Our doctors and hospitals are supposed to protect us and help us heal, but sometimes they can cause more harm than good. Have you recently fallen at your hospital? Falls, no matter where they occur, can cause serious injuries like fractures and head trauma. While at a hospital, falling may occur due to your medical condition, but in some cases, the fall occurs because someone was negligent. If this happens, the hospital may be liable for your injury. Falls happen at hospitals every day. How could a fall be negligent?
First, consider the décor of the hospital (or doctor's office, for that matter). In order to keep everything as sterile as possible, the floors are tiled and cleaned often, which results in a wet, smooth floor. The hospital has the responsibility to alert you of potentially slippery surfaces using signs or other means. If they didn't and you fall, their negligence caused your injury, which could have been avoided. Hospitals also have a duty to keep their exterior sidewalks and steps clear of ice and snow to help patients avoid falls.
Another way a negligence-caused fall could occur is through premature discharge. After a surgery or other kind of treatment, you could be dealing with blood loss, low blood sugar, or other issues that cause weakness and fainting. If a doctor discharges you before you're up to speed, you could fall before you even leave the hospital or while at home. Sometimes, complications happen even after a doctor's best effort, and patients have the right to check themselves out of a hospital even against a doctor's recommendation, but discharge before you're ready on doctor's orders is cause for medical malpractice liability.
In a hospital, you may need to be transported from place to place if you're too weak to walk or unconscious. That can also lead to a fall if personnel drop you. When following protocol for moving a patient, this should never happen, but unfortunately, it does in some cases. When you fall because someone drops you, you have less of a change of caching yourself, which means that serious injury is much more likely. You're also more likely to bump your head, and traumatic brain injuries are among the most serous medical conditions out there.
What happens when you fall? If you're lucky, you'll be fine or your injuries will be very minor. However, falls can sometimes lead to major injuries, like fractures or head trauma. Major injuries are expensive to treat, especially if you don't have medical insurance, and could cause you to miss work or have to travel to therapy. All of that money adds up, which is where a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit can help you.
Keep in mind that hospitals and doctor's offices aren't the only culprits of falls due to negligence. Personal injury or worker's compensation claims commonly cite a fall as the main problem due to someone else not following proper procedure. You may also wish to file a lawsuit on a loved one's behalf for medical malpractice at a nursing home. If your loved one wanders when not watched or needs help walking and is the responsibility of the nursing home, you may have legal rights against them in the event of a fall. Hip fractures are extremely common with the elderly when they fall, and the surgery needed for a hip fracture is painful, expensive, and difficult.
Remember, for a medical malpractice lawsuit or person injury lawsuit, you have to prove that the defendant was both responsible for your or your loved one's safety and negligent enough to cause the dangerous situation. Sometimes, partial responsibility is awarded, which means that the defendant and you were both responsible for your fall. A judge will ultimately decide the proper compensation. If you fall, make sure that you talk to an attorney as soon as you can to find out more about your legal rights.