A New Yorker who slips and falls in a hospital may end up suffering bruises, broken bones and other injuries. Hospital slip-and-fall accidents may fall under medical malpractice in certain cases, while in others, they may be able to proceed under a theory of premises liability.
Understanding the correct body of law under which to file a hospital slip-and-fall case is important. In many states, medical negligence cases have a different statute of limitations and more procedural requirements than do cases filed under a premises liability theory. This makes it more difficult for people to win their cases in those states due to tort reform efforts for medical malpractice lawsuits.
Courts in some states have given mixed rulings on whether a hospital slip-and-fall must go through the procedures required of other medical negligence actions. In those states, a medical expert must first render an opinion that medical negligence occurred before a lawsuit can be filed. Texas recently stopped that practice in a case in which the court ruled that there would need to be a substantial relationship between the fall and the person’s medical care before they would be required to apply the medical malpractice procedural standards.
Like all other businesses, hospitals owe a duty to keep their premises safe and hazard-free. When unclean hospital facilities result in a patient’s falling and being injured, the victim may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney. Legal counsel can review the patient’s hospital records in an attempt to make a determination of whether there was some nexus between the injured patient’s treatment and the fall in which the injuries were sustained.