As a patient in a hospital, you expect to receive medical care that helps treat an injury or illness. You certainly don’t expect to suffer an additional injury while at a hospital. Unfortunately, however, hospital falls frequently do cause a patient to suffer additional injury. If you are injured in a hospital fall, who is liable for your injuries?
If you or a family member were injured because of a fall while at an Orlando hospital, you could be entitled to compensation for the physical injuries and emotional trauma caused by the fall. At Bailey Fisher PLLC we have more than half a century of combined successful legal experience advocating for injured victims. We are committed to ensuring that all parties liable for patient falls in an Orlando hospital are held accountable and that the victims are fully and fairly compensated for all injuries.
How Common Are Patient Falls in an Orlando Hospital?
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is not only elderly patients, however, who are at risk for being injured in a fall at a hospital. Younger patients can also be at an increased risk of a fall because they are weakened or disoriented by medical conditions, surgeries or procedures, and medications. In fact, the statistics relating to hospital falls are shocking.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), falls occur at a rate of 3–5 per 1000 bed-days. AHRQ estimates that 700,000 to 1 million hospitalized patients fall each year. A Joint Commission report found that 30-50 percent of hospital falls result in injury. That same report indicates that a fall with injury added 6.3 days to the patient’s hospital stay with an average additional cost related to the fall of $14,000. “Even supposedly ‘no harm’ falls can cause distress and anxiety to patients, their family members, and health care staff, and may mark the beginning of a negative cycle where fear of falling leads an older person to restrict his or her activity, with consequent further losses of strength and independence,” says the AHRQ.
What Causes Patient Falls in an Orlando Hospital?
There are an endless number of factors that can contribute to a patient falling while in a hospital; however, the Joint Commission found the following factors to be among the most common:
- Inadequate assessment
- Communication failures
- Lack of adherence to protocols and safety practices
- Inadequate staff orientation, supervision, staffing levels, or skill mix
- Deficiencies in the physical environment
- Lack of leadership
Liability for an Orlando Hospital Fall
When a hospital patient is injured because of a fall it may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex by nature and can become even more difficult to navigate when a hospital is involved. Medical malpractice requires the injured victim to prove that a medical error occurred and that the error was the result of negligence. For a medical error to be considered negligence, in turn, the injured victim must show that the at-fault party (or parties) breached the “standard of care” established by law. In Florida, that standard of care is defined as “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.”
What makes injuries caused at a hospital more complicated is that they typically involve multiple potentially negligent parties. If you are a patient, a hospital can be liable for a negligent act or omission of an employee. In addition, physicians and other healthcare professionals who are not hospital employees may share some fault for injuries sustained in a fall. Along with the inherently complex nature of a medical malpractice lawsuit, this means that the issue of negligence becomes even more convoluted because they are typically multiple potentially negligent parties. Hospitals can also be held liable for falls involving visitors who are not patients, depending on the circumstances, and these incidents ordinarily involve less complicated issues of premises liability that do not directly implicate the Florida medical malpractice laws.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Hospital Fall?
If you or a family member were injured because of a fall while you were a patient or a visitor at a hospital, you may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are things such as your medical bills and lost wages while non-economic damages cover the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you experienced because of the fall. If you lost a family member because of a fatal fall, you may be entitled to pursue compensation as the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Sorting out who is liable for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, or even a general negligence premises liability lawsuit involving a hospitalis challenging, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Bailey Fisher, our Orlando hospital fall attorneys are committed to pursuing all potentially liable parties to ensure that you are compensated for both the physical and mental injuries caused by the fall.
Get the Help You Need from Orlando Hospital Patient Falls Attorneys
Injuries suffered in a hospital fall can be life-altering. Along with the emotional trauma caused by the fall, a victim often requires additional medical treatment leading to significant financial hardship. Trying to navigate the legal system by yourself when pursuing a medical malpractice claim, or any claim against a hospital, is not a viable option. Having an experienced Orlando hospital fall attorney on your side is the only way to ensure that your rights are protected, and you are fully compensated for all your injuries.
At Bailey Fisher, we are dedicated to acting as your voice in the legal system so that you can focus on your recovery. We will aggressively and tirelessly pursue the negligent party (or parties) to make sure they are held accountable and that you receive the maximum compensation available for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, trauma, and suffering.
Call us at 407-628-2929 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando medical malpractice attorneys will evaluate your case for free and advise you on the next steps.