My mother got hurt on her right arm and right leg in a local hospital caused by a malfunctioning elevator. She went the same hospital for a check-up but was still being charged for her visit even though she informed them that such incident occurred within the hospital premises. She could not sleep at night and is in pain to the point wherein she even got a fever. Do I have a case?


A hospital’s professional duty is “primarily to provide a safe environment within which diagnosis, treatment, and recovery can be carried out. Thus if an unsafe condition of the hospital’s premises causes injury to a patient, as a result of the hospital’s negligence, there is a breach of the hospital’s duty qua hospital.” [Murillo v. Good Samaritan Hosp. of Anaheim (1979) 99 CA3d 50, 56–57, 160 CR 33, 37]. In one case, it was held that an unattended patient injured in fall from x-ray table stated “professional negligence” claim subject to MICRA limitations period Bellamy v. Super.Ct. (Central Valley Gen. Hosp.) (1996).

A claimant is entitled to recover the reasonable value of all medical expenses that have been incurred, and that are reasonably certain to be incurred in the future, as a result of the injury. [Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc].However, “reasonable” compensation for medical expenses may not exceed the amount actually paid or incurred whether by plaintiff directly or by private insurance, Medi–Cal, plaintiff’s employer or any “collateral source”. Also keep in mind that the “value” of plaintiff’s claim ultimately depends on evidence to support it. Plaintiff’s naked assertions as to pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of earnings and earning capacity, etc. will have little effect on an insurance claims representative or jury without corroborative proof. Thus, counsel evaluating damages should always determine the best evidence available to substantiate plaintiff’s assertions; and acquire that evidence while it is fresh. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to guide you with your personal injury claim.

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