Plenty of different kinds of injuries can happen at rehab centers. Among them are slips or trips and falls. While these can be trivial events, they can also be shockingly severe. When patients at rehab centers get seriously hurt after slipping and falling, they deserve to be compensated if there was little they could have done to avoid the catastrophe and the rehab center could have prevented it from happening, in the first place.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the process that the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian have received in the past.
What are the Most Common Slip and Fall Incidents?
Slip and fall cases span a huge variety of circumstances and are not strictly constrained to slips. Some of the most common in the rehab center context include:
- Slipping on icy parking lots or sidewalks around the facility
- Tripping on protruding floorboards, folded carpets, or hidden objects on the floor
- Falling down tricky stairs or through broken stair railings
A less common, but no less important, situation that technically falls within the realm of “slip and fall law” is if you were the victim of a crime or assault while on the rehab center's premises. In some cases, and especially when the rehab center is aware of the problem of crime on their premises and could put a stop to it with relatively small measures, the facility can be held legally responsible for your ordeal.
Why Should the Rehab Center Be Held Responsible?
If you get hurt because of a dangerous condition at a rehab center, the facility should be held responsible if there was little chance that you could avoid or even be aware of the danger and the facility had an opportunity to warn you about it or to fix it. Simply put, if they were in a better position to fix the hazard than you were able to avoid it, your injuries are their fault and you deserve to be compensated for them.
Does the Case Become More Complicated if the Rehab Center Rents its Facilities?
To an extent, yes, the case does become a bit more complicated because you will have to show which of the two defendants was ultimately responsible for leaving the hazard unfixed – the rehab facility or the property's landlord. In some cases, this is easy – for example, if you slipped on ice in the parking lot and the landlord is in charge of snow removal. In other cases, it is far less straightforward, like if the dangerous condition was something that the landlord was supposed to fix, but the rehab facility never notified them of the problem.
What Should I Do Immediately After the Incident?
Obviously, the first thing you need to do if you have fallen in a rehab center and gotten hurt is to get the medical help you need.
Once the dust has settled, though, you should round up all of the witnesses who may have seen or heard the incident. By getting their names and contact information you and your attorney can follow up with them and get their statements about what happened.
Returning to the sight of the fall is also essential. Take pictures of the exact place you fell, as well as other factors that may have contributed to the incident. Do this as soon as possible after the fall: If the area changes, fixtures are added, or other improvements are made to the scene, it will be far more difficult to describe exactly what happened.
Be sure to put anything you were wearing or carrying at the time of the incident in a safe place, especially if it contributed to your fall. Your shoes, clothing, or bag is now evidence.
What Measures Do Rehab Facilities Need to Take to Prevent Falls?
Property owners, managers, and operators all need to take reasonable measures to ensure that their visitors are not put in harm's way or hurt. Unfortunately, what constitutes a “reasonable” measure is very fact-specific and debatable. In some cases, it is clear that the rehab facility acted unreasonably and their decision to leave a dangerous hazard unfixed was the source of your fall. In most cases, though, it is far less certain.
How Can a Lawyer Help if I Slipped at a Rehab Center and Got Hurt?
A personal injury lawyer can be a huge asset if you have slipped and fallen at a drug or alcohol rehab facility. Personal injury lawyers understand the nuances of slip and fall law and premises liability, as well as the process for filing a case that enhances your ability to recover all of the compensation that you need to recover from the injuries that you did not deserve.
Perhaps more importantly, though, personal injury lawyers know how to uncover the evidence that you need to show that the rehab center was ultimately responsible for your injuries and other losses. By knowing what kind of evidence is going to be important, knowing where to find it, and understanding how to get it, should the rehab center try hiding the evidence that they should be held liable for your injuries or even destroying it, a personal injury lawyer can advocate on your behalf and fight for your rights both in the courtroom and outside of it.
Personal Injury and Slip and Fall Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Gilman & Bedigian represent slip and fall victims all the time, including those who have been hurt after slipping and falling at a rehab center. With their legal representation, you can invoke your rights and fight for the compensation that you need and deserve to recover from the injuries that you suffered at the rehab center.
Contact them online to get started on your case if you have slipped or tripped and fallen at a rehab center. There is no reason why you should be the one to pay out of your own pocket if you did not cause your injuries.