Can I Sue a Hospital if I Fall?
A hospital is likely the last place you expect to suffer an injury, in large part because there is an assumed expectation that a hospital is a safe place where people are healed, not harmed. But this assumption isn’t always accurate and, unfortunately, hospitals can be just as dangerous–or even more so–as other types of properties. One of the more common types of hospital accidents is a slip and fall. If you have been involved in a hospital slip and fall accident, our lawyers at the office of Fisher & Talwar can help. Here’s what you should know about hospital slip and fall accident claims and whether or not you can file a lawsuit.
Top Causes of Hospital Slip and Falls
Hospital slip and falls are usually caused by dangerous conditions in the hospital, either physical or circumstantial. Some of these conditions include:
- Wet or slippery surfaces;
- Spills of various substances, including food and drink;
- Uneven walking surfaces;
- Lack of handrails;
- Broken elevators;
- Lack of nurses/staff;
- Objects and hazards in walkways;
- Lack of communication between hospital staff;
- Lack of wheelchairs; and
- Improperly trained staff.
A hospital is unique in the common causes of its slip and fall accidents, as many patients within a hospital cannot maneuver safely on their own and therefore depend on the assistant of trained nurses or staff to help them do basic things like using the bathroom. As such, a lack of proper care within the hospital is a common source of slip and fall accidents. (Of course, not all slip and fall accidents in a hospital involve patients; others involve visitors, employees, and other parties who are lawfully in the building but who are not there for the purpose of receiving medical care.)
Injuries Caused By Hospital Slip and Falls
The injuries that may be suffered by someone who is involved in a slip and fall accident have the potential to be serious, especially in the event that the victim is indeed a frail patient. Common injuries include:
- Head injuries;
- Broken bone injuries – hip fractures are especially common in older adults who suffer a slip and fall;
- Internal injuries;
- Brain injuries; and
- Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains.
While a slip and fall may seem like a minor injury type, it can actually be quite serious in some cases, and even fatal in the most severe of situations. For elderly adults, slip and falls can be especially worrisome. In fact, slip and falls are a leading cause of death for elderly persons in America.
Can I Sue a Hospital if I Fall?
If you slip and fall and suffer a serious injury as a result in a hospital, you may be wondering whether or not you have the right to sue the hospital. Whether or not the hospital will be held liable for your damages depends on whether or not the hospital breached its duty of care owed to you. In a slip and fall situation in a hospital, there are two primary duties of care that are relevant:
- Hospital’s duty of care and medical negligence. For patients, the primary duty of care that a hospital owes a patient has to do with the medical care administered. In a hospital, medical professionals have a duty to provide their patients with the same degree of care that other professionals of similar background and training would demonstrate. This means that if a slip and fall happens as a result of a breach of this duty of care, then the hospital may be held liable under the theory of medical negligence/medical malpractice. For example, if a slip and fall occurred because a nurse failed to assist a patient who needed to use the restroom, resulting in the patient attempting to walk to the bathroom themselves, then the hospital could be held liable.
- Premises liability. The second theory of liability is based on the duty of all property owners to maintain a reasonably safe premises and to correct any known hazards within a reasonable amount of time. This means that things like spills of liquids or broken stairs are a breach of this basic duty of care. If someone suffers a hospital slip and fall as a result of a dangerous condition, regardless of whether or not that person is a patient, they may be able to hold the hospital liable under the theory of premises liability.
How Our Los Angeles Hospital Slip and Fall Lawyers Can Help
Bringing a claim against a hospital can be an intimidating process – hospitals are huge entities with numerous lawyers protecting them. Indeed, if you’ve slipped and fallen in a hospital and have suffered an injury, you may not know what you’ll need to prove to hold the hospital responsible, what your claim is worth, or how to proceed. That’s where our law firm comes in.
Our lawyers have years of experience managing slip and fall claims, and are here to guide you through the process. When you call our law firm, we will immediately investigate your case, gather evidence, determine liability and why the hospital should be held liable, and calculate your damages. We will handle all claim-related documents, as well as settlement negotiations. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, we can file a lawsuit and litigate your case. We have trial experience in court.
Reach Our Law Office Today
When you are injured and someone else is to blame, you deserve to be compensated, even if that “someone else” is a large entity or business. In order to even the playing field and improve the outcome of your case, you need a skilled and experienced slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles on your side. We know what you’re going through and want to help. Please call our law firm today or send us a message to request a free case consultation and start the claims process immediately.