Is a hospital responsible if I was injured in their parking lot? 45 Answers as of July 11, 2013

Yesterday, I fell on an uneven pavement of a hospital parking lot while visiting a relative and was initially evaluated at their Emergency Room. I sustained a left ankle fracture. The hospital security guard was summoned to the scene. What are my rights? I will be missing work days. Is the establishment responsible?

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Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
The hospital may be responsible for an unsafe condition in its parking lot. The question of liability is very complicated, and it depends on whether the hospital was or should have been aware of the uneven pavement. You should contact an attorney for help with this. I'd be happy to help.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/20/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If the landowner it knew or should have known of a dangerous condition, or if it created the dangerous condition, then it had an obligation to repair or warn. There are multiple codes and standards to be considered relative to walking surfaces. There may be other responsible parties. Go ahead and meet with a lawyer. There is a two year statute of limitations, so keep that in mind. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/15/2011
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
When you were injured, you were considered a licensee, since you were visiting a relative. A possessor of land is liable to a licensee for harm resulting from a condition on the land only if "`(a) the possessor knows or has reason to know of the condition and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such licensees, and should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, and "`(b) he fails to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe, or to warn the licensees of the condition and the risk involved, and "`(c) the licensees do not know or have reason to know of the condition and the risk involved.'" You may therefore be entitled to recover your lost income, your medical expenses, and you may also be entitled to additional compensation for the pain and suffering you've suffered as a result of your injury.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/14/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
Premises liability cases are very difficult cases to litigate. Even very clear cases of liability can sometimes be tricky. Without seeing the area that you are talking about I can't tell you for sure whether the hospital is liable or not. It will depend on a whether a reasonably prudent landowner should reasonably have known the area was hazardous and whether they took steps to do anything about it. In a case where the pavement is just a little uneven it is unlikely that you would be able to prove the landowner was liable absent some sort of "smoking gun" evidence such as an internal memo indicating that they know of the hazard and did nothing to correct it. I would encourage you to seek counsel to determine whether a viable premises liability case exists.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
It depends. In your case, the issue will be whether the uneven pavement amounted to a dangerous condition, which is often in the eye of the beholder, and hotly contested. Assuming by uneven you mean there was a lip or change in elevation, was it one inch or six inches? Was it obvious or difficult to see? These are some of the fact questions that will come into play when determining whether the hospital would be liable for your injury.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    Probably yes. If the condition of the parking lot was such that the hospital knew or should have known it was a hazard, it would be responsible for your injuries. You should speak to an attorney right away to gather information critical to the case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    It depends on the condition of the area. The whole question is one of notice of a defect to the hospital and how obvious the danger would be to a pedestrian. They are not per se liable. See a lawyer with experience in the field.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If your fall was because of negligent maintenance you may recover if you did nothing wrong to contribute to the fall.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    An expert would have to examine the parking lot to determine if it is a dangerous condition. If so, you can sue the hospital under most circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You may have have claim but it will depend on the circumstances. You should discuss with an attorney that handles these types of cases.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    The hospital may be liable if it negligently failed to repair or warn of a dangerous condition. One defense that often comes up in these cases is whether the injured person was negligent by failing to see the condition that caused the fall. As a result, these cases usually depend heavily on the exact circumstances involving the dangerous condition and exactly what the injured person was doing just before the fall.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    Possibly. Liability is not clear cut in this situation. Businesses are not necessarily liable for a condition that is open and obvious, unless it is for seeable that someone is likely to get injured despite the condition being open and obvious. Also, it could depend on how long the broken pavement had been there, that is, had it been there long enough for the hospital to notice it and fix it . It is probably worth filing a claim against the hospital, but they might fight the claim.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    A hospital, like any other property owner, owes a duty to all persons legally on the property to use ordinary care to keep the premises and approaches safe. This is particularly true for an invitee which you were because you were on the premises to visit a paying patient. A person who is injured because of a defective condition on the property can make a legal claim against the property owner for compensation for that injury. That claim would include medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. The plaintiff would have to show that the property owner had actual or constructive notice of the defect and that the plaintiff did not cause his/her own injury simply by being careless him/her self.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    If the fall was due to their negligence they may be responsible. You should speak with an attorney who handles this type of claim.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    Perhaps. It depends on whether the uneven surface is sufficient to be considered A hazardous condition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, they are responsible if the uneven parking lot caused your accident and subsequent injury. Contact a personal injury lawyer to follow through for you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The answer is maybe. Talk to a local personal injury attorney. Do not delay as evidence is potentially disappearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Could be you need to get pictures of the defect in the lot that caused your fall and speak to a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    Slip and fall injury cases requires a detailed analysis of the facts. You need to provide more information about the condition that caused the fall. Only then can a determination be made as to liability. If there is liability on the part of the hospital, then you can recover all of your damages, including lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq.
    The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. | Bradley Kramer
    If there was a dangerous condition, then yes. If it was your own fault for just not paying attention, then no.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    I am sorry to hear about your injury. In most states, property owners are liable to invitees (that would be you in this context) for any injuries or damages flowing from a condition which the property knew or should have known could cause injury. So whether you have a claim depends on whether a jury would consider the uneven pavement you described to be sufficiently dangerous that the hospital knew or should have known to fix it. It would be helpful to know, for example, if anyone ever complained to the hospital about the pavement or if anyone was previously injured by it. If so, you probably have a claim. But often the issue of whether a condition is dangerous or not is subjective. Some people may look at the pavement and think it's something that requires repair, others may think it is within the range of what we all must expect to encounter in the real world. I suggest you talk to a lawyer in your area who can assist you in filing a claim for compensation, after he or she investigates the condition at issue and determines whether it is sufficiently dangerous to warrant a claim. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    If you can show that the parking lot was not properly maintained then you have a case for the injury. We handle these cases on a regular basis. We would need to look at the defect to determine whether it is properly maintained.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. The hospital is probably responsible. The landowner is probably responsible as well. Your injury is severe enough to merit consulting with an attorney. The law in New York states that one who owns or occupies property owes a duty to persons lawfully there to keep the premises reasonably safe. If the uneven pavement is more than just a minor slant or bump, then that may qualify as a defective condition. If the landowner or occupier knew about it, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have learned about it, and had an opportunity to fix it, but did not, then there is liability under the principles of tort law. You should consult with an attorney right away. If it is a municipal, state or federal hospital, you may only have ninety days to file a notice of claim. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give legal advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not agreed to represent you. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. All claims have time limits. In general they are in the State of New York: three (3) years for personal injury and property damage actions, two and one half (2 ) years for medical malpractice claims, two (2) years for wrongful death, one (1) year for an intentional wrongdoing, six (6) years for contract claims, but four (4) years for sales of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code, and four (4) months to challenge an action or decision of a government body, department or agency. However, in a claim for personal injury or property damages, if any person or entity at fault is affiliated with a municipal or other government department, agency or facility, then you may be required to file a notice of claim within ninety (90) days and then commence a lawsuit within one (1) year and ninety (90) days, but sometimes within one (1) year. These time limits have exceptions. Never sit on your rights!
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    Liability for trip and fall types of claims will depend on numerous factors such as the height difference, the lighting, visibility of the defect, whether the facility was aware of the defect, etc. Due to the nature of your injuries, you should take the time to discuss all of these factors with an attorney to determine whether or not you should pursue a claim. If you need any additional information, please feel free to send me an email.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/6/2012
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    You may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    If the parking lot was in a defective condition you might have a good claim against the hospital. Call me if you would like to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    That would come under the category of premises liability, and the hospital would not be responsible unless they had been negligent. A landowner is not responsible simply because an accident happens on their property. If there was a pothole that was not readily observable, for example, that would be a different story, but unless you can show that the landowner either did something a reasonable person wouldn't do, or failed to do something a reasonable person would do, then you wouldn't prevail in that case. The hospital probably wrote off the ER bill, but nothing required them to do that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    Possibly. If it can be shown that the spot of your fall was somehow defective, then there would be a case for negligence you may pursue.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    The hospital is only responsible for negligence if anybody could have been injured the same way and the hospital knew of the dangerous area and refused to correct it. The hospital is not liable if the injury was due to not paying attention to one's surroundings.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC
    Ackley Law Group, PLLC | Andrew N. Ackley
    That's an awful injury and I'm sorry to hear that happened. The only answer is, unfortunately, it depends. The very basic explanation of the law is that a business owner is liable for dangerous conditions on the premises that he either knew of or should have known of and failed to repair or warn patrons about. Generally, "business invitees" are owed the highest standard of care, i.e. to avoid even slight negligence. There is a good chance you have a claim and your case is definitely worth following up on. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law applies: Parking lot fall cases are very difficult to prove and win. The law in Oregon favors the landowner, so it depends entirely on the facts. It may be that you have a claim against the Hospital; but the real question is whether you can prove it; and whether it is worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    They are responsible if they were negligent and caused your injuries. They do not pay just because you were hurt on their premises. You should talk to an injury attorney in your state. Attorney is licensed in Alabama only. This writing does not constitute "legal advice" nor does it start an attorney-client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    We are certainly sorry to hear of your fall. Assuming the hospital did not maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, then you are entitled to bring a claim against them for your personal injuries, medical bills and any lost wages. We regularly help people, such as yourself, who are injured on a commercial property, including hospitals. Considering we regularly handle cases like yours through trial, such as the one we are in court on this week, we are the type of experienced personal injuries you should consider contacting, for an no cost, no obligation consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray
    The Law Offices of Greg Gray | Greg Gray
    Yes, the hospital may be liable. You will have to prove that the hospital had notice of the "premise defect" and that they had a reasonable amount of time to correct it. If it is a county hospital, it may be difficult due to "sovereign immunity", which is legal speak for the theory that the government cannot be sued. However, this will depend on the facts of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    It depends on the hazard that caused you to fall. The first hurdle you will have is to overcome the trivial defect defense. Then, if it was not so trivial, if it was so obvious, then you should have seen it. These are difficult cases and are disfavored by the Courts. Presumably the hospital has insurance and likely has a med-pay provision to reimburse you for medical expenses up to the limit of med-pay on their policy, regardless of fault. But I would speak to an attorney right away to see if you have a case so that you could be compensated for lost work as well as pain and suffering. If you have not done so already, take detailed photographs of the scene (and your injury foot as well).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    It's depends on how bad the pavement was and who actually owns and maintains the parking lot. I would not take your case personally.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    If the parking lot was unreasonably dangerous, and the hospital knew or should have known of the hazard, and if the hospital failed to fix the hazard or warn you of the hazard, then the hospital may be responsible for your injuries. You can contact me if you were injured in Oregon or Washington, and if not, you should contact an experienced lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    The owner of the parking lot can be held responsible if it had actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused your fall. I urge you to contact an attorney asap so photos can be taken before the condition is repaired and any surveillance recordings preserved. If the hospital is municipal, the is a notice of claim requirement that must be met usually within 90 days of the accident. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle personal injury cases so feel free to check out my web site and contact me.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Painter Law Firm PLLC
    Painter Law Firm PLLC | Robert Painter
    Hospitals, like all other businesses, have a responsibility to maintain their property in a proper condition to ensure public safety. When they do not keep their property in a safe condition, anyone can be injured and when that happens, the business (in your case, a hospital) is responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    The hospital may be responsible depending on the extent of the uneven pavement. I urge you to take pictures of the area with and without a ruler. Notice of defect is a factor in determining responsibility as in should or did the landlord have notice of the uneven pavement. You have a serious injury. This matter should be looked at closely. I will happily meet with you and review the facts and any pictures to determine if you can proceed with a cause of action. Please contact me if you are interested.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    They should be responsible for the condition of the parking lot, assuming they are the owners of the parking lot. If they rent the parking lot and have no ability to legally maintain it, you will have a claim against the owner of the lot. You are entitled to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
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