Who pays my medical bills if I fell at a department store? 43 Answers as of July 04, 2013

I was shopping at a clothing store and fell and hurt myself on a puddle of water in the dressing room from a leak in the ceiling. I reported it to the manger she said she knew about the leak that it had been that way for awhile. There were no wet floor signs anywhere in the store. She took my information and wrote it on the back of a receipt and said someone would contact me. I went to the hospital and they put me in a knee brace and said I needed to contact an Orthopedic surgeon. Do they have to pay my medical bills?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Under the facts you describe, I would say, yes. You will likely need an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/22/2011
Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
As a general rule, the insurance company representing the department store will not immediately process and pay your medical bills. Some stores will agree to pay a set amount without an admission of wrongdoing. Typically, the insurance company will have to be persuaded to accept responsibility for your injuries and repayment of your bills. This occurs after a claim is presented, and either a settlement or trial occurs. In the meantime, you should encourage medical providers to bill your personal insurance.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/22/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Yes, you must consult a lawyer and bring your claim against the store.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/21/2011
Riley Law Firm
Riley Law Firm | Timothy Dennis Riley
The retail store does not have to pay your medical bills automatically, simply because you were injured in the store. However, if the store negligently failed to make the premises safe, resulting in your injury, you may have a good liability claim. If the manager will admit later that she knew about the leak for a significant time before the fall, under the facts as you describe them this sounds like a relatively strong claim. Some retail stores also carry a particular type of insurance, known as premises medical coverage, which will pay your medical expenses for any injury occurring on the premises, regardless of fault. The limits are usually fairly small and recovery is strictly limited to reimbursement for paid medical expenses. You should retain competent Texas legal counsel to assist you in prosecuting your claim. You have only 2 years from the incident to get your suit filed.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/21/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Based on your representations, it appears that you have a viable case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    They are liable for your medicals, pain and suffering and any impairments.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Offices of Daniel R. Wingler, P.C.
    Law Offices of Daniel R. Wingler, P.C. | Daniel R. Wingler
    This appears to be a clear case of negligence / premises liability on the part of the store. Thus, they should pay your medical bills, as well as other damages, but you may have to retain an attorney to be taken seriously when making any demands on the store. Also, you should definitely retain an attorney to assist in this as soon as possible. There may be video surveillance of your injury that is invaluable as evidence, as well as other evidence needing to be preserved. Time is of the essence when preserving evidence. Many stores only keep surveillance for a brief period before it is destroyed. An attorney can take steps to ensure that evidence is preserved, and any necessary witness statements taken before memories fade or witnesses are tampered with by unscrupulous store personnel or insurance carriers.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Generally speaking an injured party is responsible for paying their own medical bills until the case is settled. Some businesses carry a no fault coverage rider on their policy that may cover your medical bills until the case is settled. This is similar to the no fault provisions on car insurance policies (Personal Injury Protection in Oregon). You should inquire of the adjuster for the store's insurance if they have such a policy. If not your or your private health insurance will be responsible for the medical costs. If the case is settled or decided in court in your favor, then the defendant will have to reimburse you for your costs as well as your pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    The store should be responsible because they caused or were aware of the dangerous condition and did not take reasonable precautions, and you were an invitee on the premises. You may be entitled to much more than your medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    Based upon the facts you listed, the store should be held responsible for the medical bills, and any other damages from this incident. Contact a personal injury attorney if you're interested in pursuing claims, as there are certain measures that I believe should be taken right away before certain evidence is destroyed. In addition, the store's insurance policy may have a medical payment provision that will cover some or all of your medical bils.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    In the factual situation you describe, yes, they should be liable for your medical bills and other damages. The other damages would include compensation for pain and suffering. You should consult a local attorney in the state where you wee injured.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy
    Law Office of Garrett S. Handy | Garrett S. Handy
    Yes, I believe the department store would be liable to pay your medical bills. These are difficult cases, but if you can show that they had notice of the problem, and had an opportunity to fix it or warn you, and they didnt, then they should be held liable. In addition to your medical bills, you may be entitled to money for pain and suffering and lost wages if any.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A.
    Law Offices of Joseph I. Lipsky, P.A. | Joseph Lipsky
    Pursuant to Florida Law, if the owner or operator of a business either knew or should have known of a dangerous condition on the property, such as liquid on the floor, then that business operator is responsible for the damages caused by their failure to timely correct such a dangerous condition. While is it unlikely that the department store will voluntarily pay your medical bills directly, they will ultimately have to pay them if the store is proven to have acted negligently. We certainly suggest that you contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    First of all, you should contact a lawyer to discuss this matter more thoroughly. Unless the insurance policy of the store has a med pay portion you would be responsible for the up front payment of your medical bills. You can submit the bills to your own medical insurance plan if you have one. If you bring a lawsuit, the medical bills and other costs could be repaid as part of your settlement.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You certainly should have an attorney representing you against the Department store. They should be ultimately be responsible. However, in the meantime you will probably have to submit them to your own insurance company or ask the doctor to be patient until the suit is settled. The problem with submitting them to your insurance company is that they will probably put a lien on your case until they are paid. If the doctors won't wait, you will have no choice but to submit them to your insurer.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
    Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
    I would certainly take the position that they should pay your medical bills, as well as pain and suffering damages. The store, or their insurance company may disagree, but that is what lawsuits are for, to force defendants to take responsibility for their actions.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    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: 7/4/2013
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    It depends on what insurance coverage exists, if any.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
    It sounds like the store may have been negligent for knowingly allowing the leak to continue and for failing to warn customers of the problem. If you are successful in proving negligence, you may recover for past and future medical expenses/bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You should consult with a Florida lawyer, who will assist you in maximizing your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    El Dabe Law Firm
    El Dabe Law Firm | Edmond El Dabe
    You have astrongcase for premises liability. If they had notice of the leak, they are 100% liable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Premises liability cases are notoriously difficult. However, under the facts you have presented I believe a case could exist. You need to see an experienced personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Judnich Law Office
    Judnich Law Office | Martin W. Judnich
    You have several complicated questions here. No slip and fall injury creates a clear liability case. By that I mean that most store's don't just pay your bills and be done with you. Instead, in Montana, they typically don't want to pay anything at all, unless they have what is called premises medical payment coverage. Not everyone has it, but some stores do. That coverage is for injuries such as yours to go toward medical bills, but it is usually only a couple of thousand dollars. If your bills are more than that, you would have to pursue a larger bodily injury claim against the store. This is always a delicate process and typically very frustrating. The short answer is no, they don't HAVE to pay your medical bills. With the right attorney and facts consistent with what you have stated, you could have a very good claim.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    If the store's negligence caused your injuries, the store may be held liable. If you make a claim, you are probably going to be dealing with the store's insurance company, so it would be a good idea to consult an attorney with experience with claims like this. In addition, the store may have medical payments insurance coverage that will pay your medical bills up to the limits of the policy (usually less than $10,000) without regard to fault.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You should contact the store and ask for their insurance information at a minimum. Building owners owe a duty to visitors to keep the premises safe from these conditions or at least warn. Here this a potential case for the fall and injury to your knee. The medical bills should be covered by the business owner's insurance but that is not the entire story.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    The store is responsible for your bills if its negligence caused our fall. Since the store was aware of the leak, a court would likely find the store negligent and require that they pay our bills. However, the manger may lie in court and deny knowledge of the leak, and deny admitting it to you. The store will not pay the bills as they are incurred the way health insurance does, but will want to settled the whole claim with one check for all of the bills after they have been incurred, along with any pain and suffering you may be entitled to. Thus, you should use any health insurance you have until you can settle your case. If you have no insurance, you must pay the bills until you can settle your case, or get the doctor to let the bill accumulate until you settle the case. Many doctors will not do this. Some will if you have an attorney and the attorney signs a document promising to pay the doctor out of any settlement proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Sounds like a case you can prove. If they don't follow up by contacting you try again with the manager and if no res[ponse get you a lawyer. Make sure you get proper medical care.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    There is a lot more than just medical bills at play here. You have the lost wages, pain and suffering and more. This sounds like a very good case and I would love the opportunity to speak to you about representation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you contact and retain a personal injury attorney as soon as possible concerning your rights and options in your slip and fall case, if you are interested in pursuing the store to compensate you for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You will have to bring a claim against the store.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You may have a claim for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. You should discuss with a lawyer who handles these types of accidents.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Yes, it sounds as if the store is negligent by its failure to protect customers from a known danger. If they will not pay you damages, including the medical bills, contact an injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If an employee of the department store knew about the leak, then you should consult a lawyer promptly. Hopefully, you got the name of the employee who made that statement to you. If you did not, then go back to the store and see if you can find that employee and get her name. That employee's statement puts actual notice on the department store, and they are responsible for your fall, the medical bills and even your pain and suffering. I would consult a lawyer in your area who has a good reputation for handling personal injury cases.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    They should. You should hire a personal injury attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    The store should pay the bills. If they do not you can sue them for your bills and your pain and suffering
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    No one will contact you. A store that has knowledge of a hazard and does nothing to warn and or repair the hazard is liable to you for the injuries you sustain from that hazard. Go back to the store at the same time and day as when you injured yourself and speak to the same manager and get her name and contact information, she is a witness. It is not what happened that matters, it is what you can prove happened that matters. You have 2 years in NJ to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You may gave a great case. Ultimately, the store may be responsible for all of your bills and much, much more. You need to hire a personal injury attorney right away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    If their insurance has med pay, they will pay your bills up to the policy limit regardless of negligence. If they don't have med may, you would have to negotiate with their carrier and show they had notice of a dangerous condition. If your injury turns out to be serious, you may consider pursuing a suit for your pain and suffering and economic loss. I recommend you contact a personal injury attorney asap so a letter can be sent to preserve any surveillance that may show the accident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    They should be held responsible for not only your medical bills but pain, suffering and inconvenience as well. You can deal with this on your own and get your reasonable medical bills covered and maybe a little extra, or retain an attorney who has the experience to recover much more than you probably could on your own.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    If the manager admitted it had been leaking in that area and there were no signs, then yes the store should be responsible for your bills.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney