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Can Patients Sue a Hospital After a Slip & Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents can be incredibly damaging to those who experience them. These accidents can inflict a wide range of injuries from minor bumps and bruises to severe physical trauma such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage. Slip and fall accidents can also happen anywhere, however very few people expect to slip and fall at a hospital while receiving treatment for a health condition. Fortunately, if you or a loved one have experienced a slip and fall accident at a hospital while receiving the treatment, you may be able to file a claim for significant monetary compensation to cover damages such as medical expenses, a loss of wages, and even pain and suffering. However, when filing a lawsuit against a hospital, it is always in your best interest that you seek legal representation from an experienced Hospital slip and fall and trip and fall lawyer. At Normandie Law Firm our Los Angeles lawyers have a wealth of experience in representing victims of hospital slip and fall accidents. If you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to reach out to our law offices in Los Angeles, California for a free consultation from one of our many well-versed legal advisors.

Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents and Medical Malpractice
As mentioned prior slip and fall and trip and fall accidents can occur at a hospital or medical facility just as easily as they can occur at a restaurant or grocery store. However, if you slipped and fell at a hospital, filing a claim against them can be a little more challenging than filing a claim against a business. If you were under the care of that hospital or medical facility, a slip and fall accident could sometimes qualify as a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice is essentially an error made by a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or another physician that leads to the injury of a patient. Medical malpractice also requires that the victim can show that another reasonably skilled physician would not have made the same mistake that your physician did.

When filing a medical malpractice claim for a slip and fall accident, it is critical that you can prove the cause of the accident. Listed below are some of the common causes of slip and fall accidents:

  • Wet floors that are not marked with hazard signs
  • Loose or broken flooring resulting in a trip and fall hazard
  • Poorly lit hallways and walkways creating a slip and fall or trip and fall hazard
  • A broken step resulting in a trip and fall accident

Another crucial element to any slip and fall case is being able to show what damages you endured as a result of the accident. Identifying the damages you received can play a significant role in determining how much you might receive a lawsuit settlement. The injuries from slip and fall accidents can vary drastically. However, we’ve included a list of some of the common injuries victims of slip and fall accidents can suffer:

  • Hip Fractures: Hip fractures often require surgery and extended hospitalization. In some more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to implant an artificial hip. Out of every five hip fracture patients, one of them dies due to their injuries
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other severe neurological and sensory impairments
  • Shoulder Injuries: slip (trip) and fall accidents can result in shoulder dislocations or more severe forms of shoulder injuries called brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that connect the shoulder, arm, and hand to the spinal cord. These injuries are often treated with surgery followed by extensive physical therapy
  • Sprains and Fractures: The force of slipping and falling can cause minor to severe bone injuries. In some cases, the impact of the ground could cause minor sprains, in others; it could cause debilitating bone breakage that may result in temporary disability. Some of the common fractures that victims suffer include hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.

While identifying your injuries, and being able to show the cause of your accident can make or break your case, these components are only a small part of filing a lawsuit against a hospital for allowing a slip and fall or trip and fall accident to occur. While every individual has a right to represent themselves and their case in court, the legal process in suing a hospital can be incredibly complicated. For this reason, it is in your best interest that you seek legal representation from an experienced Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer to help guide you through the process.

Can A Patient File A Lawsuit Against A Hospital For A Slip or Trip and Fall Accident?
Often when clients come into our law firm with hospital slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, they ask our experienced Los Angeles lawyers whether or not they can sue the hospital that treated them for allowing a slip and fall accident to occur. The short answer to this question is usually, yes; you can sue a hospital for a slip and fall accident. However, there are some legal nuances that come with determining whether it can qualify as a medical malpractice case or not.

Slip and fall accidents typically fall under premises liability legal theory. Premises liability essentially states that property owners are expected to ensure a reasonably safe and secure environment for their patrons and guests. If there is a hazard or a hazard is not properly marked off, and a patron is injured by said hazard, that individual has every right to sue the property owner for the damages. In most premises liability based lawsuits, the plaintiff or injured party must be able to prove the following:

  • There was a hazardous condition or potentially dangerous condition on the property, like broken concrete or a wet floor, that presented an unreasonable risk of harm.
  • The property owner should have been aware of the dangerous condition
  • The property owner failed to either warn guests of a reasonable condition and did not take reasonable action to remedy the issue.
  • The hazardous condition resulted in the injury of a tenant or patron.

However, if your slip and fall accident occurred at a hospital, you may be able to sue the hospital for medical malpractice. If you were receiving treatment at the hospital and you slipped and fell because of a poorly lit hallway, or a break in the flooring, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice. As a patient, physicians and the medical facility are responsible for your care. This care extends to the environment in which you are receiving treatment. Unfortunately, in most instances, guests cannot sue a hospital for medical malpractice, as they do not agree to the care of the medical staff. However, this should not deter you from filing a claim against them by premises liability.

If you suffered a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a hospital and wished to sue them for the damages, it is crucial that you retrieve an expert’s testimony. Medical malpractice cases require that, as well as other evidence, you collect testimony from another doctor, nurse, or physician to show that your doctor failed to uphold the standard of care all physicians are held to. As well as expert testimony, it is in your best interest that you collect other forms of evidence as well, including:

  • Medical records that detail your specific injuries
  • Photographs or video footage that detail your damages
  • Medical bills that show the financial damages inflicted as a result of the medical malpractice

This evidence can then be used to support a claim of medical negligence. Being able to prove a successful claim of negligence can truly make the difference in the outcome of your case, so it is highly recommended that you seek legal guidance from an attorney to make sure your arguments are substantial. Listed below are the key elements required for a claim of medical negligence:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship: Patients who think they have experienced medical malpractice in the emergency room must be able to prove that there was a physician-patient relationship. This relationship essential means that there was an agreement wherein the patient agreed to be treated, and the physician agreed to treat said patient.
  • The physician’s negligence: The patient must be able to prove that the doctor or physician’s negligence caused the damages endured. The physician’s care is not expected to be perfect; however, it must at least meet a medical standard of care. This is where expert testimony comes into play, as you must be able to prove that your physician’s care did not meet the care of another reasonably competent and skilled physician.
  • The physician’s negligence caused the injury: The patient must be able to show that it is ‘more likely than not’ that the physician’s specific actions directly caused the injury the patient is suffering from. To do this, a patient must retain a medical expert to testify that the physician’s negligence caused the injury
  • The injury led to specific damages: The patient must be able to prove that they have suffered specific damages caused by the injury. Some of these particular damages include: physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost work, or lost earning capacity.

Beyond a claim of medical negligence, there are some other aspects of a medical malpractice lawsuit that should be considered before bringing your case to court. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can help you better grasp these concepts, and ensure there are no mistakes made along the way. The other elements of a medical malpractice case include the following:

  • The Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations that surround any case is the specific deadlines wherein you can bring their case to court. If this deadline is ignored, then it is likely that you could find your case dismissed entirely. In most states, the time for bringing a medical malpractice case forward, is somewhere between six months and two years (depending on the state) a lawyer will help in determining the best time to submit your case.
  • Medical Malpractice Review Panels: Some states require that injured patients submit their claim to a medical malpractice review panel. This panel is made up of medical experts who will hear your argument, review the evidence and expert testimony, then decide whether malpractice is evident in your case. This panel does not award damages to patients. However, it is an obstacle that must be overcome to take your medical malpractice case to court.
  • Special Notice Requirements: In some states, patients are required to give the physician a notice of the malpractice claim in the form of a basic description. This is done before a patient can file anything.
  • Expert Testimony: In medical malpractice cases, expert opinions are crucial to the success of a case. State rules vary in determining what makes an individual qualified to provide this testimony, but in most cases, it is someone who has experience in the same field of medicine that involved the patient’s injuries.
  • Limits on Damage Awards: Some states establish a limit on the amount of money that a patient can be awarded for their damages. Seeking legal assistance can help in determining if this award cap applies to you and your case.

How Normandie Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one have experienced a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a hospital, you have every right to sue that medical facility for the damages that you suffered. However, hospitals often have the resources to employ a whole host of skilled attorneys who are ready and willing to dispute your claims. For that reason, when filing a claim against a hospital, it is always in your best interest that you seek legal guidance from an experienced medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process and represent your case in court. At Normandie Law Firm our experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys are committed to ensuring all of our clients receive the resources they require to earn the compensation they deserve. If you file a claim with our law firm, you may find some if not all of the following damages compensable to you:

  • All of you medical and hospitalization costs
  • All of your future medical care and treatment
  • A loss of income and loss of future earnings due to long-term recovery or permanent disability due to the accident
  • Compensable economic damages include loss of property or damaged property.
  • Compensable non-economic damages include emotional distress, trauma, PTSD resulting from the accident, pain and suffering and anxiety.

Victims of medical malpractice can contact our law offices to learn more about how to receive compensation for their injuries. While our law firm is based near Los Angeles, our attorneys also practice in Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Riverside, Fresno, and throughout the state of California.

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Other attorneys will sign you up for their firm but will disappear once your name is on the paper as they are busy signing up more cases. In these instances, their business is based more on volume and will attempt to sign up as many cases as possible. In turn, they will spend less time on cases resulting in severely reduced settlements. Our firm will not treat you like a number. We will be in communication with you throughout our lawsuit and will treat you like family. So if you already have an attorney don’t worry, we’ll give you a second review of your case 100% free of charge.

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If you contact our law offices today, we can walk you through the complicated process of filing your claim completely free of charge. As a show this commitment to you and your case we offer our clients the benefits of a zero fee guarantee policy. Under our zero fee policy, all clients don’t pay for our services until their case is won. If you feel in need of a second opinion, second opinion case reviews are also free under this policy. Please, feel free to give us a call, and we can guide you down the path of receiving proper compensation for your damages.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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