck.
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You need to talk to an attorney in the state where the pothole is. This will come down to whether the management company of the parking lot knew about the hole and followed their proper maitenance rules of the property.
Premises liability cases are complicated and you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible so you can inform the possibly liable party that there was an injury on their premises.
She should try to find someone on the find a lawyer section of this site. Photos should be taken now of the pothole and surgery as well.
I will evaluate your case for free. I can also refer you to an attorney to help you if I cannot help you. Joyce J. Sweinberg, Esquire 215-752-3732 www.jjsassoc.net Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.