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Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/slip and fall during pregnant while working at hospital


QUESTION: How do I go about filing a tort claim for my person injury that happened while I was a temporary employee at a IHS Hospital. The injury took place July 25 2012. I was seen by a OB doctor after my fall as well by a Outpatient doctor, which diagnosed me with a broken tailbone and my spine getting put out of line. The baby was fine. I was referred to physical therapy and I filed a webcident report and I have copies of all my records and statements from witnesses. Throughout my pregnancy the therapist was unable to realign my back until I had the baby and healed from my C-section. If I can pursue this, how much money can I claim for my injury and suffering?

ANSWER: Richenda,

I am sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you are able to make a full and fast recovery.

From your question, I gather that you injured yourself in a fall at the hospital. The first question is what caused you to fall? To pursue a claim for negligence, your fall had to occur due to the negligence of another party.  You then would need to determine if you could file a claim against the party that committed the negligence.

If you were injured on the job, you are covered by Workers’ Compensation and need to file a claim with the Indian Health Service (IHS). Your rights and coverage are laid out in the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.  You can learn more by clicking here:

If you were not on the job at the time of the incident and you believe you were injured due to the negligence of the Indian Health Service (IHS), you must file a claim with the IHS. You must first file an administrative federal tort claim with the Office of General Counsel of Health and Human Services.  You must file the administrative federal tort claim within two years of the incident or knowledge of the alleged injury. Once you file a claim, you may not file suit for six months. If the case is not resolved during the government’s six-month administrative review period, you may file suit at any time, unless the government denies the administrative claim, in which case you must file the suit within six months of the date of the denial of the claim denial.

I hope this information helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for your helpful information. My fall was due to somebody who spilled water on the floor in one of the hospital hallways. No one reported the spilled water to housekeeping. As I was leaving my supervisors office, I didn't see the water, I took a step in to the hallway and fell hard. So would I still consider a negligence suit or person injury suit? I was on the job working during the fall. I did file for workmen compensation. They mailed me a letter last month stating I was accepted. But no word on CA-7 personal injury compensation.

Thank you for your time


Thank you for providing more information about the circumstances of your fall. The good news is that you filed for coverage through workers’ compensation. If you have problems or questions, you may want to consult an attorney who handles federal workers’ compensation questions. You can seek a referral from your county or state bar association. Workers’ Compensation will generally preclude you from pursuing an action against your employer.

It is good that you have access to workers’ compensation, since the facts you present suggest that the hospital is not liable for your fall. To hold the hospital responsible for our fall, you would need to demonstrate that the hospital knew, or should have known about the spilled water. Yet you state that no one had notified the hospital about the spill and it sounds as if they did not have a reasonable amount of time to discover the spilled water.

I hope this information helps and wish you well in your recovery.  

Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)

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Carol L. Schlitt


I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience handling car accident and motor vehicle cases, slip and fill cases, medical malpractice, premises liability, pedestrian and bicycle accidents and personal injury cases. I have been named Municipal Attorney of the Year in New York City and had my cases listed among Top Ten Verdicts in New York. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association, and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk.


I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience. I previously served as Associate Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department and was named New York Municipal Attorney of the Year. I served as Lead Trial Counsel for Manhattan Law firm of Acito and Klein. I have led my solo law practice for over ten years focused on personal injury and medical malpractice awards. My cases have been listed among the Top Trial Verdicts. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk and I serve as a judge in the national collegiate moot court competition. I am admitted to practice in New York and the Federal District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts.

• American Trial Lawyers Association • New York State Bar Association • New York State Trial Lawyers Association • Bronx Bar Association • Brooklyn Bar Association • Suffolk County Bar Association • Holy Cross Alumni Lawyer’s Guild • St. John's University Alumni Association • National Association for Female Executives

My writings have appeared in Newsday, The Long Islander, the Times of Huntington and the legal blog, New York Law Thoughts.

I received my undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from St. John’s University Law School. I have taken graduate courses at New York University.

Awards and Honors
• Named Municipal Attorney of the Year • Cases listed among the Top Ten Verdicts in New York State • My blog, New York Law Thoughts, has been listed as one of the leading U.S. Law Blogs

Past/Present Clients
I have had hundreds of clients over my 20 plus years as an attorney. All of my current clients are individuals living in the New York metropolitan area (Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester). I can provide references upon request.

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