With any hospital setting comes a risk of slip and fall accidents. After all, there are many ill and frail people concentrated in one location. But is it possible that a slip and fall in a hospital could be the result of medical malpractice?
The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the fall, including what caused the fall to happen in the first place. Some falls could fall under the category of malpractice, while others would be considered standard negligence.
When hospital falls could be malpractice
For a fall to be connected to medical malpractice, the injured party must have been receiving treatment at the time the fall occurred or at the time of the act that led to the fall. Additionally, victims must demonstrate that the treatment they were receiving did not meet reasonable medical standards in the circumstances that existed, and that substandard care directly contributed to causing the person’s fall.
Here are some common examples:
- A patient was receiving multiple medications that, given in conjunction, had side effects known to lead to unsteadiness
- A doctor failed to properly diagnose a patient’s stroke or other condition that results in loss of mobility or confusion
- A patient is placed in a bed without rails or supervision when known to have a condition that could cause seizures
- A patient is failed to be categorized as having a high risk of falling
When hospital falls could be standard negligence
The standard for negligence in hospital falls is the same as the standard for falls on any other premises. Falls would likely be unrelated to any condition of patients or the treatment they were receiving. If they slipped on a puddle of water that was left behind after cleaning floors and there was no “wet floor” sign posted, the hospital could be liable for that injury.
For more information on determining fault and negligence after a slip and fall accident in medical setting, meet with an experienced San Diego medical malpractice attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.