falling on hospital property

<p>Well, this is going to sound long winded but please hear me out.</p>

<p>Today my mother and i went to go get our doctors appointments done and we both had some scheduled. We went to park in the parking grage (it was a new one), and ended up on the top floor. We started walking across it and hit an area of black ice (it did NOT look it), and mother fell down hard.</p>

<p>She has major back problems and this could have potentially made them even worse (last xray she had did not show a buldging disk like she has now). The Er doc speculated that she may also have a fractured hip, but could not tell via xray.</p>

<p>I ended up calling for help (luckly there was one of those blue phone thingys right there) and the parametics came got us.</p>

<p>What i wish to know is is there anything that can be done at this point? I know that the security was supposed to take pictures and whatnot of the accident (you can tell mother fell down, her clothes were sopped), and i clearly was not in the right mind at the time to snap some off my camera on my phone. There are doctors reports and such.</p>

<p>Any advice? :<</p>

<p>I would think that the office building/doctors'offices/hospital where you were has a policy in place for reporting accidents on the property. I would start making calls today, but I do not know who you would call(office building management company?). If you fall in a grocery store, they know exactly what to do. I hope your mother isn't too seriously hurt.</p>

<p>I would also write up a brief account with time of day, etc.</p>

<p>I have, honestly no idea. Nor do i know what she wants to do (she's kind of out of it atm).</p>

<p>I would rather her be all there to make up her mind and then go from there.</p>

<p>But i will write up an account of what happened that day though. I also have the name and number of the security guard that helped us.</p>

<p>If this was at a hospital, not just a doctor's office building, then the hospital will have a "risk management" department. Call them.</p>

<p>I would call the management company asap. If something turns up from this fall, your mother's insurance company may not pay for it but rather will expect the parking garage/building owners insurance to cover it. Better to get the process started sooner than later.</p>

<p>ice- you need to let the hospital know ASAP, if you wait to report the incident, it looks bad in the long run. Even if you do not give detils right now, you need to report the incident. The security guard has probably done that anyway, but you need to follow up on it too.</p>

<p>If the owners say they'll pay just your out-of-pocket medical expenses, that's not good enough. The health insurance policy most likely has a clause that the health insurance company has the first claim on any money paid by the garage owners. So say your medical bills total $2,000 but your out-of-pocket cost is $1,500. If you get a check for $1,500, the health insurance company is going to demand their $500 from you, so you'll be out that money.</p>

<p>I know this because my son was hurt at a ski resort (the chair lift operator was not paying attention and didn't stop it in time, and a high-speed chair knocked him out). The ambulance, helicopter, hospital, and doctor bills were over $10,000. The ski resort at first said they would pay our out-of-pocket costs only ($5,700). But the health insurance company said we owed them $4,300 of that money! So we persisted, and the ski resort eventually paid for everything.</p>

<p>Personal injury lawyer</p>

<p>Do you think the facility was negligent somehow because there was black ice on the exposed top floor of the parking garage? What if it was the parking lot of a shopping mall? What if it was on the street?</p>

<p>I do some er billing type stuff. If the reason for visit states - fell on ice in parking lot, it well get billed as an injury, not an illness. It will require notes from the hospital that will most likely state that the patient fell in the parking lot.</p>

<p>I'm assuming your mom is on medicare. They're not always the sharpest tools, but they do avoid paying anything possible. This could end up being a different kind of claim, where they may send her a form to fill out about the fall.</p>

<p>Now, I'm really not for suing - I think we're are an extremely litigious country and is a major reason why healthcare is out of control. However, a hospital of all places is liable for keeping its surfaces clear. They do have insurance for this kind of thing. I have insurance on my company for this kind of thing.</p>

<p>Sorry that happened to your mother. I was visiting at Levine Children's Hospital on Monday and as we were getting our parking tickets validated the nurse reminded us they provide free valet parking (!!) I thought, what a great idea/benefit for parents loaded down with strollers/bags etc, and she said many of their patients are in wheel chairs. It's worth checking before your next visit.</p>

<p>^We have free valet parking at our local hospital too. Park in front, unload the patient, hand keys to valet person who gives you a valet ticket, then he/she takes the car and parks it for you. When it's time to leave the hospital, hand the valet person the ticket and he gets the car for you. Even though it's free, they do appreciate a couple of bucks for their service. A tip is a small price to pay for this convenience.</p>

<p>Thank goodness for the service. Otherwise, we would have to put a wheelchair in the trunk of the car and wheel her from the parking area to the hospital entrance. The walk would be too dangerous because she's so unsteady on her feet. </p>

<p>It's nice to park right in front and plop her in one of the hospital wheelchairs which are available to the public and located in the hallway near the entrance.</p>

<p>I don't know how one can keep the top floor on a parking garage that is exposed to the elements completely free of all ice. Hopefully you retained copies of all the reports-- such as the ER report noting the cause, location, date, time and injury and the hospital security report-----just in case your Mother's insurance company questions the claim.</p>

<p>Definitely contact the hospital's risk management department. They are equipped to deal with this sort of thing. That's why they are there.</p>

<p>Having said that, I can see a big difference between slipping on a wet floor in the hospital lobby and slipping on ice in the parking lot. Not sure the hospital would be considered negligent for something like that. It's pretty difficult to keep all outside areas free of ice.</p>

<p>I'll try to contact them in the morning.</p>

<p>After the fall, they walked over and put salt on it. :/</p>

<p>We will use valet parking in the future, i think we learned our lesson.</p>

<p>Places of business (including medical buildings/hospitals) are not always liable for a fall on their property. I'd contact the hospital, and if the injuries are severe and not covered by insurance, then I'd talk to a lawyer.</p>

<p>My dad asked for a wheelchair to get from the parking lot to his Parkinson's appointment in a medical facility and they told him he didn't need it. He fell and scraped his knee and arm. I was outraged; he brushed it off. I can see not suing but I would def. report the incident in a spirit of "you can do better next time if you know there's a problem" confrontation. I think my dad should have calmly confronted the facility manager where he fell. He did not want to spend his next stretch of time bothering about more medical stuff. What do you want to spend your time doing; do you have resources to care for your mom; will she truly and seriously be affected further by her injury; do you want to / need to spend your time fighting with your medical facility....</p>

<p>There's a good chance there are cameras recording the parking lot.</p>

<p>They probably don't save the recordings more than a few days so if you want to get them you will have to move quickly.</p>

<p>I feel for you and your mother. I had a similar event with elderly parent awhile ago. We were on the way to Drs. appointment at the hospital. It was very cold, parent is hurrying and though I had his arm, he trips where there is a slight difference in the sidewalk grade. He go downs hard on cement. I think his thick hat saved him from a worse fate than just needing stitches on his head. That said, an ambulance was called to transport him to the ER 400 feet away. I pointed out what tripped him and they had it spray painted with a warning sign as we left. Still is there now, no warning remains. Never heard a word from the hospital about it. Very expensive ambulance ride, but they were taking no chances with the head injury. Yes, it's valet parking every time now. I have seen several elderly loved ones fall for different reasons, and it is so distressing.</p>

<p>If you think she might be hurt badly, I think I would call a personal injury lawyer right away, so they can tell you exactly what to do to preserve your rights. They will probably do that for free.</p>

<p>Even if the parking garage is attached to the hospital and used by hospital visitors/employees, make sure the hospital owns it. Many hospitals are selling off ancillary sites such as parking garages..the hospital I work for did and most people would never know it. You want to make sure you are dealing with the correct people.</p>