If I Have a Slip and Fall in a Hospital is That Medical Malpractice?
That depends on the cause of the fall. Premises liability claims and medical malpractice claims are both types of personal injury claim. As such, both require the claimant to demonstrate that his or her injury was the direct result of another party’s negligence. In a premises liability case, the property owner or manager was negligent by failing to remove a hazard from the property or by failing to conspicuously mark a hazard as such to prevent injuries. In a medical malpractice case, a physician or other healthcare provider failed to take the reasonable course of action expected for the patient’s condition or diagnosed it incorrectly, causing the patient to suffer a worsened or new medical problem.
Why Did the Fall Occur?
Falls can happen in clinical settings for a variety of reasons. The reason behind a fall determines the type of personal injury claim a victim can file.
If the victim’s fall was due to any of the following, he or she has grounds for a premises liability claim:
- Poor lighting;
- Slippery or uneven floors;
- Broken steps or loose handrails; or
- Clutter and debris in the facility.
When a fall is due to medical neglect or error, the victim can file a medical malpractice claim. A fall can be the result of:
- Failing to supervise a patient while on medication that can impact balance or vision;
- Failing to warn a patient of the side effects of his or her medication;
- Failure to diagnose a patient’s condition that impairs his or her ability to balance and walk; and
- Failing to assess a patient as a falling hazard.
Differences Between Premises Liability and Medical Malpractice Claims
The primary difference between a premises liability claim and a medical malpractice claim is the cause of the victim’s injury. Another difference between the two that injury victims should understand is the statute of limitations for each.
With a premises liability claim against a private party, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident. If the property where the fall occurred is owned by the state government, the negligent party must be informed of the intent to file a claim within three years of the victim’s injury.
For medical malpractice claims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that the incident occurred or that the victim reasonably should have discovered the injury. In this latter scenario, the victim generally must file his or her claim within four years of the original incident. The statute of limitations can be extended by two years if the victim can demonstrate that the healthcare provider somehow concealed or misrepresented the error.
Draper Law Office Can Help you Determine the Type of Case you Have and Pursue the Compensation you Deserve
If you are suffering from an injury and facing substantial bills after falling in a hospital or rehabilitation facility setting, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your expenses through a premises liability claim or a medical malpractice claim, depending on the circumstances of your case. To learn more, call Draper Law Office at 866-767-4711 or visit us online today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our three convenient office locations.