If I fell down some stairs at a bar, is the bar responsible for medical bills?

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If I fell down some stairs at a bar, is the bar responsible for medical bills?

I have only been to this bar once before so I am not very familiar with it. There is a hallway in the back that goes to the bathrooms and the back door. There is no lighting in this hallway and it is very dark. I couldn’t even see that there were steps. I fell hard. Hit my tailbone and elbow very hard. Worst than that, I fear my ankle is broken. I will be going in for X-rays tomorrow. Is it likely that the bar will be responsible for my medical bills?

Asked on January 14, 2012 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The bar is liable for your injuries. Did you file an accident or incident report with the bar when you were injured so the bar can't claim that you were not injured or were injured somewhere else?  If no report was filed, were there witnesses? It would be advisable to contact the bar's insurance carrier to confirm the insurance carrier is accepting liability before incurring huge medical bills.

If the bar's insurance carrier is admitting liability, when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the bar's insurance carrier will consist of these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the bar's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the bar.  If the case is settled with the bar's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the bar's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the bar prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If the bar's insurance company denies liability, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the bar.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) will include the medical bills, pain and suffering and wage loss.


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