It's one thing to see one's car fall from the seventh floor of a Texas parking garage onto the sidewalk below. It is a wholly different kind of emotional fright when the owner is in the car when it takes that deep plunge. It actually happened last month in Austin when a female operator fell seven floors to the ground below at the Littlefield Garage. Not surprisingly, she suffered life-threatening serious injuries.
She fortunately survived, and was recently able to file a lawsuit against the owners of the garage. She alleges that the owners were negligent in not updating their cable barrier system that is specifically designed to keep drivers from falling off the garage. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages for her serious injuries.
The specific nature of the injuries was not indicated in recent press articles. One area of damages that is clear, however, would be pain and suffering, loss of life's pleasures and the emotional trauma of the fall. Something that uniquely dramatic in the realm of accidental injuries is going to leave a deep emotional impact for which substantial damages may be recoverable.
In addition, damages demanded for these serious injuries could include lost wages, permanent loss of earning capacity, medical expenses and appropriate and necessary rehabilitation treatments. Although this would seem to be a highly unusual accident, it is reported that the same garage has at least one prior car falling from it in the recent past. On the other hand, a defense witness will reportedly testify that the plaintiff said that she thought she stepped on the gas instead of the brakes when parking. Under Texas law and procedure, the resolution of such factual contradictions and deviations is up to the fact finder to decide.
Source: The Washington Post, "Woman sues Texas parking garage after car plummets", Aug. 23, 2017