Whose Fault Is It When A Patient Falls In The Hospital?
Did you recently suffer a fall at a hospital, clinic, or any sort of medical office? How did you fall? Did you suffer any injuries after falling?
If you suffered any sort of injuries, such as head injuries
, back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc., you might be interested in taking action against the medical office, hospital, or clinic, for example. You might have considered the possibility of pursuing a lawsuit in hopes of recovering some sort of compensation for the harm that you suffered.
If you have considered taking legal action after falling on premises with any sort of medical purpose, you likely encountered a dilemma. Is your fall considered a medical malpractice case?
Do you have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor
, clinic, or medical office? If your fall is not considered medical malpractice, what type of claim would it be?
Without a doubt, you likely have many questions regarding your fall. You likely have many questions and are in search of answers to clarify some of your confusion. Undeniably, you could benefit from discussing your current situation with the knowledgeable attorneys at Downtown L.A. Law Group. Downtown L.A. Law Group
is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling a number of claims, including all types of falls. Our clients have suffered a variety of falls in different locations. What does this mean for you and your claim? Our law firm has successfully handled claims against differed parties and entities, including doctors and even hospitals. If you suffered any type of harm, you could be certain that our experts will do everything within their reach to ensure that your claim reaches a successful outcome, ensuring that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
About Medical Malpractice
What is medical malpractice
? When does medical malpractice occur? Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or any other health care professional causes an injury to a patient. To be considered medical malpractice, the injury suffered must be a direct result of a negligent action or omission of information. In general, medical malpractice claims revolve around the failure to diagnose a condition, improperly treating a condition, or the failure to warn patients of risks. Misdiagnosis, incorrect prescriptions, failure to treat, and botched surgeries are also considered to be medical malpractice. To prove medical malpractice existed, there must be a clear doctor-patient relationship, clear negligence against the patient, a clear injury caused by the negligence, and specific damages caused by the injury. If you are still in need of information surrounding medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact our law firm
at your earliest convenience.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (888) 649-7166 today.
Q: If I fell at my doctor’s office, is it considered medical malpractice?
Typically a fall is not considered medical malpractice. However, this issue becomes a little more complicated when dealing with falls or injuries inside medical offices or hospitals. This is important to consider because medical malpractice cases carry an entirely different set of rules. If the case is a medical malpractice case it will be governed by a one-year statute of limitations and will have caps on the amount of your recovery, while standard injury cases are not governed by such limitations.
Consider the following situation. You arrive at your local medical offices for a routine appointment. You wait in the waiting room for a few minutes until you are finally called into the examination room. The nurse instructs you to sit on a chair to the side. You sit on the chair and answer the few questions that the nurse is asking. After a few moments, you hear a strange noise; you are suddenly on the floor. The chair in the examination room suddenly collapsed. Although no injuries were apparent right after your fall, you develop some pain a few days later. Further medical examination reveals that you suffered a few concerning injuries.
So, is your fall considered medical malpractice?
The answer is simple. Falling from a chair with no specific medical purpose does not fall into medical malpractice. A fall has no grounds for a medical malpractice claim; however, victims of falls on any sort of medical grounds, still have grounds to pursue claims.
Your fall isn’t medical malpractice. Is that a bad thing? Your fall being classified outside of the medical malpractice category is not necessary a bad thing. As mentioned above, medical malpractice claims are subject to a specific set of rules and strict timelines (statutes of limitations). Medical malpractice claims also have caps on the compensation available for recovery. Standard injury cases, on the other hand, are not subject to many of these limitations – meaning that standard injury cases (like falling from a chair) have more potential.
If you would like to learn more about why your fall is not considered medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact our law firm
as soon as possible. Our personal injury experts will provide you with all the information that you need to better understand your current situation and take action against the party or entity liable for the injury that you suffered.
Learn more about your legal options: call (888) 649-7166 to speak with a representative now.
About the MICRA
As mentioned above, medical malpractice claims are specific to very strict guidelines. These strict guidelines are established by the MICRA. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) is a statute originally enacted in 1975. The MICRA was signed into law the same year by California’s governor at the time – Jerry Brown. The purpose of the MICRA was simple: to lower medical malpractice liability insurance premiums for Californian healthcare providers by decreasing their possible tort liability.
Perhaps the most significant of the strict guidelines consists of the limits placed on the damages available for recovery. The MICRA limits non-economic damages to $250,000. What are non-economic damages? Non-economic damages are damages consisting of pain and suffering, the loss of consortium, or the values associated with losing limbs or certain abilities. This limit on non-economic damages available to recover for medical malpractice cases can severely affect the potential value of these claims.
Besides the limit on the non-economic damages available for recovery, the MICRA also placed a strict statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Instead of the usual time allotted to injury claims, medical malpractice claims are subject to a strict one-year deadline. Because the timeline to file a medical malpractice claim is so short, many claimants miss the deadline, subsequently losing their right to sue and receive compensation.
To speak with a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer, call (888) 649-7166.
Faulty Chair Caused My Fall
In many cases, you have a faulty chair at the doctor’s office that caused the fall. These offices do not routinely check for the safety of furniture in the office. As a result, many of the chairs or general furniture in the office can be outdated. This can cause someone to fall and suffer a significant bodily injury as a result. However, the fall is not considered medical malpractice. Rather, the fall would be considered a standard injury case.
When directly compared to medical malpractice claims, standard injury claims – such as falling from a chair – are much simpler. Standard injury claims are simply not subject to any strict guidelines such as the MICRA. For successful claims involving a standard injury, the victim must simply prove that his or her injury was caused by negligence.
Consider the following four elements of negligence:
Duty of care: a party or entity owes you a specific duty of care. When you are at a hospital, clinic, or any other medical location, the staff members have a duty to ensure that you remain safe. All staff members have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that there are no hazards or that existing hazards are addressed.
Breach of duty: the staff members breach their duty of care to you by failing to identify or address hazards.
Cause: the failure to address hazards causes an accident.
Harm: the accident results in an injury.
Let’s consider falls from chairs in medical offices or hospitals, for example.
Liability for the injuries caused by falls from chairs revolves around the failure to exercise the duty of care owed to you and all other patients. All premises – not just medical premises – must be kept at a specific standard in which there are no hazards to any visitors. In hospitals and medical offices, doctors, nurses, and other staff members must ensure that their patients are always safe
– even when they are sitting on their chairs in the waiting room. They have a responsibility to inspect chairs and all other furniture with which patients might come into contact. When a hazard is identified (i.e. loose screws, missing screws, loose legs, exposed nails), it should be addressed as promptly as possible. Addressing the hazard is as simple as blocking off the chair from patient access, removing the chair from the waiting area, or repairing the hazard, for example.
Therefore, if a faulty chair caused your fall and your injuries
, liability for the injuries that you suffered would fall to the doctor/medical team owning the premises in which you were injured. Liability would be strictly based on the failure to inspect the chair or address any hazards that were present prior to your accident. If you would like to learn more about liability for your fall, do not hesitate to contact our law firm
as soon as possible.
Your Right to Sue and Receive Compensation
If you fell from a faulty chair because a doctor, nurse, or any other staff member failed to inspect for or address any hazards, you have the right to file a standard injury lawsuit against the parties liable for the harm that you suffered. Although every claim is different, you might be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages. In the case of death due to severe injuries, surviving family members could also be compensated for funeral and burial expenses. Because standard injury claims are not subject to any of the strict guidelines that apply to MedMal cases due to the MICRA, there are no limits to the non-economic damages that you could recover. Are you interested in learning more about your right to pursue a standard injury claim and receive compensation? If so, you should contact our law firm at your earliest convenience. Our experienced injury lawyers will fight for your right to recover the maximum amount of compensation available for your claim.
Important Timelines for Standard Injury Claims
As mentioned above, medical malpractice claims are subject to a short one-year statute of limitations. This can be an unreasonable length of time to pursue a claim. When you file a standard injury claim, your claim will be subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Although the claim is still subject to a strict statute of limitations, it allows claimants more time to pursue your claim. If you would like to learn more about the specific statute of limitations that applies to your claim, including any exceptions that might toll or extend the time that you have to sue, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
The personal injury lawyers at Downtown L.A. Law Group
are ready to provide you with the legal assistance that you need to pursue your injury claim and recover the compensation that you deserve. Our law firm offers both free consultations and free second opinions – ensuring that all victims of injuries due to falls from chairs on medical premises
have access to our legal services. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to begin your claim or a free second opinion to redirect your claim after it was misguided by an incompetent attorney, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today. Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee, which ensures that our clients will never be required to pay any upfront legal fees. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency. To discuss your claim with our injury lawyers, contact our law firm
at your earliest convenience.