73 year old fell and broke ankle at physical therapy outpatient clinic...

by Terri
(Indiana, PA)

My mother, who had a stroke 3 years ago, had considerable left side weakness and was attending outpatient physical therapy. She fell while using a walker at the physical therapy clinic and broke her right ankle.

She arrived using a wheel chair and as she was leaving they had her using a walker, which is when the injury happened. They also did not call an ambulance for her but instructed her friend, who drove her, to take her to the ER immediately.

She broke her ankle in 3 places in the fall and need surgery. She then suffered a mild heart attack after the surgery and is now in a nursing facility until she can get put weight on her ankle.

Is the PT Clinic in any way responsible for her medical bills? Is this negligence on their part? What can we do about this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "73 year old fell and broke ankle at physical therapy outpatient clinic...":

Terri (Indiana, PA):

While your mother's injuries are indeed unfortunate, nothing prevented the friend who accompanied your mother to physical therapy from insisting your mother leave in the same wheelchair she arrived in. It seems apparent if your mother had left in the same wheelchair, she would not have been injured.

What is curious is if your mother arrived in a wheelchair, the wheelchair likely belonged to her, or to you, or to the friend who brought her to the physical therapy. The obvious question is why didn't she leave in the same wheelchair she arrived in? Did she intend on leaving her wheelchair at the facility?

The fact that the employees at the therapy facility didn't call an ambulance should not have stopped your mother's friend from calling an ambulance. A simple call to 911 would have summoned paramedics to the scene within minutes. Your mother's friend chose to drive your mother to the emergency room.

From the facts you present, there doesn't appear to be much negligence on the part of the physical therapy facility. Instead, liability for your mother's injuries and related costs may squarely on the shoulders of your mother's friend.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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