Visiting the Sick

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Q: While visiting my friend at the hospital, I was asked by an X-ray technician to leave the room temporarily.  I began to stand up from my chair.  However, the armrest was loose, and also a footrest came out unexpectedly.  I tripped and fell.  Even a couple days later, visitors observed problems with that armrest and footrest.

A: Most likely, the hospital will contend that it did not have constructive notice of the defective chair: that the defects were not visible or apparent and had not existed long enough for the hospital’s employees to discover and remedy them.  In this connection, the hospital will probably try to prove that its inspection practices were reasonable.

If the hospital has an employee testify, perhaps the employee was not a member of the department responsible for cleaning the patient rooms.  Suppose the employee testifies that workers clean the rooms and inspect the chairs, and are supposed to make a report if they notice a problem with a chair.  Your attorney will do his or her best to poke holes in this testimony: that it is vague, unsupported by other evidence, contradictory to the records and so forth.

Your attorney will also put great emphasis on the cardinal principle that evidence as to the hospital’s general policies does not amount to evidence that the policies had actually been followed at the time just prior to your accident.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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