Hospital Slips and Falls: What You Need to Know

wet floor sign hospital slips and falls concept

Slips and falls could occur anywhere, including in hospitals. Each year, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in the hospital. While their consequences are bad, they might be even worse for hospital patients. This is because it could slow down their recovery or introduce even more complications to their conditions. In addition, it would often cost more to pay for the additional injuries, putting a strain on the patient and their family.

Every property owner or manager has a duty of care on their premises. This means that it is their responsibility to ensure that their properties are safe for people. Likewise, hospitals and other medical facilities should ensure that patients and visitors are safe from accidents and hazards within their premises.

Because medical facilities house people at greater risk of slipping and falling, they must take extra care to prevent this. To do this, they would need to take steps to eradicate the below-listed causes of hospital slips and falls. Contact a personal injury attorney if you or anyone you know have suffered a slip and fall at a hospital.

What Causes Hospital Slips and Falls?

More than 8 million people received emergency room treatments for slip and fall injuries in 2019. As such, hospitals should know better than to cause these accidents themselves. Unfortunately, people still slip and fall in hospitals. Below, we outline some of the causes of hospital slips and falls.

  • Poor Lighting 

Poorly lit rooms could cause anyone, let alone hospital patients, to fall, especially if they are not familiar with the room. When you cannot see your surroundings, it is much harder to take precise steps. As such, you could miss the clutter in the room or hallway. Many hospital inpatients slip and fall in hospital rooms, hallways and staircases because of poor lighting. Patients with visual impairments are usually more susceptible to things like this.

  • Slippery Floors 

Wet and slippery falls are also causes of hospital slips and falls. This could result from spilling water on the floors or from recently-mopped floors. Sometimes, it could also occur when the floor is freshly waxed. All of these could cause patients to slip and fall. The cases are usually worse for patients who are already at high risk of slips and falls. This includes patients with muscle weakness or unsteady balance.

  • Carpets, Wires, and Ropes 

If unsecured wires and ropes are lying around on the floors, they could cause patients to trip and fall. They could even cause ripple effects, pulling more than one person to the floor. Carpets and rugs could also cause patients to trip when they are not well secured to the floor. They could cause anyone to stumble, but if you add the probable fatigue of hospital inpatients, it is a recipe for disaster. These carpets, ropes, and wires could also trip patients using wheelchairs and walkers.

  • Weather

Winter slips and falls are very common inside and outside hospitals. When visitors track snow into the medical facility, it could cause the floors to get slippery and pose tripping hazards. But it can be even worse outdoors as snow could cause visitors to slip without having anything to hold on to. To ensure that hospitals are winter-proofed, they need to hire the appropriate maintenance staff and brief them about the hazards. Using previous records of injuries could also go a long way to ensure that these injuries do not repeat themselves.

  • Faulty Steps and Handrails 

Many patients could find it hard to navigate staircases. When staircases have issues, it even further complicates the process of moving for the patient. In addition, because handrails are important for patients, broken railings, whether on beds or staircases, could pose a huge hazard.

Medical Malpractices or Premises Liability: What Do You Sue the Hospital for?

It is easy to think of any injury sustained in a medical facility as medical malpractice. However, when a patient slips and falls for any of the above-listed reasons, it is considered a premises liability case, not medical malpractice. This is because they have suffered from the hospital’s negligence to create safe premises for visitors.

A slip and fall could be medical malpractice when the doctor did not mention a drug’s side effects, causing a patient to fall. It could also be a case of medical malpractices when the patient is not properly supervised after surgery or is misdiagnosed, causing them to fall.

Speak to an Experienced Attorney Today!

If you or someone you know suffered from a  hospital slip and fall, you should speak to a premises liability attorney today. Our attorneys at Calvin Smith Law will ensure that you get the compensation that you require. Schedule a free consultation with us today.

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