Should a Florida Slip and Fall Accident in a Hospital Be Filed as a Malpractice Case?

Slip and fall accidents are not uncommon in hospitals and may include patients who are hospitalized or visitors at the hospital. The question arises whether these cases are medical malpractice or slips and falls, and who would be responsible for the injury? An accident injury lawyer in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale can answer these questions and recover damages for your injury if fault is shown.

Is It Malpractice?

A hospital fall can certainly be considered medical malpractice if it fits the parameters. Whether a fall is malpractice depends on what caused the individual to fall and the circumstances. Malpractice suits cover those who have a relationship with a physician and are at the hospital receiving treatment or fell as a result of a harmful act, and the injury is related to the patient’s illness or medical treatment. In addition, the plaintiff must prove that the healthcare provider did not use the appropriate standard of care, and this may have at least been partially responsible for the fall.

Falls That Can Fall Under the Category of Medical Malpractice

When a doctor fails to recognize that a patient is at risk of falling and does not provide a wheelchair, walker, or assistance when that patient is on his or her feet, this is considered medical malpractice if the patient falls. Symptoms such as dizziness, weakness or dehydration may contribute to falls. Medications can also cause patient falls and, while most contain warnings that dizziness might occur, many patients take multiple medications that may interact poorly, resulting in the patient falling. Patients can sometimes be misdiagnosed, or a diagnosis has not been forthcoming. If left unattended without the proper assistance to prevent falls, a doctor can be liable if the patient is injured. Brain injuries and some illnesses can lead to confusion and may also result in unnecessary falls.

Standard Negligence in a Medical Setting

Standard negligence in personal injuries comes under the category of premises liability. A case for negligence applies in a hospital setting when the fall and subsequent injury is unrelated to an individual’s physician/patient relationship or a medical condition for which treatment is being applied. In other words, treatment did not relate to whatever caused the person to fall and be injured.

Negligence That Falls Under Slip and Fall or Premises Liability

One example of negligence would be a patient in a hospital being treated for a certain condition. That patient takes a fall and becomes injured, but the injury is unrelated to his or her medical condition. In a second case, an individual is visiting someone at the hospital, slips on a wet spot on the floor and falls, which results in an injury. Because the individual has no doctor/patient relationship and is not under medical care, this would not be considered medical negligence but would be considered a slip and fall accident.

Contact an Accident Injury Lawyer

It can be hard to discern the difference between medical malpractice and a slip and fall accident in a medical setting. However, both can have serious repercussions for the individual who has been injured, both financially and in his or her personal life. In Florida, consulting with an accident injury lawyer at Kaiser Romanello about your case can help. Our experienced attorneys can review your case and explain to you what legal options you have as well as answer all your questions. Should fault be found, our law firm can represent you to protect your rights as well as seek full compensation for your injury. Contact us to learn more.