Who Is Responsible If I Suffer a Fall Injury in a Hospital?
Sometimes a slip and fall can be embarrassing, causing us to quickly stand up, dust ourselves off, and hurry along hoping that no one saw. The only injury that results from this type of experience is likely a bruised ego.
The same cannot be said for all slip and falls, however, especially those that occur in hospitals. Hospitals are home to an already vulnerable population, and, as such, a slip and fall can be truly devastating. In some cases, a hospital worker may slip and fall while rushing from one area to another, causing them to miss valuable time working in the facility. In others it is a patient who has fallen, and will suffer as a result.
Ultimately, a slip and fall accident in a hospital can be a painful event that leads to serious injuries that may last for a lifetime. As such, in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident, whether as a patient or a hospital worker, it is important to reach out to an attorney in the area who can help you determine who might have been responsible for the accident, and the best way to recover compensation to help you move forward in the future.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
In the beginning of any slip and fall accident claim, it’s important to first examine the direct cause of the incident. According to a publication provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number of specific hazards lead to slip and fall accidents, including the following:
- Contaminants on the floor;
- Poor drainage from pipes and drains;
- Irregularities in indoor walking surfaces;
- Irregularities in outdoor walking surfaces;
- Ice, snow, and other weather conditions;
- Inadequate lighting;
- Poorly maintained stairs and handrails;
- Stepstools and ladders;
- Tripping hazards, such as cords, hoses, wires, clutter, and medical tubing; and
- Improper use of floormats and runners.
This is not to say that the existence of contaminants on the floor or ice on a sidewalk will guarantee a successful personal injury claim. That being said, the presence of one or more of these hazards can certainly act as supportive proof in an attempt to recover compensation for damages.
Who Was Responsible for the Slip and Fall Accidents?
In a slip and fall accident claim, there are certain parties that may be held liable, including the hospital itself, as well as a treating doctor.
Take, for example, a situation in which a patient is traveling down the hall and slips and falls on a puddle of water. If the patient was able to show that the hospital failed to clean up this spilled water or warn patients of its presence within a reasonable amount of time after its appearance, the hospital could be held liable based on the theory of premises liability. Under this theory, the owner of aa premises, in this case the hospital, has a duty to all of those lawfully on the property, which includes taking reasonable actions to ensure their safety.
Or, consider a situation in which a doctor advised an injured patient to get themselves out of bed as a form of rehabilitation, yet the patient was unable to do so, and fell on the floor as a result. Here, the patient may be able to hold the medical professional liable under the theory of medical malpractice if it could be shown that a reasonable doctor would not have made this type of request in the same situation.
Overall, claims that stem from slip and fall accidents in hospitals can be extremely complex, and often include a number of liable parties. As such, victims are encouraged to reach out to an experienced legal professional for help moving forward.
Were You Injured in a Hospital? We Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries after a slip and fall accident in Bowling Green, we invite you to contact our office today. Lanna Martin Kilgore has assisted victims in Warren County for over 25 years, and is prepared to put that experience to work for you immediately. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at 270-846-3700 for professional help.