Do I need to get legal help for a bill when I fell at a doctors office under there watch and got sent to the emergency room

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Do I need to get legal help for a bill when I fell at a doctors office under there watch and got sent to the emergency room

Went to urgent care for asthma issues, was
getting a breathing treatment, was left alone
and I felt like I was going to faint, called for
someone, they asked what was wrong, I said I
was going to faint, she left the room again and I
woke up on the floor. I fell 4 off the exam chair
on my face. Was sent to the emergency room.
Have a hefty bill and doesnt look like my
insurance will cover it. Looking for legal advice

Asked on April 12, 2018 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue even without a lawyer if you can't find one interested in taking this case (called suing "pro se"). The fundamental issue is, they are NOT automatically liable because you were at their office: they did not become responsible for making sure you did not fall just because you were there. Calling out to their staff, in a medical office, that you felt faint might be enought to make them responsible (since being aware of a medical problem or possibility of injury, a medical office should take reasonable steps to avoid harm), but you'd still have to show that they were not acting in a reasonable fashion. If the woman you spoke to, for example, was going to get a doctor in response to what you said, that would be  a reasonable act, and they would not be liable because they were acting reasonably. (The law doesn't make them or anyone responsible simply because of an injury: there first must be a duty or obligation to act, and then secondly, they must have acted unreasonably carelessly--reasonable actions do not result in liability). So your case is far from a certain one, and that reduces the interest that attorneys have in taking it, since unless you were giving the lawyer a large upfront retainer (a large deposit against potential costs), if you don't win, they won't be paid--and lawyers don't volunteer their time (they are a business, like any other business). So you have a case that yes, it would be helpful to have an attorney for, but which may not be a good case, since it is very possible that they acted reasonably in response to what you said and so are not liable.


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