Top Causes of Falls in Florida Hospitals
Hospitals are a place where people seek treatment for medical conditions, so it is shocking to find out the number of patients who are injured while supposedly receiving quality care. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), around 700,000 to 1 million patients fall in hospitals. Up to 11,000 people lose their lives in these incidents, while another 250,000 suffer injuries. The losses for victims and their families are considerable, so it is reassuring that there are remedies under Florida law.
Falls happen because of negligence, but the laws can be confusing when a fall happens in a health care setting. The fall could be the result of general negligence, or it might be the very specific theory of medical negligence. Your Tampa medical malpractice attorney will handle the details on strategy for these concepts, ensuring you receive full compensation for your losses. An overview on liability for falls is also helpful.
Falls from General Negligence: A hospital is a property owner, one that owes a duty of care to patients and guests. The facility could be liable under general negligence principles if it does not exercise reasonable care to make sure the space is safe. Some examples of hospital negligence in falls include:
- Failing to clear up gurneys, wheelchairs, and other equipment from hallways;
- Not cleaning up spills and puddles from floors;
- Neglecting to clear debris; and,
- Failure to assist patients who need help with the restroom, moving, and meals.
Falls Caused by Medical Malpractice: The standard for medical negligence is higher, since you are not comparing the person’s conduct to just anyone. Under Florida law, you measure that person in terms of the skills, training, and level of experience that another health care provider in the same field possesses. If a doctor in the hospital deviated from this standard of care, there may be liability for medical malpractice.
However, falls from medical negligence are rare. They would have to be directed connected to a medical condition, such as a fall that happened because of a failed neurological diagnosis.
Common Damages: Hospitals are most likely to be liable for falls, but compensation works similarly even if the injuries were caused by medical negligence. It is meant to make the victim whole after suffering harm, as if the fall accident never happened. There are two categories of compensation available:
- Economic Damages: These cover tangible losses like medical costs, lost income, pain prescriptions, and out-of-pocket expenses for treatment.
- Noneconomic Damages: This category is your personal, subjective losses that impact quality of life. Examples are pain and suffering, emotional distress, and scarring and disfigurement.
Contact a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Learn More
For more information on your rights after being injured in a fall at a hospital, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. You can call 813.223.7849 or visit our website to set up a free consultation at our offices in Tampa. We will assess whether general or medical negligence concepts apply after we conduct a detailed review of your case.