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Chicago Hospital Patient Fall Lawsuit

Many patients suspect that the last place they will be injured is while in the hospital in a vulnerable state, requiring other people to provide adequate treatment to get healthy.

Unfortunately, trusted doctors and nurses in charge of ensuring the patient's care can cause fall-related injuries due to a lack of supervision, prescribing the wrong meds, or misdiagnosis.

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Were you injured in a hospital or nursing home and believe that someone else's negligence caused your harm? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent injured hospital patients to ensure that they are maximally compensated for their damages.

Call our Chicago slip and fall lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.

The Hospital's Duty to Protect Patients Against a Slip and Fall

Did you know that hospitals and nursing homes must maintain a safety program for the patient's health and well-being? Likewise, did you know the doctors and nursing employees should assess your fall risk when you are admitted to the facility?

Inpatient falls occur often, especially for elderly patients at higher risk of severe injuries due to their poor balance when left alone.

Any fall that happens and causes a serious injury in a hospital setting should be adequately investigated to determine the reason for the accident. In many cases, the hospital may be to blame for the fall.

The common signs of a fall occurring in a hospital include:

  • Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage
  • Bruising or swelling on the head or neck
  • Cuts, scratches, abrasions, or burns on the face
  • A deep wound exposing bone and nerve tissue
  • Confusion or being disoriented
  • Headaches from the internal bleeding inside your skull
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Memory loss (forgetting what happened just before or after the fall)
  • Numbness on one side of the body
  • Broken bones (fractures) involving one or more areas of the body

Assuring patient safety is part of the responsibility of every staff member to eliminate falling in a hospital. One event considered a "never event" is hospital patient falls. Medicare considers defines a never event as a preventable problem that led to injury or death, like falls, contagious infections, and bedsores.

Hospital medical care staff are responsible for preventing fall accidents by patients under their care. Sadly, fall accidents can seriously injure patients and delay or even prevent their ability to recover.

Causes of Hospital Falls

The National Safety Council reports that approximately 1,600 people fall in hospitals every day in the United States, leading to 150 deaths. The contributing factors of most falls include:

  • Medication: Many prescription drugs can affect a patient's physical and mental capacity. Therefore, hospitals should be aware of possible side effects and prepare to assist patients when they need to move from one area to another.
  • Changes in blood pressure: Procedures and medications may affect blood pressure which can cause vertigo and dizziness.
  • Frequent visits to the washrooms: Hospital staff needs to be prepared for patients that will need to empty their bladder or bowels more frequently due to their medical condition.
  • Mobility issues: Proper mobility devices and precautions are needed for those who have mobility difficulties.
  • Vision issues: Medications and other factors may cause a change in vision that can increase the chance of fall risk.
  • Poor lighting: Dark hallways and unlit private bathrooms without sufficient lighting can create a dangerous environment making fall hazards highly likely.
  • Cluttered Areas: Crowded hallways, debris, and hospital room obstacles create a high risk of falling.
  • Understaffing: The hospital often has insufficient staffing to care for patients to ensure their needs are met, especially during nighttime hours. Understaffing can lead to medical negligence and medical malpractice.

For decades, hospital fall injuries have remained the third leading cause of death in the United States. While many of these falls result from a failure to supervise or monitor patients. Others occur when the patient is carelessly transferred by improperly trained staff.

Preventing Hospital Falls

The majority of hospital accidents are attributed to falls. However, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, up to 40% of all hospital accidents involving falls are preventable.

A study published in the New England Journal of Internal Medicine cited that between 2.3 and 7 falls happen for every 1,000 patients in hospitals in the United States.

About 85% of these falls happen within the patient's room, and 30% result in serious injuries. Since falls are considered a "never event," this rate is much too high and can be reduced significantly by the hospital staff adhering to safety procedures.

  • Proper equipment for mobility. Walkers, wheelchairs, guardrails, and other devices must be available to prevent falls and slips.
  • Transfer assistance. Many falls happen when the patient moves from one place to the next, such as exiting the hospital bed to use the bathroom or bedside toilet.
  • Alarms. Nursing employees need to have alarms if a patient who should not be moving tries to leave their bed.
  • Nurse call systems. All call systems for patient assistance need to be in working order and within reach of the patient.

Family members can help ensure their loved one's safety by taking precautions when the healthcare provider or a nursing facility.

First, ensure that your family member stays at a hospital or nursing facility where there are grab bars on both sides of the toilet, beds with guardrails, and bedside tables and call buttons within easy reach.

A health care assistant or nurse who follows established protocols and understands the patient's condition and personal preferences can minimize the fall risk when the patient is confused, tired, or asleep.

Setting up the room before going to sleep and keeping the call button close at hand can ensure that the nursing assistant is available within moments to help the patient get up, use the restroom, or grab a personal item from the bedside table.

Did you fall in the hospital? Were you assessed as a fall risk when staying at the hospital or nursing facility? First, it is crucial to know your legal rights. Federal and state laws regulate how hospitals and nursing homes respond to severe falls and common injuries.

Legal Advice Is Available

Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience handling accidents where our clients were injured on the nursing home and hospital premises.

We can successfully resolve Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits involving patients who suffer falls at hospitals or are dropped by staff. Our legal team will be on your side to get the best possible financial outcome for you and your family.

Call us today at (888) 424-5757 if you or a loved one fell in a hospital, and we will advise you on your rights, free of charge and with no obligation.

Medical Negligence Claim Involving a Hospital Patient Falls

Hospitals are legally liable when patients fall, especially if they suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and fractured bones.

Typically, injured patients can file a civil lawsuit against the hospital for not having "reasonably safe" medical facilities and equipment or failing to provide proper care like housekeeping if the floors are slippery.

A medical malpractice lawsuit or premises liability claim filed against the medical facility might cite numerous contributing factors to the fall, including:

  • Inadequate safety measures like missing rails on elevators and ramps
  • Insufficient staffing
  • Uneven flooring
  • Inadequate lighting in the corridors and hallways
  • A lack of non-slip flooring
  • Improperly maintained equipment

The hospital will likely defend its medical malpractice claim by arguing they were not given sufficient notice of a hazard or that the fall resulted from many factors.

However, slippery surfaces and icy conditions outdoors are not valid excuses for the nursing staff failing to protect patients. Nearly all fall cases in healthcare and rehabilitation facilities are based on hospital negligence resulting in serious injuries to the patients.

Hospital Fall Lawsuits: Receiving Compensation When Patients Are Injured Due to Staff Negligence

Patients injured from a hospital fall can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician and other healthcare providers alleged to have caused them harm.

The medical malpractice suit will recover monetary damages for the patient's injuries, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Hospitalization costs
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings
  • Mental anguish,
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

The amount that the victim can receive through a medical malpractice lawsuit will be based on the reduced quality of life, the extent of their injuries, and the value of their pain-and-suffering damages.

Statute of Limitations

The injured party or family members can file a civil lawsuit against the medical center before the statute of limitations expires. In Illinois, the statute typically limits the injured party from filing a medical malpractice claim within two years from the incident.

However, extenuating circumstances based on the unique facts of their medical malpractice case could provide additional time to receive compensation.

If the injured party fails to file a premises liability claim before the statute expires, they give up their legal rights to ever seek financial compensation from the defendants at any time in the future.

Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm to Resolve a Hospital Fall Case

Are you the victim of patient neglect due to a fall injury at a hospital or nursing home? Were you left unattended when the fall occurred and want to ensure that the medical center is held accountable?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Chicago, Illinois, injury attorneys provide legal services to high-risk patients harmed in a medical facility.

Call our legal team today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to talk to a personal injury attorney for legal advice andschedule a free case review.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

We accept all medical malpractice cases through a contingency fee agreement, meaning you owe us nothing if we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf.

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