Hospitals must focus on safety and cleanliness within their facilities for patients, visitors, and staff members. When people suffer injuries after a fall in a hospital, this stress affects injured patients and their loved ones. It can also strain their finances.
Depending on the circumstances, slip and fall injuries in a New York hospital may result in a personal injury claim. To determine whether you have a valid claim, contact an attorney from Catalano Law to review your case and advise you of your legal options.
Premises liability law requires property owners, including hospitals, to provide a safe environment for patients, visitors, and staff. Safety measures include flat, dry floors, adequate lighting, and elevators and equipment in good repair.
In hospital settings, patients can slip, fall, or trip and sustain injuries. Common causes of slips, trips, and falls in the hospital setting include:
- Wet floors
- Debris on the floor
- Walking surface irregularities inside and outside
- Inadequate lighting
- Wet or icy parking lots and sidewalks
- Poorly constructed staircases and handrails
- Tripping hazards such as loose cords, wires, hoses, and tubing
- Improper use of floor mats
You can file a personal injury suit if dangerous hospital conditions cause your fall. Proving liability in a hospital slip and fall accident takes an experienced attorney’s skills. You must provide evidence that the hospital breached its duty to prevent dangerous property conditions and that this breach caused your fall and led to your injuries.
A skilled lawyer can investigate your claim to find this evidence, including proof that the hospital knew of the dangerous condition and didn’t provide adequate warning or address the problem. The evidence can include photos of the site of the fall and witness testimony. If you received a medical examination right after a fall, it could help prove that the fall caused your injury.
A hospital’s responsibility is to assess its patients’ conditions and prevent them from falling. Doctors may recommend bed rails for patients vulnerable to falling off beds. They are also responsible for giving them medication that won’t interfere with their balance.
Patients at risk for falls, such as those with dementia, may need constant supervision from nurses and other hospital staff members. If doctors, nurses, and other staff members breach their duty of care and you fall, they could face a medical malpractice claim.
A medical expert witness’ opinion can prove that the hospital and its employees did not follow the appropriate standard of care that could have prevented your slip and fall.
Hospitals must maintain their premises to prevent injuries to those who visit their facilities. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for the injuries suffered by visitors when they trip and fall. Visitors who fall as a result of a hospital’s negligence in maintaining their property can file a premises liability claim.
New York State allows 3 years from the date of the fall to file your premises liability claim for privately owned hospitals. If your fall occurred in a state-owned facility, you only have 90 days to file a notice of claim.
Personal injury lawsuits in New York will cover your economic damages. However, they don’t allow you to seek non-economic damages unless your injury is severe.
- Economic Damages
These damages cover the financial losses associated with your injury. Your losses might include medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.
- Non-Economic Damages
You can seek compensation for intangible damages for your injury. These include physical pain and suffering caused by the injury, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life if you can’t perform your usual activities, and the inconvenience of living with a permanent disability.
Staff members are also vulnerable to slip and fall accidents due to the number of hazards in hospitals. These hazards include slippery surfaces, damaged flooring, and poorly maintained stairwells.
A 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control states the rate of injured hospital workers taking time off for recovery from slips and falls is 90% higher than in other private industries. Slips and falls are the second most common factor for non-fatal injuries in the nursing industry.
If you are a worker in a hospital setting and suffer injuries from a trip and fall, you can reach out to a lawyer specializing in these incidents. Workers are protected under workers’ compensation laws, but you may be entitled to more than workers’ compensation.
Your lawyer can help you gain compensation for lost wages due to the time taken off from work either through workers’ compensation or a third-party claim depending on your situation.
When you or a loved one suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident, you can get legal representation from the Syracuse slip and fall lawyers with Catalano Law. We can help you with determining the appropriate legal action for your case.
Catalano Law works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay fees if we win. Contact our law office today for a risk-free consultation.