Can I sue a hospital if I fell while visiting a patient? 25 Answers as of June 23, 2013

While visiting a patient at the hospital, I fell and hurt my leg and hip. The house keeper was cleaning in the room and I got up to get something for the patient, because he was at fall risk and couldn't get out of the bed. They sent me to the ER for x rays, but said I was responsible for the bill. Do I have the right to sue and would it be worth my time to sue?

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Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
Yes, you can sue, but need to prove the hospital did something wrong.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 9/20/2011
The Unger Law Firm
The Unger Law Firm | Jeffrey Unger
The decision to pursue a case generally depends on the level of injury received. Obviously, the greater the injury, the more compensation you would then be entitled to receive. If the only medical care you received was an x-ray, then it is unlikely that the case is substantial enough to pursue, however, each case stands on its own and I would recommend that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your fall and subsequent medical treatment.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/20/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
It might be, it would depend on the extent of your injuries and what you fell on. For "slip and fall" cases, you must allege that there was a "defect" on the floor. This could be a raised tile, spilled water, etc. Do you remember what you fell on? We offer free consultations if you would like more info.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/20/2011
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
You always have a right to sue where a personal injury is involved and someone else may be responsible. But, as you write, the real question is whether it is worth your time and effort to make a claim. My initial reaction based on the facts you present is that is not a worthwhile endeavor. It does not appear that your injuries were significant such as a broken bone. And, there is a liability issue because you were aware that the cleaner was in the room. Virginia law still follows the rule that contributory negligence bars a claim. This doctrine would be an issue in your case. Of course, you can always consult a personal injury lawyer to confirm the situation and I would advise this if your injuries are more severe than I am assuming.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 9/20/2011
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Retain and/or consult with a plaintiff's accident or personal injury lawyer for legal advice and representation. Once retained, thatattorney should advise you on whether the negligence of the hospital's employee was the proximate cause of your fall and your resulting injury,the hospital's liability, if any, and its insurance coverage..
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 9/20/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You can sue if you can show there was a defect. If you slipped on something causing the injury and it was the fault of the staff, there is a case to look at.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/20/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    If the hospital created a hazard, or a hazard existed that they knew about, then, yes, the hospital could be responsible. Whether it's worth it depends on the severity of your injuries. If you did not break bones, nor had an injury that requires surgery, it probably does not warrant your time and energy to pursue. I wish you a speedy recovery regardless.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If you didn't break any bones or tear cartilage and need surgery then I would say it's not worth suing.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    In general, "slip and fall" lawsuits require showing that the owners or possessors of the premises were negligent in allowing unreasonably hazardous conditions to exist or persist on their premises. If the owners or operators of the premises breached their duty of ordinary care, causing your damages, then you might want to speak with an attorney about a claim or cause of action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    What caused you to fall? Do you think you have a permanent injury?
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/23/2013
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    Whether this case is worth pursuing would depend on how much your damages are. In Utah, to prevail in a slip and fall you have to show that there was a temporary unsafe condition and that the hospital knew about it and didn't correct it. With the potential defendant being either a hospital or a cleaning company, you might have a problem showing there was any liability. They will claim you were negligent yourself. Also, if the hospital was part of the University system, you’ll only have one year to bring a claim. Find an attorney as soon as you can to look into it.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.
    Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. | Orman Kimbrough, Esq.
    The quick answer is "yes" you can sue the hospital; however, whether you recover depends on all of the facts surrounding your fall. Normally, one who receives medical treatment is responsible for the charges, but the hospital may agree to waive the charges due to the circumstance and/or have medical payment insurance coverage on their policy that will pay the bills without having to determine fault. While you do have a right to sue, it is unclear whether it is worth your time without knowing more facts of the incident and the extent of your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You have the right to sue. The correct question , which you asked, is whether or not it is worth it. If you are OK. Probably not, at least not beyond small claims court. A major problem for both is the cleaning guy. He should have made a warning if there was liquid or some other thing he put on the floor that caused the accident. YOU should have been aware of whatever cleaning guy was doing and avoided it. For that scenario, probably 50/50 fault. So split the bill. IF fall was because of something on the floor and not put there by cleaning guy, meaning it was something he should have cleaned up and you were not aware of it, the they should pay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    In order to make a claim against a property owner (including stores, parking lots, apartments, etc) the injured party has to show that the owner knew or should have known of the hazard, had an opportunity to correct it, and failed to take action. Or, that the hospital created the hazardous condition which caused you to fall. Whether it is worth your time, or that of a lawyer's, we would need to know exactly what your injuries are, including diagnosis, treatment, lost time from work, permanency, etc.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You did not say anyone was careless or negligent and that the negligence was the cause of your fall. You must prove fault always. You are not planning to sue for an ER bill are you? It will cost you more than the matter is worth even if you win. Handling lawsuits (especially if you have a lawyer helping you) takes an enormous amount of time, paperwork and hoop jumping, everything costs: filing fees, sheriff service fees, court reporter fees. Don't ever get involved with litigation with a doctor or medical facility unless it is for big injuries and big buck s. Their administrators and lawyers will wear you out with paper work and unnecessary work of all kinds and unnecessary costs. Tell me that aint fair or just. It may not be in a particular case but it IS the system we have to deal with. If the system does not seem fair tell your state legislator. It wont do any good because the medical lobby is powerful and the legislature wants to protect doctors.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    You certainly have a potential claim for negligence against the hospital. Hospitals have a high duty to maintain their premises free of dangerous conditions, but they are not insurers against every injury. It all comes down to what is reasonable. Of course hospitals need to keep the premises clean, so the fact that they were cleaning the floor would not itself show negligence. Whether the cleaning crew performed its services negligently would depend on all of the facts and circumstances. I would need to know exactly what they were doing, why you didn't see the wet floor, whether they took appropriate steps to warn you, and a lot of other details. Whether it is worth pursuing a case depends on how strongly you feel you can prove negligence, and how badly you were hurt. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Probably not worth it unless you are seriously hurt, but you can consult a personal injury lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Eftekhari Law Offices
    Eftekhari Law Offices | Ehsan Eftekhari
    Yes. You have the right to sue the hospital. They should have warned you of the slippery floors. Their defense will be that you had notice of the slippery floor so you should've been careful.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If you fell because someone at the hospital was negligent, then you can bring a claim against the hospital. Whether it will be worth your time is up to how badly you were injured.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    Absolutely, you can sue the hospital. It is hard to know whether you can win as the details would be useful.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    We would need to discuss this matter further to find out the circumstances which caused you to fall. If it can be shown that the hospital's negligence caused your injuries you can maintain a personal injury law suit.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/19/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    The short answer is "maybe". It really depends on what caused you to fall. If there was a dangerous condition that lead to your injury that the hospital could have and should have done something about (even if it were just a warning), then you might have a claim. If you think there is any reason to believe you have a claim, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area promptly to review this matter in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/19/2011
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