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Parking Lot accident

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It was approximately 11:00 pm on Tuesday 3-28-2000. I was leaving the XXXXX Restaurant located at XXXXX street in Indianapolis IN. The parking lot was exceptionally dark. My car was parked almost directly in front of the entrance to the restaurant facing in the opposite direction (east I believe). No one was parked directly in front of my car so I drove forward out of the parking space. The headlights in my car were on; they automatically turn on in the dark when the car is started. I do not know if I put my seat belt on at that time. I will say that I make it a habit to wear my belt; if it was not on it is because of an occasional oversight. I remember looking for the exit of the parking lot and thinking how dark it was. I thought I saw a lighted exit sign in the northeast corner of the lot, and then BANG.

I did not know what happened and I had no idea that I hit anything. I had only driven a few car lengths, and I was not driving more then 5 or 10 MPH. The loud Bang and the excruciating pain about my head and face left me totally stunned. I remember looking out the windshield to see what or if I had hit something. I still did not see the cause of my present state. I could feel something wet on my face but I could not see anything on my hand when I removed it from my head. I knew I was going to need help so I reached for my phone. If I had my seatbelt on I would have removed it to retrieve the phone from my right pocket. I remember feeling for the numbers on the phone and attempting to call 911. Between the blood in my eyes and the darkness I was having a difficult time. It was then that I heard someone knocking on my side window. I turned and could see a man looking in. I heard him ask if I needed help. Still somewhat confused and looking around I opened my window. It was about this time that I could see an outline of the concrete pillar and light pole in front of what was my left headlight.

From that time on I do not remember the course of events. I know I had a hand full of napkins pressed to my head, and I remember blood dripping onto my sweater. Someone leaned my seat back and was holding my head from behind. A towel was placed on my head. I remember that I was shaking and someone saying that I could be going into shock. I believe a blanket was placed on me at that time. The next thing I remember was being lifted from the car on a board. I was wincing from a tremendous pain in my left arm and restraints were being strapped around me. I could hear people talking, and I heard someone say that the lights on the pole were not on. I opened my eyes for the first time since the towel was placed on my head. Above me I could see 4 or 5 lights mounted on the top of a pole. Not one of the lights was working. The next lights I saw were on the ceiling inside the ambulance.

If the lights on the pole had been in working order I would have seen the pole and concrete base. If the concrete base had been painted in some way I might have seen it. There was no attempt in any way to warn of the hazards it presented. The way I see it. If you are going to place a 3’ X 4’ concrete pillar in the center of a parking lot and not light it, paint it, or maintain it, you should be ready to accept the liability of the danger it poses. While I am very thankful for the people who helped me, I believe the property owners should be liable for all damages.

My Insurance Company said I have no case and I am responsible for the damages. Is the insurance company correct, or do I have a case?

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