Injured While Visiting the Hospital?

06/10/2021

If a friend or family member of a patient sustains injuries while visiting a hospital, they may be able to recover compensation if another party’s negligence was responsible. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities need to meet certain standards of care to both patients and visitors, which requires them to prevent foreseeable and unreasonable risks that could cause harm to individuals.

When Healthcare Facilities Are Partially at Fault

Although some cases may involve accidents resulting from negligent professionals in healthcare facilities, sometimes accidents may happen that the facility isn’t entirely responsible for, such as some slip and fall accidents. In these instances, both parties may share fault.

For example, one case involved a woman who visited her sister in a nursing home. Upon arriving at the room where her sister was staying, her sister wasn’t present, but the woman saw a fan sitting on the floor by the sister’s bed. The woman then walked over to the bed past the fan to place her purse on the bed. Shen then turned to leave the room momentarily and tripped over the fan in the process. After falling, she slid on the floor and her head hit the door to the room.

This woman suffered a type of head injury known as a hematoma, and she attempted to file a premises liability lawsuit against the nursing home. The court ruled in the woman’s favor, awarding her $57,600 in compensation. However, the jury found the woman to have been 50% at fault for the accident and reduced the settlement to $28,000.

The nursing home then argued that the fan didn’t fall under the contributory negligence theory and that the fan was easy to see and avoid. Eventually, the nursing staff was able to prove that there was no breach of duty, making the nursing home not liable.

Ultimately, if injured as a visitor, some circumstances may protect hospitals and other healthcare facilities from liability. However, if negligent staff and dangerous conditions lead to injuries, the facility may be at fault.