Liability of non-profit hospital for injury caused by parking stop?

by Gail

My mother was walking to her car from the hospital with a large envelope of x-rays. She tripped on a cement parking stop that more or less extended out into the walkway. She didn't notice the barrier due to the large envelope she was carrying. Her injuries consist of severe damage to her teeth and roof of her mouth.

The hospital claims they aren't liable due to the facts of being non-profit and that it was her own fault she tripped. The barrier is gray on black pavement. Does the hospital have any liability in this scenario? Is there any other avenue we can pursue to get compensation for my mother's injuries? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Liability of non-profit hospital for injury caused by parking stop?":

Gail (Colorado):

If the hospital’s administration told you they aren’t responsible for your mother’s injuries, they were wrong. Whether a for-profit, or not-for-profit hospital, each can be held liable for injuries occurring on their premises. Most non-profit hospitals carry general liability policies, or “CGL” policies. These policies cover personal injuries sustained by people legally on the hospital’s premises.

While proof of negligence is a required element for an injured patient, unless the contributory or comparative negligence of the victim is blatant, most injuries are covered. In your mother’s case it can be legitimately argued she wasn’t negligent. This is based on the hospital’s implied or actual knowledge that patients who leave the hospital are often carrying x-rays, and those x-rays are normally large enough to obscure a person’s ability to see what is in front of him or her.

Your mother’s injuries are legitimate and are serious enough to require the intervention of an attorney. Serious injury claims should almost always be handled by experienced personal injury attorneys. Without an attorney, you and your mother will remain right where you are... with a persistent denial of liability from the hospital’s administration.

You can be confident once you and your mother have retained an attorney, the hospital’s persistent denials may suddenly not be so persistent. Moreover, from the facts you present, it’s likely an experienced injury attorney will be able to secure a substantial settlement for your mother. Her compensation will likely include money for her dental and medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc., her lost wages (if any) and her pain and suffering.

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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