Suffer a Hospital Slip and Fall?

hospital slip and fall

San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers

Hospitals are places where you expect to be taken care of by experienced medical staff. So it can be very unsettling if you or a loved one suffers injuries from a hospital Slip and Fall due to the hospital’s negligence. The hospital and the hospital’s employees can be held responsible if you suffer injuries from a hospital Slip and Fall because of the hospital’s negligence.

Negligently Caused Hospital Slip and Fall.

Like any other negligence suit, you will have to prove four separate elements to recover compensation from your hospital Slip and Fall. These negligence elements are: 

  • Duty

Any patient at a hospital is an invitee, meaning the hospital owes you a high degree of care. The hospital and its staff must act as reasonable as any other hospital would act under similar circumstances in maintaining its premises.

  • Breach

You must then show the hospital breached its duty of care to you. A hospital breaches its duty of care to you when the hospital fails to reasonably maintain its premises. However, just because the hospital did not reasonably maintain their premise does not automatically mean it is liable. You must show the hospital or its employees knew or should have known of the dangerous hazard. You can show the hospital or its employees should have known about the dangerous hazard based on the location of the hazard, the amount of time the hazard was there, or the typical hospital practices to maintain such hazards. 

How a hospital can fail to reasonably maintain its premises:

  • Defective or unsafe mats.
  • Cluttered patient rooms.
  • Cluttered hallways.
  • Improperly placed medical equipment.
  • Improperly placed medical beds.
  • Uncleaned spills.
  • Defective elevators.
  • Slippery stairs.
  • Slippery hallways.
  • Slippery patient rooms.
  • Slippery bathrooms.
  • Slippery cafeteria floors.
  • Poor lighting.
  • Failure to have sturdy handrails in patient bathrooms, patient rooms, or hallways.
  • No wet floor warning signs. (Find out how a warning sign can affect your Slip, Trip, or Fall claim.)

Hospital staff can also breach its duty of care to you. Hospital staff breaches their care to you when hospital staff leaves you in an unreasonably dangerous position, which results in your hospital Slip and Fall. If hospital staff breaches its duty of care to you, you can sue the hospital employee or employees that breached the duty of care as well as the hospital itself. 

How hospital staff can leave you in an unreasonably dangerous position, which results in your injuries:

  • Not attending to or failing to monitor medicated, sedated, elderly, young, or high-risk hospital Slip and Fall patients. 
  • Improperly assisting medicated, sedated, elderly, young, or high-risk hospital Slip and Fall patients. 
  • Improper patient transportation between rooms, medical treatments, or, imaging.
  • Not securing safety devices such as medical bedside rails or wheelchair brakes.
  • Not following hospital protocol.
  • Failure to familiarize the patient with the environment.
  • Failure to position the nurse call light within reach.
  • Failure to position the patient’s personal possessions within safe reach.
  • Failure to properly raise or lower a hospital bed when a patient gets in and out of bed.
  • Failure to keep nonslip, comfortable, well-fitting footwear on the patient.
  • Under staffing.
  • Causation

Next, you will have to prove the hospital’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Causation is a “but for” standard. Meaning, but for the hospital’s breach of its duty, you would not have been injured. In other words, you would not have been injured if the hospital kept its premises reasonably safe or hospital employees acted reasonably safe in caring for you. Hospital Slip and Fall injuries can be serious and debilitating. Here are common injuries associated with Slip, Trip, or Fall accidents.

Injuries can include:

  • Cuts, scrapes, or bruises.
  • Sprains.
  • Ligament damage.
  • Broken bones.
  • Re-aggravation of injuries yet to be treated by the hospital.
  • Aggravation of injuries treated by the hospital.
  • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Death.
  • Damages

Finally, you must prove that the injuries caused by the hospital’s breach of duty resulted in damages. Personal injuries are the most common damages associated with a hospital Slip and Fall. This article can inform you about how to calculate your personal injury damages.

Are You a High Risk Patient?

A high risk patient is a patient who requires a higher degree of care by hospital staff than a normal risk or no risk patient. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), high risk patients can include:

  • Patients who have a history of falls. (i.e. patient’s who inform medical staff in his or her patient history that the patient has fallen recently, the patient is currently at the hospital because he or she was injured in a fall, the patient suffered a previous fall at the hospital on a prior hospital visit or has already fallen during his or her current visit, or patients who the hospital has marked as high risk.)
  • Patients who have mobility problems or use assistive devices. (i.e. cane, walker, knee scooter, crutches, wheelchair, mobility scooter, or service animals, etc.)
  • Patients who are on high risk medications. (i.e. pain killers, sedatives, orthostatic blood pressure medications, etc.)
  • Patients with visual impairment.
  • Patients with incontinence or frequent toiletry needs.
  • Patients suffering from mental impairment. (i.e. dementia, confusion, agitation, or delirium etc.)
  • Patients whose movement is restricted by medical equipment. (i.e. heart monitor, IV, oxygen, leg compression sleeves, etc.)

Contact Stolmeier Law, San Antonio Slip and Fall Lawyers

We are San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers. Stolmeier Law is an experienced personal injury law firm. We have served hospital Slip and Fall victims in San Antonio and South Texas for over 35 years. We know what it takes to get you the most compensation possible for your Slip, Trip, or Fall. So if you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries from a hospital Slip and Fall, contact Stolmeier Law, San Antonio Slip and Fall lawyers. Slip, Trip, or Fall? Call Stolmeier Law.