Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents
California Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys Assisting Clients in Los Angeles
Getting hurt in a slip and fall accident can be devastating. While slips and falls vary in terms of severity, an unexpected slip and fall can lead to traumatic injuries that can make it impossible for you to return to work in addition to requiring expensive medical treatment. Generally speaking, property owners and others who are responsible for overseeing property have a duty to make sure that the premises do not pose an unreasonable risk of harm. For example, if a property owner knows about a liquid spill or a dangerous piece of flooring, that property owner has a duty to remedy the situation or to warn people about it.
At Fisher & Talwar, our top-rated Los Angeles hospital slip and fall accident lawyers are compassionate and aggressive advocates for injured victims. We know how to hold negligent hospitals, healthcare providers, and large insurance companies accountable. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident in a hospital, the Los Angeles hospital slip and fall lawyers at our firm can get started on your case today. Initial consultations are free.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents in Hospitals Occur?
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere, including in the hospital setting. In some cases, slips and falls in hospitals happen because of an unexpected event, while in other situations there is a hazardous condition that arises out of wear and tear on the property. Sometimes slip and fall accidents happen even when there is no obvious damage to the property, but slick tile flooring may easily lead someone to slip and fall. The following are some examples of how slip and fall accidents in Los Angeles hospitals occur:
- Liquid spill;
- Slick flooring;
- Damaged or bunched carpeting;
- Rough flooring;
- Recently mopped hospital flooring;
- Broken stairway handrail;
- Puddles from rainwater and umbrellas;
- Open windows during rain;
- Construction defects leading to a leaking roof or ceiling;
- Objects or debris in the walking path; and
- Poor lighting in walking areas.
- Lack of training for nurses;
- Not enough health care professionals on site; and
- No wheelchairs for vulnerable patients.
According to a fact sheet from the National Floor Safety Institute, falls result in more than eight million visits to emergency rooms every year, and slips and falls specifically represent about 12 percent of all fall-related accidents.
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I’ve Fallen in a Hospital, What Should I Do?
If you were injured in slip and fall accident in a Los Angeles hospital, it is important to know what steps to take in order to be eligible for compensation. The following is a list of things you should do after you slip and fall:
- Document the scene: it is extremely important to have evidence of the slip and fall accident, and why it occurred. If you have a smartphone with you, or someone else in the hospital has a smartphone, you should take photographs of the scene that make clear what caused the slip and fall. For example, if there was a liquid spill that was not cleaned up, you should take clear pictures. Or, if a handrail going up the staircase was broken, be sure to photograph it.
- Identify any potential witnesses: Witness testimony is a valuable form of evidence. Did anyone see you slip and fall? If so, make sure to get the name and contact information for any and all witnesses. Your premises liability lawyer can get in touch with witnesses who can support your claim.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible: When you slip and fall in a hospital, you are already in a place where you can seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not think you have a serious injury, it is important to be assessed by a doctor. Some serious injuries may not have produce signs or symptoms for hours or even days after a slip and fall accident. Beyond protecting your well-being, you can only bring a personal injury claim if you have seen a doctor. Without medical records, you will not be able to move forward in the legal process.
- Report the accident: All slip and fall accidents should be reported to the responsible property owner or property occupier. If you were injured in a slip and fall at a Los Angeles area hospital, it is imperative that you ensure that the accident is reported. If you do not notify the defendant, it could make it more difficult to pursue a claim. If you have questions about how to report a slip and fall, call a California personal injury fall lawyer for help.
- Get help from a premises liability lawyer: when you slip and fall in a hospital, you may need to file a premises liability lawsuit against the hospital. An experienced Los Angeles hospital slip and fall attorney can advocate for your right to compensation throughout this process.
Hospital Slip and Falls: What is the Statute of Limitations?
Under California law, slip and fall accident claims, like other personal injury cases, are subject to a strict statute of limitations. With narrow exceptions, hospital slip and fall injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the accident. There is no reason to wait to take action after a hospital fall accident. Call an experienced Los Angeles premises liability attorney for immediate assistance.
Note: There are special rules and procedures that apply to cases involving government agencies. If your slip and fall accident happened at a government owned hospital, you may have as little as six months to file a claim.
If Someone Falls in a Hospital, Can They Sue?
When you slip and fall at a hospital, you will need to prove certain elements in order to be eligible for compensation. The essential factual elements in a California premises liability lawsuit are what any person should plan to prove in order to obtain damages from the hospital where the slip and fall accident occurred. The following are the essential factual elements of a premises liability claim:
- Hospital (or any other defendant) owned, leased, occupied, or controlled the property where the slip and fall accident occurred;
- Hospital was negligent in its use or maintenance of the property;
- Plaintiff was harmed; and
- Hospital’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Under California law, a person or entity—including a hospital—is considered to be negligent if that party “fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.” In addition, anyone responsible for a property “must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.”
When a court is determining whether a hospital is negligent and whether it used reasonable care, the court can consider the location of the property, the likelihood of another person being on the property as the plaintiff was, likelihood of harm, probable seriousness of the harm, whether the hospital knew or should have known about the risk of harm, the difficulty of protecting against the risk of harm, and the extent of the hospital’s control over the condition that led to the harm.
A slip and fall accident lawyer in Los Angeles can discuss the specific facts of your case and can determine whether you will be able to prove the necessary elements in order to obtain compensation for your losses.
Hospital Slip and Falls and Medical Malpractice
In the vast majority of cases, a slip and fall accident claim is a negligence claim. A property owner or property occupier can be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of their failure to provide reasonably safe conditions for guests.
However, hospital slip and fall accidents are sometimes an exception. If you were a patient at a hospital and you were injured in a fall accident, you may have been a victim of medical malpractice.
As an example, imagine that a serious fall accident occurred because a doctor or nurses failed to provide adequate attention to a patient who was just given a large dose of medication. Certainly, that patient would be in a very vulnerable position and would need attentive care from medical professionals. In that circumstance, it is possible that the resulting slip and fall accident would give rise to a medical malpractice claim.
To be clear, if you were not receiving medical attention at the facility—for example, if you were visiting a family member—then your slip and fall accident case must be based on negligence.
You Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation
California allows injured victims to recover financial compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages. To successfully recover the maximum available compensation, you must carefully and comprehensively document your damages. Hospitals and large insurance companies will use any opportunity that they can find to reduce the value of a settlement offer. At Fisher & Talwar, our Los Angeles, CA slip and fall accident lawyers know how to get our clients justice and true accountability. We are ready to fight for every penny you deserve. Money damages may be recoverable for:
- Emergency room care;
- Medical expenses;
- Physical therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earnings;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent disfigurement; and
- Long term disability.
Our personal injury lawyers will work diligently to negotiate on your behalf—ensuring that any settlement agreement protects your rights and includes the full and fair financial support that you rightfully deserve under the law. We are a trial-tested law firm and our attorneys are always ready for litigation, should it be necessary.
Why Trust the Fall Accident Attorneys at Fisher & Talwar
Getting injured in a slip and fall accident at a hospital can result in debilitating and permanent injuries. It is extremely important to work with an aggressive and compassionate Los Angeles hospital slip and fall lawyer on your case. Our Los Angeles, CA hospital slip and fall accident lawyers have a proven record of success handling a wide range of personal injury claims. You can rely on our slip and fall accident lawyers to provide the following qualities in your case:
- Knowledge: Our hospital slip and fall accident lawyers know the law inside and out. With a comprehensive understanding of the rules, regulations, and procedures that govern your premises liability case, we will take the proper action to protect your rights.
- Personal Attention: Every case is unique. You deserve one-on-one attention from your attorney. At Fisher & Talwar, we are committed to consistent, proactive communication with each and every client. You will never be left in the dark regarding the status of your case.
- Resources: In a complex hospital slip and fall accident claim, the testimony of an expert witness can make all of the difference. Our law firm has access to an experienced, reliable network of experts. We have the resources needed to take on large corporations and their insurance companies.
- Results-Oriented: We recognize that, for our clients, nothing is more important than results. Our Los Angeles hospital slip and fall attorneys always focus on the needs of our clients. Our mission is to help you recover every penny that you rightfully deserve.
Many people are worried about the costs of legal representation. While this is an entirely understandable concern, an experienced personal injury attorney is always within your reach. With Fisher & Talwar, you can always afford a top-rated California slip and fall accident attorney. We handle personal injury claims on contingency—we only get paid when you get paid. There are no hourly fees or upfront costs. If you or your family member was injured in a hospital fall accident, call our Los Angeles law office now for a no cost, no obligation case evaluation.
Successful Hospital Slip and Fall Case Stories
The Slip and Fall Lawyers at Fisher & Talwar have represented people who have been injured in a variety of accidents. In fact, we have successfully represented people who have slipped or tripped and fallen in hospitals in the past. Our client was visiting her father who was in the hospital. Her father was in the final hours of his life. While visiting her father, our client tripped over a medical device cord that was not stored in accordance with hospital safety procedures. As a result, she fell and was severely injured. She was taken for treatment and while away, her father passed away. Because of an unsafe condition, our client was unable to be with her father as he passed away. All the money in the world could not allow her to spend those precious final moments with her father but, the settlement amount was substantial enough to help her retired comfortably.
Attorney Vibhu Talwar
Contact a Hospital Slip and Fall Attorney in Los Angeles Today
At Fisher & Talwar, our Los Angeles premises liability attorneys have the knowledge and experience to effectively represent injured victims and their loved ones in all types of hospital slip and fall accident claims. An advocate at Fisher & Talwar can speak with you today about your options for seeking financial compensation. To schedule a free, fully confidential consultation, please contact our law office right away. We represent slip and fall accident victims throughout the surrounding region, including in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Ventura County.
Hospital Slip and Fall FAQs
How Common are Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents?
Unfortunately, hospital slip and falls remain a serious public safety problem in California and throughout the country. In fact, fall accidents are the single most common type of incident that is reported at hospitals. According to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than 100,000 fall accidents occur in American hospitals every year. These fall accidents vary widely, both in how they occur and in their level of severity. Though, the researchers noted that many of these fall accidents happened, at least in part, because inadequate safety precautions were taken.
What are the Most Common Causes of Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slips, trips, and fall accidents happen for many different reasons. In hospital settings, the risk of slip and fall accidents is closely linked to the safety protocols that administrators have put in place and that staff have been trained on. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in hospitals include:
- Wet or otherwise slippery floors;
- Uncleaned spills or leaks;
- No warning signs for slipping/tripping hazards;
- Cords or wires strung through hallways;
- Objects or other hazards left in walkways;
- No handrails for vulnerable patients;
- Lack of wheelchairs for vulnerable patients;
- Carelessness by nurses and hospital staff; and
- Lack of adequate lighting, especially in stairwells.
When Can a Hospital Be Held Liable for a Fall Accident?
Under California law, a hospital is not automatically liable for a fall accident. In order to hold a hospital legally liable for a fall accident, an injured victim must prove that the hospital’s negligent actions or inactions were a causal factor in the accident. As it is defined under California law, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care.
Of course, “reasonable care” is a relatively broad term. California instructs juries to decide how careful a prudent person would have acted in a similar situation. If a defendant failed to act with reasonable prudence, they can be held legally liable for resulting injuries. In other words, if a fall accident occurred because a hospital failed to take the safety precautions that an ordinary hospital would have taken, liability can be established.
All fall accident claims should be carefully investigated. To hold a hospital at fault, plaintiffs must build their claim on a strong foundation of supporting evidence. If you or your family member was hurt in a hospital fall, our top-rated Los Angeles hospital injury lawyers are standing by, ready to help.
What are the Elements of Negligence?
To prevail in a hospital slip and fall accident claim, injured victims must prove each of the elements of liability. Specifically, there are four basic elements of negligence:
- The defendant (hospital) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that obligation through unsafe conduct;
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the actual cause of the slip and fall accident; and
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm as a result of the fall accident.
Could a Hospital Slip and Fall Accident Be Medical Malpractice?
It is possible. Depending on the underlying circumstances, a hospital slip and fall accident case may be a medical malpractice claim, a premises liability claim, or some combination of both of them. If you are visiting a loved one in a medical facility, then your slip and fall accident case is a negligence claim. That being said, if you were a patient and you suffered an injury in a slip and fall, you may have been a victim of malpractice—particularly if the accident occurred because of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
Under California law, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. There are only limited exceptions to the statutory deadline. If you fail to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, your case will most likely be dismissed without ever receiving a hearing. To protect your rights, it is crucial that you take immediate action. Call an experienced Los Angeles slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible after a hospital injury.
What Compensation Is Available for Slip and Fall Accident Victims?
Under California state law, hospital slip and fall accidents can recover financial damages for both economic and non-economic losses. To make a full financial recovery, your losses must be carefully documented. Our Los Angeles slip and fall accident lawyers can help you maximize your recovery. More specifically, we can help clients seek financial compensation for:
- Emergency care;
- Medical bills and related expenses;
- Physical therapy;
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Permanent physical impairment; and
- Wrongful death damages.
How Can a Hospital Slip and Fall Lawyer Help?
A slip and fall accident can result in devastating, even permanent injuries. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident can be extremely challenging for victims and their family members. Not only is navigating the claims process quite difficult, but you may feel stressed out and overwhelmed by everything that is happening. At Fisher & Talwar, we are ready to stand up for you and help you regain control of your life. Among other things, our Los Angeles premises liability attorneys will:
- Conduct a free, in-depth assessment of your case;
- Listen to your story and explain your rights;
- Investigate the slip and fall accident—organizing all relevant evidence;
- Handle correspondence and negotiations with defendants and insurers; and
- Take aggressive action to protect your rights.
Speak to Our Los Angeles Hospital Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys Today
At Fisher & Talwar, our California slip and fall accident lawyers are strong, tireless advocates for injured victims. If you or your loved one were hurt in a hospital slip and fall accident, we will guide you through the claims process. To schedule a free, strictly private case evaluation, please contact us right away. From our office location in Los Angeles, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Long Beach, Anaheim, Lancaster, Huntington Beach, and Palmdale.