A hospital is supposed to be a safe place where you go to get treated. Well, not always! As it turns out, hospitals aren’t always safe spaces, because you can also get injured there. Hospitals can in fact be just as hazardous as other premises, if not worse.
Considering the heavy foot traffic, as well as bodily fluids and liquid supplies present in rooms, halls, and almost everywhere else, hospitals have the potential to cause lots of slip and fall injuries to staff, patients, and even guests.
If you’ve had a slip and fall accident in a hospital, our personal injury attorneys at Tetzel Law can help. Here are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in a hospital and whether you can sue if you slip and fall in a hospital.
Main Causes of Slip and Fall Hospital Accidents
Slip and falls in hospitals are normally caused by hazardous conditions, either circumstantial or physical. Some of the conditions include:
- Broken elevators
- Slippery or wet surfaces
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Various substance spills, including drink and food
- Lack of handrails
- Lack of staff/nurses
- Improperly trained staff
- Hazards and objects in walkways
- Lack of wheelchairs
- Communication failure between hospital staff
Many patients in hospitals can’t safely move by themselves and require the help of trained staff or nurses to do basics such as using the bathroom. As a result, negligence within hospitals is a common cause of slips and falls. But not all slips and falls in a hospital involve patients; they also involve staff, visitors, and other people who are legally in the premises but aren’t there to receive medical treatment.
Can I Sue for a Hospital Fall?
A slip and fall accident can occur in the hospital, whether you’re a patient within the hospital or you’re visiting someone who’s recovering. As with other slip and fall incidents, those that happen in hospitals might be serious, resulting in broken bones, back and neck injuries, and traumatic brain injuries that involve extensive treatment. If the fall occurs due to medical malpractice or negligence on the part of the hospital, you can sue the hospital.
If you’ve been injured in a hospital slip and fall as a patient, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if the hospital failed to give you proper standard of medical care.
Some scenarios in which you could bring a medical malpractice suit include multiple medication prescriptions that caused you to lose your footing and fall, or misdiagnosis that led to the installation of wrong safety equipment on chairs or beds. Medical providers must also assess the risk of a patient falling, failure to which they could be held responsible for any injuries suffered by the patient.
If you slip and fall while visiting someone in the hospital, you may be entitled to a premises liability lawsuit. But you’ll have to prove that the accident was the hospital’s fault in some way. For example, if you tripped on water that spilled in a hallway, the hospital can be held liable if a staff member was made aware of the spill and never cleaned it up. Patients can also file a premises liability claim if hospital negligence was the cause of their slip and fall, such as an unsecured wire spread across a room or a broken floor.
We Can Help
Hospitals are duty-bound to care for their patients, failing which it can be deemed medical negligence. If you or your loved one has been injured in a hospital slip and fall, it’s imperative to contact a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case.
At Tetzel Law, our team of personal injury lawyers, led by Paul Tetzel, will work hard to get you the damages you deserve. Call us today at (617) 933-3858 to review your case.