Hospital Slip and Fall Cases

Hospital Slip and Fall Cases

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Hospital Slip and Fall Cases

When we bring a loved one to the hospital or another medical facility, we trust medical providers to protect them from harm and maintain their health. However, statistics paint a different picture. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), up to 1 million patients suffer falls annually in U.S. hospitals, leading to a quarter of a million injuries and 11,000 deaths.

Falls can have devastating consequences, causing significant recovery setbacks and longer hospital stays. Moreover, a severe slip and fall injury can cause ongoing physical pain, emotional distress, and financial chaos.

Medical care providers have the duty to keep patients safe. If hospital staff were responsible for your slip and fall, you should not have to pay for their mistake. Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers are here to help injured people like you get justice and compensation for their expenses, such as medical bills, income losses, and more for any hospital slip and fall cases. Get in touch now and discover in a free case review whether you qualify for compensation.

Causes of Hospital Falls

Hospital slip and fall cases can arise due to various hazards, such as:

  • Liquids or debris on the floor
  • Inadequate or broken lighting in corridors, rooms, and bathrooms
  • Incorrect bed height
  • Lack of bed rails
  • Broken or defective crutches and wheelchairs
  • Clutter on floors, such as cables and medical devices
  • Lack of patient assistance due to understaffing
  • Medications causing dizziness
  • Lack of non-slip mats in bathrooms
  • Missing or broken handrails
  • Loose mats

Common Injuries in Hospital Slip and Fall Cases

Fractures, head injuries, and soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains can be common in severe falls. Severe fall injuries can include:

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Head and brain injuries, such as concussions, can occur when a hospital patient strikes the side of their bed, furniture, or the floor when falling. A significant TBI can have devastating consequences for patients, such as:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Persistent headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma
  • Death

Spinal Cord Damage and Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries can cause significant health problems, potentially leading to longer hospital stays and prolonged rehabilitation therapies. If severe, spinal cord injuries can leave patients paralyzed and unable to live an independent life.

Fractures

Bad falls can cause bone breaks, particularly in the extremities, such as the arms and legs. Complex fractures may require surgery and prolonged physical therapy, severely impacting a patient’s work and home life. Complicated fractures may result in permanently limited mobility.  

Dental and Facial Injuries

Hospital patients impacted by illness or medications may be unable to break falls with their arms and, as a result, strike objects or the floor with their heads. Facial and dental injuries in falls can include:

  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Broken and chipped teeth
  • Nose fractures
  • Eye injuries
  • Fractures of the jaw bone

Facial and dental injuries can severely impact a patient’s ability to speak, breathe, and see. In cases where permanent scarring and disfigurements occur, facial injuries can also cause considerable emotional distress.

If you or someone you love was hurt in a hospital fall, a slip and fall lawyer can assess your options for recovering compensation and move forward with a claim.

Older Patients Are Particularly at Risk in Hospital Falls

Older adults are generally at a higher risk of suffering injuries in falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34,000 older individuals died due to falls in 2019 alone, making falls a leading cause of death in the 65-and-over age group.

During hospitalization, the health risks for older adults can be even more pronounced, with individuals largely immobilized due to confinement to their beds and rooms. Falls can reduce the overall quality of life for older individuals. They may even lose their independence and autonomy due to the physical injuries and anxiety associated with falls.

Older Adults Remain at Risk of Falls After Discharge

According to a study published by the NCBI, older adults are not only more likely to suffer slips and falls in hospitals, but they also remain at an elevated risk of falling after discharge, potentially leading to readmissions. Early discharge, mobility problems, cognitive decline, and confusion all played a role in causing an elevated fall risk after hospitalization.

The Physical Consequences of Falls on Older Adults

Unlike younger persons, those aged 65 and over are more prone to suffering serious injuries and long-term complications in falls, including head injuries and hip fractures.

The Emotional Toll of Hospital Falls

Falls may cause significant bodily injuries and lead to emotional distress and fear of falling again. Even falls with minor injuries can cause anxiety and distress to older patients, who may restrict their activities and, as a result, lose their muscle strength and independence.

If you or a loved one is affected by a severe hospital fall, our slip and fall lawyers could help you get justice and compensation for the physical and financial consequences.

Hospitals Must Eliminate Slipping and Tripping Hazards

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), almost a third of hospital falls are preventable. Medical facilities must understand and manage patients’ specific fall risk factors and ensure that the design and environment of the hospital minimize fall risks. For example, clutter and spillages that could present slipping and tripping hazards should be addressed promptly. Other steps hospitals should take include can include, among others:

  • Educating and training staff in fall prevention practices and strategies  
  • Removing clutter and tripping hazards
  • Carrying out individual patient fall-risk assessments
  • Ensuring high levels of lighting throughout the facility
  • Educating patients on avoiding falls
  • Discontinuing medications that elevate fall risk (wherever possible)
  • Offering frequent assistance to use the bathroom
  • Providing adequate mobility aids that allow patients to move around safely
  • Ensure adequate staffing levels to assist patients when needed
  • Changing methods of cleaning, such as drying mopped floors immediately
  • Installing non-slip flooring

Patient and staff education can be an important tool in reducing hospital falls. In contrast, if a hospital does not take concrete steps to address fall hazards and train staff, patients are at a higher risk of falls. However, if the hospital is at fault for slip and fall injuries, patients could hold the facility to account for their medical bills and other costs.

How Hospital Slip and Fall Cases Differ From Other Claims

When medical facilities fail to implement procedures and neglect to maintain safe conditions, patients could face severe, disabling, and life-threatening injuries in a fall.
However, hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms should be places of recovery. Such facilities must keep patients safe, which means they could be liable for your injuries and financial damages after a fall. Medical facilities could be negligent in two ways:  

Premises Liability

Individuals who slip and fall in hospitals may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the facility under premises liability law. For example, you could have a case if the hospital failed to promptly remove hazardous conditions that caused your fall, such as debris on floors.

Medical Malpractice

In some cases, patients may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim if they suffer injuries in a fall while hospitalized. Medical malpractice can arise if your doctors fail to observe the proper medical standard of care while treating you. For example, a claim can occur if you were prescribed multiple medications (polypharmacy), causing you to fall due to dizziness or confusion.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Do I Need a Slip and Fall Lawyer to Sue a Hospital?

    You are not required to work with a lawyer when suing a hospital. However, getting what you deserve can be challenging if you are representing yourself. Suing a powerful hospital and standing up to its team of lawyers can be intimidating. Moreover, determining who is responsible for the slip and fall may be complicated. You could have a case against the hospital and other potentially liable parties.  

    When at the hospital, your priority should be recovery rather than trying to fight for compensation. Morgan & Morgan’s slip and fall lawyers can help to determine your best next steps and proceed with a hospital slip and fall case. We can:  

    • Investigate the cause of your fall
    • Determine whether the hospital implemented appropriate fall-reduction measures
    • Identify all liable parties, such as hospital staff, contractors working at the facility, and others
    • Proving liability of the hospital and other responsible parties
    • Gathering evidence and talking to witnesses
    • Negotiating a fair settlement with an insurance company or the hospital
    • Fighting vigorously for what you deserve in court, if necessary

    If you or a loved one were severely injured, working with an experienced and tenacious attorney can be crucial for recovering the total value of your claim. Our attorneys can level the playing field and hold hospitals accountable for your financial losses, pain, and emotional anguish. Let us take the burden off your shoulders and handle your hospital slip and fall case from beginning to end.

  • What Is a Hospital Slip and Fall Case Worth?

    Every hospital fall accident is different. Therefore, knowing what your case is worth is only possible by assessing your specific damages and injuries. The settlement amount you could recover can depend on numerous variables, including:

    • The severity and scope of your injuries
    • Whether you suffered a permanent disability  
    • The cost of your medical treatments and rehabilitation therapies
    • Wage loss
    • Out-of-pocket expenses in connection with your fall injury
    • The extent of your physical and emotional anguish

    Compensation You Could Receive

    While every case is different, victims of slips and falls could receive various compensatory awards, such as:

    • All medical expenses in connection with the fall injury
    • Lost wages and future lost income
    • Costs for modifying your home and vehicle
    • A home health aide or household assistance
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional trauma
    • Permanent disability
    • Loss of life enjoyment

    If you want to understand the true worth of your hospital slip and fall case, contact a slip and fall lawyer at Morgan & Morgan. We can calculate your damages and determine the amount of compensation required to make you “whole” again.

  • Can I Afford a Slip and Fall Attorney?

    We believe that all injured individuals should be able to afford excellent legal representation to recover the compensation they require to rebuild their lives physically, emotionally, and financially. While many other law firms charge their clients upfront legal expenses, hourly fees, or retainers, we are different. Morgan & Morgan won’t charge you a dime upfront.

    Our fee is free unless and until we win compensation for you. You have to pay nothing out of your own pocket. If we win and recover for you, our fee will be a percentage of your final settlement amount. Hiring us can pay off as our clients may recover larger settlements than they would have achieved otherwise. Unlike other law firms, we never settle for less or a hospital’s last best offer.

    Morgan & Morgan try more cases than other law firms. Our attorneys are prepared to fight for the maximum potential compensation, whatever it takes. The question is not whether you can afford to hire an attorney but whether you can afford not to hire Morgan & Morgan.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for Victims of Hospital Negligence

    If you or a loved one slipped and fell due to hospital negligence, you don’t have to go it alone. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated slip and fall lawyers specialize in hospital slip and fall cases and want to help you receive fair compensation so you can recover and put this challenging time behind you.  

    Get America’s largest personal injury firm in your corner today and contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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