Hospital Sued for Fall While Transferring Patient from a Bed
A hospital was sued after a slip-and-fall accident while transferring a patient from her bed to a wheelchair. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital with chest pains but later needed surgery on her leg because of the fall. She claimed that the hospital was grossly negligent for failing to transfer her properly and won her suit to the tune of 6 figures.
Hospital slip-and-fall lawsuits can be tricky. In some cases, they are filed under a theory of general negligence or premises liability. In other cases, they may be filed under a theory of medical malpractice. In this article, we’ll discuss how hospital slip-and-falls differ from general slip-and-fall accident lawsuits.
Medical negligence or general negligence?
In Florida, plaintiffs have an incentive to file a lawsuit under a general theory of negligence and avoid medical negligence lawsuits. This is because medical negligence lawsuits are more difficult to file and more difficult to win. They are also more costly to file. The requirement for expert witnesses and expert opinions drives up the cost of litigation. They also place a burden on the plaintiff to find medical experts willing to take their case. There are still some rules in the books that limit recovery in medical malpractice lawsuits. So, a plaintiff in Florida can find themselves in the awkward position of proving that their lawsuit is a general negligence lawsuit and not a medical malpractice lawsuit. Meanwhile, a hospital sued for the same case may find itself in the position of arguing that it is a medical malpractice and not general negligence lawsuit.
In the case mentioned above, the slip-and-fall occurred while the plaintiff was being transported from her bed to a wheelchair. Since the hospital has policies on how to do this safely and it is a part of their general care, the lawsuit would likely be filed under a theory of medical negligence. In that case, the plaintiff would have to establish that the hospital deviated from the prevailing standard of care. In a simple premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff would only need to show that the defendant created the situation that led to an injury.
In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff was able to recover a six-figure settlement from the hospital on the grounds that they deviated from the prevailing standard of care for the profession. That means that the lawsuit was filed under a theory of medical negligence as opposed to general negligence. That’s because the hospital has a protocol for properly transferring patients from a bed to a wheelchair. In this case, they failed to provide the prevailing standard of care and were held liable for medical negligence.
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The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those who have been injured in slip-and-fall accidents. Call our Tampa personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your case immediately.