Personal Injury On Vacation? Watch Your Step!


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With summer right around the corner, many of us will be packing up and heading on vacation. Most of us may stay in rental homes or hotels while we are away. While the last thing we want to think about may be suffering a personal injury on vacation, it's still good to realize that accidents do happen and safety should be your number one priority.

Watch Out For The Ice Machine

In one particular case, a hotel guest slipped and fell on some water around an ice vending machine. The guest's personal injury was pretty painful – she had a bulging lower spinal disc, lumbar strain and facet joint hypertrophy. This led to persistent back pain. Due to the pain, the guest developed an altered gait and that in turn allegedly resulted in her slipping and falling down the stairs at her partner's home a few months later, making her injuries worse. This particular guest had to have 17 pain management injections along with physical therapy. She still suffers back pain, which is made worse when walking or standing for long periods.

The Costs

The personal injury is significant. Her medical expenses amounted to around $137,700 and it is estimated that future treatment will cost in the region on $270,000. The woman had to take time off from work, resulting in lost earnings of about $10,000. This case went to trial and an expert testified that the ongoing pain and limitations were likely to force the plaintiff into early retirement.

The Lawsuit

The claimant sued the companies who owned the hotel and alleged that water surrounding the ice machine was a dangerous condition. She alleged the hotel had been negligent by not warning her of, or correcting the hazard. The defendants, though, argued that the plaintiff could have slipped owing to the fact she was eight months' pregnant at that time and had said she felt dizzy. They argued that slipping and falling at the hotel hadn't contributed to her subsequent fall and personal injury. They also argued that her pain was from the second fall only, a subsequent fall or even sickle-cell anemia. The defense argued there was a period of 14 months where the plaintiff even stopped having treatment. They challenged the credibility of the plaintiff, arguing she failed to disclose the car accident in her answers to interrogatories. It was also argued that the plaintiff had been given a promotion at work and was now earning more than she had prior to the accident.

The Outcome

The jury allocated fault like this: 10 percent to the plaintiff and 90 percent to the defendants. The plaintiff was awarded $1.16 million. This finding is known as Comparative Negligence in South Carolina as the claimant was found to have contributed negligence in the accident, but less than the negligence attributed to the defendants. It is important to note that each state has its on law(s) regarding contributory/comparative negligence.

Contact Us

Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.