Hip Injury on Hotel Staircase...

by Leonor
(Chicago, IL)

My husband and I were at a major chain hotel in El Paso, Texas in June 2009. We stayed there one night. As I was going down the cement stairway on day I slipped hard. There were no wet floor signs anywhere to be seen.

I fell on my right hip, on the edge of the step. I immediately bruised that area. I have a high tolerance for pain, but that morning I was in tears.

A cleaning lady saw that I fell and went to the front desk with my husband and I to report what happened. The front desk lady did offer an ambulance, but due to a meeting my husband was having in Mexico I chose not to go at that time. But I was in severe pain.

While in Mexico, my husband put ice on the wound and other home remedies. That was to keep me going until we would come back to the US.

Well, my husband's meeting did not end as expected so I returned to the US on my own. Dealing with so much pain I went to the doctor about 3 weeks after I returned. The doctor I saw, Dr. Hernandez, told me I was just bruised (no x-ray or other tests were performed by her, it was left at that).

I have been having pain recently in my left hip. The pain at times becomes intense. I do have a doctor's appointment scheduled. If the left hip pain I'm having now is due to the fall, can I sue the hotel and/or the doctor who did not properly diagnose my hip injury? Do I have a case?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hip Injury on Hotel Staircase...":

Leonor (Chicago, IL):

You may not have to sue either. Before taking any legal action keep your appointment with the new doctor. Hopefully she will order some tests, possibly an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test, as well as X-Rays. If the X-Rays determine fractures of the hip or other pelvic area a good Radiologist will be able to estimate the approximate tome the fracture occurred.

If the tests do not reveal any fractures, and instead you are suffering from severe bruising of one of your bones, muscles. The injuries might also be a result of a hematoma – or broken blood vessels which have taken some time to heal. These injuries are referred to as “soft tissue” injuries”

If the tests reveal solely soft tissue injuries you may want to consider the time and expense legal action might take; especially framed against the probable small amount of compensation you might recover if your suit was successful. If, in the alternative your injuries do confirm fractures of the pelvic area, you will have grounds for a suit.

You were smart to have made a report of the incident when it occurred. You will be able to rely on that report if you decide to file suit. Because there is a 2 years Statute of Limitations period for the filing of suit, you will have up to 2 years from the date of the injury to file suit.

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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