Fatal Fall Accident in a Hospital: What’s Next?


Everyone wants to believe that hospitals are safe places where people can go to receive medical treatments and get well. This is usually the case, but there are occasions where people can experience an injury while at the hospital. It is a place that has significant amounts of foot traffic, as well as liquids of all kinds present in the halls and rooms. 

Hospitals have liquids such as cleaning supplies, specimens, food service items, and other slip and fall hazards throughout the facility. Because of this, plenty of slip-and-fall accidents have mistakenly occurred.

Inpatient Slip-and-Fall Accidents

When a person is an inpatient, they are receiving medical treatment while staying at the hospital. Should an inpatient experience a slip and fall accident, the hospital may be held liable for the resulting injuries or death. The reason is that hospitals owe a duty of care on a professional level to their patients. 

It is the hospital’s responsibility to make certain patients do not experience additional injury when being treated or recovering from medical treatment. Slip-and-fall accidents in hospitals can easily result in serious injuries or death with an elderly patient.

Falls From Bed

It is common for slip-and-fall accidents in hospitals to involve patients getting in and out of a hospital bed. A high standard of care is required by hospitals and their staff when it comes to patients. This standard is what a prudent professional, with the same level of experience and training, would provide a patient in the same or similar situation. 

Should a hospital not have given a patient necessary one-on-one nurse supervision or provide restraints to prevent a fall, the hospital could be held liable.

Common Causes

Many patients undergo surgery and other types of medical treatments at hospitals. This often involves patients being given significant amounts of sedatives or pain medication. This puts them at a higher risk to experience slip and fall injury. 

The National Council on Aging conducted a study, and the results showed that approximately 30 percent of patients who fall in hospitals experience a serious injury or death. There are some common situations where this happens.

  • Cluttered walkways, unmarked wet floors, poor lighting, and inadequate side rails
  • Patients who are unattended as they are transferred between hospital units
  • Patients left unattended in treatment rooms
  • Poor communication between hospital units and medical staff
  • Patients left unattended in hallways when injured or medicated

After a Slip-and-Fall Accident

Certain things need to be done once a slip-and-fall accident occurs.

Immediately Seek Medical Treatment 

Should a slip-and-fall occur in a hospital, this should be an easy step. It’s important to have a physician diagnose injuries and treat a patient’s condition. What happened will then be documented in the patient’s medical records.

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Document Everything 

It’s also a good idea to speak to anyone involved with the slip-and-fall accident of a loved one to determine exactly what happened. The date and time of the accident, as well as how the patient fell, should be documented. It may be a good idea to keep any of the clothing or footwear they had on at the time of the accident.

Don’t Give Statements 

People should limit the extent of their communication. It is a mistake when people post details of their loved one’s fatal accident on social media. If the hospital asks for a statement to be given to their insurance company or legal representative, it should be declined.

Once there has been a fatal slip-and-fall accident at a hospital, it may be a good time to seek legal counsel. Family members of the deceased should consider contacting an attorney so they know their rights in this situation. 

An experienced attorney will know how to handle all of the complexities of a fatal slip and fall accident that occurred at a hospital. These legal experts will know what is required to obtain fair compensation for the loss of a loved one due to a slip-and-fall accident. You can consult a slip and fall accident lawyer for free by following this link.

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