Slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere; inside a restaurant, in a store, even in a parking lot. However, other common slip-and-fall accidents occur in hospitals. What can you do if you are an inpatient who has suffered from this type of accident in a hospital? Who is liable? The medical facility that you are in owes you a certain duty of care. This duty of care is owed to every patient and it is there to ensure their patients do not suffer harm or injury while they are recovering from medical treatments or surgeries. Particularly in recovering patients, slip-and-fall accidents can cause serious harm.
What Are the Common Causes Of Inpatient Slip-And-Fall Accidents?
Often patients who have recently undergone surgery and are under heavy doses of pain medication are at an increased risk for these types of injuries. Common causes are:
- Falling from a chair
- Falling from their bed
- Falling in the restroom
- Slipping on a wet floor
- Tripping over medical equipment
Can these accidents be prevented?
In many cases, hospitals can prevent these accidents from occurring. It is imperative that the hospital creates protocols and rules for training their staff, doctors, and nurses on how to prevent their patients from slipping and falling.
There are also better-designed products that can help protect patients as well. These products could be beds or chairs that make it harder for patients to get out of by themselves. Another product is socks that have specific electronic monitoring devices that can tell the movements of the patients. It could also be highly useful to place patients who are at a higher risk for slipping and falling closer to nurse stations that way they can be more closely monitored.
What Are Common Reasons a Patient Might Slip-And-Fall?
- The patient is left confused and delirious from multiple medications
- There could be environmental dangers like bad lighting, unmarked hazards (like wet floors),
cluttered and messy walkways or hallways, and broken or inadequate railing on the walls.
- Patients who are left unattended while under medication
- Patients who are left unattended in between being transferred from one hospital location to
When To File a Lawsuit
If a hospital or hospital staff’s negligence is the direct cause of a patient’s slip-and-fall accident, a claim could be made for the victim to receive damages. In some cases, a slip-and-fall accident in a hospital could be considered medical malpractice, though it is typically associated with personal injury cases. The best way to determine your course of action with this type of claim is to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer.
What Can I Do Next?
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury caused by a hospital slip-and-fall accident, it is time to let someone else help. If you have any further questions on the next best approach to dealing with this claim, contact a caring slip fall lawyer in Des Moines, IA today so they can get started on your case immediately. The safety and care of your loved one is of the utmost importance.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into slip and fall accidents and personal injury claims.