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Can I get all my medical costs paid by property owner in a trip and fall injury due to a broken handicap pole on the property?

San Jose, CA |

I tripped over a handicap pole which was broken off from the hole in the sidewalk and obstructed by a car next to my dentist office. Some of the broken metal is rusted and still exposed.The pole was obstructed by parked cars. Both my hands/wrists were injured as well as abrasions on my face. It's over 3 months now but my hands are not getting better. I'm laid off & need medical attention. Bills visit to the emergency room are piling up and I pay a little at a time. I'd like to see a doctor or physical therapist to get my hands/wrists completely healed. I missed saying good bye to my younger brother because of the pain in my hands and not being able to drive that day. Allied Ins. says they only cover $1000 of medical costs and I can sue the owner of the property 4 rest.

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Attorney answers 7


I would contact a local personal injury attorney - they can tell you what they think your case is worth.

You can find an attorney on AVVO.

Good luck.

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Quite honestly, it depends on further evaluation of the facts. So, as Mr. LaBore has already stated, you should consult with a local personal injury attorney (and, do it sooner than later). Best of luck to you.


You can try and contact the property owner and make a claim for your medical bills and other damages, but the better course of action is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney that handles premises liability cases and get an opinion on whether the alleged defect that caused the accident is enough to prevail against the potential defendent(s)? If there is a dangerous condition of the property, and you can prove either actual or constructive notice, then you may have a good case for all your damages, past and future medical bills, loss of earnings and earning capacity, pain and suffering and mileage to and from medical providers, etc. Good Luck.

Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.


The $1000 is called premises medical payments (or med pay) and they will pay you that regardless of proof of negligence or fault. You should submit bills directly to Allied up to the $1000 limit. Then you need to file a claim against the property owner (I assume this is Allied's insured) for the rest of your case value. We do not know the case value yet since you have not completed treatment. I am afraid you may not have been properly diagnosed yet and perhaps you can use the $1000 to get more treatment or see an attorney who can help you get treatment on a lien (where they wait to be paid from the settlement.) The others are correct, you do need a personal injury attorney to help you determine if you have a case (from a liability standpoint) and what your damages are. Good luck!

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


Take pictures of the pole and the area surrounding it (if you haven't done so already) and consult further with an attorney and show them the photos. The standard for holding the property owner responsible for your injuries will be whether the pole created a dangerous condition for which the property owner knew or should have known. From your description of the pole as being "rusted", this sounds like it may have existed long enough to argue that the property owner was negligent in not repairing or warning about the condition. Don't delay further, though, in consulting an attorney as this may hurt the case.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.


Those are all good answers from the attorneys above. Do not delay in retaining an attorney. The law only allows a limited time in which to bring suit. You can call for free consultation if you have not already retained an attorney.

Brad C. Brereton

In all cases it is advisable to consult an experienced attorney. Nothing stated herein is intended as legal advice for your specific situation, and you should use the information provided solely for the purpose of choosing an experienced attorney for the problems presented.


Make sure you take pictures of the pole, and retain a personal injury lawyer to investigate.

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