Slip and Fall Accidents in Hospitals
The places where people have the greatest risk of getting injured in accidental falls are not where you might think. We have all seen the cartoons where someone gets injured after slipping on a banana peel and falling down on a litter-strewn sidewalk. Many of the slip and fall lawsuit cases that make the news headlines involve people who fell on slippery surfaces at supermarkets, restaurants, or big box retail stores. In the case of public streets, we can chalk this up to the heavy pedestrian traffic in an area that only gets cleaned once per day at best. At retail businesses, employees are supposed to clean up spills promptly, but sometimes they are so busy that none of the employees notice the slippery surface until a customer falls and gets injured. Meanwhile, at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, one would expect the staff to take every possible precaution against accidental falls, but despite this, hospitals are some of the riskiest places regarding slip and fall accidents. If you have been injured in an accidental fall at a hospital or other healthcare facility, contact a Jacksonville premises liability lawyer.
Family Sues Pinellas County Hospital Where Patient Suffered Fatal Fall on Wet Bathroom Floor
In December 2018, the cleaning staff at a hospital in Pinellas County mopped the floor of the private bathroom adjoining a patient’s room, without the patient’s knowledge; either the patient was sleeping at the time of the cleaning, or she was in another room. In either case, the employees did not place a “wet floor” sign, and the nurses in charge of the patient’s care did not tell her that the floor had just been mopped. Shortly thereafter, the patient’s son visited her. The patient got up, walked to the bathroom, and closed the door. Then, her son heard a loud crash as she slipped and fell on the wet floor. She later died from head injuries resulting from the fall. The family sued the hospital, and the case settled in 2019.
Why Do Healthcare Facilities Carry Such a High Risk of Accidental Falls?
Hospitals are so risky for accidental falls, largely because the patients are so vulnerable. In the aforementioned case, the hospital’s negligence may have taken the form of the failure to warn the patient of the wet floor, but it could also be that it was not safe for the patient to walk to the bathroom unaccompanied. This is often the case when patients suffer accidental falls in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Patients who are able to get up and walk to the bathroom do so at their own risk because they don’t have time to wait until a staff member has time to assist them.
Contact Douglas & Douglas About Slip and Fall Cases
A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you if you got injured in an accidental fall on a slippery surface in a hospital. Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.