Private individuals and businesses alike have a duty to those they willingly allow on their property, or those (like children) who can be reasonably expected to end up on their property. Any hazardous condition should be fixed as soon as possible, and if for any reason the hazard must remain, warnings should be placed around it. Hospitals are also subject to these same rules. Read on to learn about the specifics of hospital negligence, and contact our Rockland County slip and fall lawyers for a consultation if you yourself were injured in a hospital.
Hospitals and Negligence: The Basics
Hospitals, as well as similar places such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes, are generally liable for injuries resulting from the center’s own negligence. Hospitals have a duty to ensure the safety of their premises, in part because of their nature as a medical facility. People who seek out hospitals typically do so because of health problems, and these health problems may in turn lead to a greater risk of falling.
As a result, hospitals and other medical facilities need to keep track of common causes of injuries. Some such causes include:
- Insufficient lighting
- Slipper floors
- Broken handrails
- Littered items in the halls
Hospitals also need to be attentive to the health issues that might contribute to a slip and fall. Examples of health issues capable of causing a slip and fall are:
- Muscle weakness
- Balance disorders
- Eyesight problems
Precautions Hospitals May Take against Negligence Accusations
Keeping the above in mind, there are several ways hospitals can address concerns before an injury happens.
- Making sure the facilities are well-lit
- Cleaning up any clutter
- Installing handrails on stairs and walls
- Using non-skid wax and providing waterproof shoes
Is It Negligence or Medical Malpractice?
When an injury occurs in a hospital, it can be for many reasons. The reason behind a slip and fall is crucial to determining how to bring a case.
If the injury happened as a result of some dangerous part of the physical environment not dealt with by the owner or manager, then the case would most typically be based on premises liability.
If, however, the injury happened as a result of an inappropriate medical procedure or no procedure where one was warranted, that may be a medical malpractice claim. In this scenario, the hazard isn’t in the environment; rather, the hazard lies in the incorrect action or in the omission of action.
The bottom line is that if you’ve been injured in a hospital slip and fall accident, we are here to help. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.