Fell in a hospital on a rainy day...

by Sarah
(Detroit, Michigan)

I was at a rehab hospital visiting my mom who was in the hospital being treated. It was a rainy day and I took the elevator to the 3rd floor. I got out of the elevator, took few steps, and slipped suddenly. I was helped by two nurses who got me up, and walked to my mom's hospital room.

After a while, I started having pains in my ankle, knee, back, and shoulder, and I started feeling dizzy and nauseous with a very bad headache. I was taken to the ER and the ER doctor confirmed I had a knee injury and blood under my skin. I also had a head injury that was not serious at that time, but the doctor said symptoms may appear later.

I have been having consistent headaches, dizziness, and general body aches non-stop. I take Motrin every day. Do you think I have a claim? If so, what are my options? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fell in a hospital on a rainy day...":

Sarah (Detroit, Michigan):

Before going any further, speak with your physician. Explain your symptoms and let your physician decide if you need diagnostic tests or further treatment. Bring along copies of your X-Rays, MRI, CT Scan, blood tests, and any other tests which may have been performed.

You state, "I had a knee injury and blood under my skin. I also had a head injury that was not serious at that time, but the doctor said symptoms may appear later." Hopefully your injuries are not serious and your symptoms are transient. If not, your physician will recommend the appropriate treatment.

In the event your injuries are serious and require additional medical treatment, you may then have the genesis of a personal injury claim against the owner of the rehab hospital.

Like other property owners, the owner of the property upon which the rehab hospital is located is subject to the legal doctrine of Premises Liability. Under this doctrine, property owners have a legal duty to do everything reasonably possible to assure their premises (property) is safe for those persons who are legally upon it.

When a property owner fails in his or her legal duty and as a result a person is unduly harmed or injured, the owner may be held liable for the injuries and resulting costs of medical treatment.

It can be argued the rehab hospital owner breached his or her legal duty of care by failing to place cautionary signs outside the elevator, failing to be sure the water was mopped up, or otherwise failing to take measures to assure you and others would not slip and fall. This breach is referred to as the property owner’s "negligence."

In the event your injuries prove to be serious, you will likely need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Bring along copies of your medical records and bills.

After reviewing the medical records and discussing with you the circumstances surrounding your fall, an attorney will be better able to advise you on the strength of your claim.

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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