What Are Common Causes of Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 14-Nov-2017

Slips and falls are a common reason why patients are harmed while seeking treatment in US hospitals. Although these accidents are more likely to affect the elderly and children, slip and fall accidents can happen to patients of all age groups. Hospital slip and fall accidents may be caused by:

  • Poor supervision: Nurses and other hospital staff must frequently check up on patients. In some cases, patients may roll out of bed or fall while walking to the restroom. This is especially true if a patient was recently sedated or is being treated with a medication that disrupts balance. Patients can also fall if they are left unattended in other parts of a hospital. Supervision can minimize incidents of slip and fall incidents.
  • Slippery floors: Hospitals are constantly being cleaned. While cleaning can reduce the number of infections, it can also make the floors slippery. Patients are not the only group of people affected by this common hospital hazard. Hospitals can prevent slip and fall accidents by cleaning up spills promptly or by prominently labeling wet floors.
  • Cluttered walkways: Hallways and staircases should be free of clutter. Slip and fall accidents can occur when equipment or other objects are left out in walkways. This is especially true if the walkway in question also has poor lighting.
  • Patient transportation: Patients can fall from gurneys while they are being transported to other parts of the hospital. The side rails on gurneys should be placed up and patients should be strapped in while they are being moved.

There is often confusion as to whether a slip and fall accident is a premises liability or medical malpractice claim. It would depend on the circumstances that led to the accident. For example, if a visitor slips on a wet floor, it could not be medical malpractice because no doctor-patient relationship existed.

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hospital Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents may cause life-altering injuries that can require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, or even death. You deserve to hold the hospital accountable if its negligence contributed to the accident.

If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall accident at a hospital, then you should speak with one of our Washington DC premises liability attorneys. Our law firm also has a long history of helping victims of medical malpractice in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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