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What Steps Should I Take After a Slip and Fall at a Hospital?

What Steps Should I Take After a Slip and Fall at a Hospital?
Written by Guest Author

A hospital is the last place you would expect to slide and sustain injuries. It is supposed to be a secure place where the injured and sick get medical attention and recuperate after all. Unfortunately, patients and visitors can get hurt after tripping and sliding on obstacles and other hazardous conditions on the premises. Dangers such as slippery floors, loose handrails, uneven surfaces, debris, and loose carpets in such premises can cause you to trip and lose your footing.

The medical facility’s property owners or managers have a duty of care to all patients and visitors. They are supposed to ensure the property is properly maintained to reduce the risk of accidents. Therefore, if they fail to rectify any underlying hazards and you fall victim to a slip and fall at a hospital, you can sue them for negligence and get your monetary compensation.  

If you are a casualty, there are some steps you need to take immediately after the incident in order to strengthen your claim and increase the chances of getting your rightful compensation, as provided by the slip and fall lawyer at Salamati Law in California

Seek medical attention

After you have been injured, you should seek medical attention immediately in order to get treated for your wounds. Moreover, if you delay getting treatment for days or weeks, the amount of compensation may decrease. This is because the defendants and insurance companies may use your reluctance to seek treatment to argue that your injuries were either not serious or were not caused by the incident. 

Seeing a medical professional will also help you save evidence such as the records and medical bills, which will not only help to strengthen your case but also determine the amount of compensation you will get. While at the health clinic, mention how you sustained the injuries and where you were hurt, even if they are minor. 

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Complete the incident report

You need to fill out the incident report at the medical facility so the manager cannot easily deny that the incident didn’t happen. While completing the report, remember to be as descriptive as possible about the incident. Mention the condition of the floor, the time it occurred, whether there were witnesses, and the exact thing that caused you to slide and lose your footing. 

You should also report the incident to the person with the highest rank in the facility. If you are unable to do so because of your injuries, your close family member can do so on your behalf. 

Take videos and photos

Take pictures and videos of the area where the incident occurred, including wide-angle and close-up pictures. You should also take pictures in all directions, making sure you capture the condition that made you lose your balance and get hurt. If you are unable to capture the photographic evidence, ask a family member or friend for assistance. 

The pics will strengthen your case and help to prove that the hazardous condition existed at the time of your incident. Photographic evidence is important because sometimes the property owners may try to fix the dangerous condition after you have left to get rid of the evidence. 

Limit communication with witnesses, employers, or staff

You should collect the contacts, names, and addresses of witnesses. This will enable you to reach out to them if you need witnesses to corroborate your story. However, you should avoid in-depth discussions about the incident with them because you may weaken your case unknowingly. 

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Many tripping cases have lost value because the wounded person has either downplayed their injuries, tried to explain reasons for the incident, or took the blame for something that was not their fault. 

Don’t divulge information before consulting an attorney

You should refrain from divulging any recorded information to insurance companies that are working with the medical facility if you have not consulted a lawyer yet. They may try to phish for information that they can use to either lower your compensation amount or destroy your case completely. When you consult an attorney, they will guide you on what to say and what to avoid saying to keep your case strong. 

Consult an attorney

You should consult an experienced attorney who has handled many similar cases before. They already know the tactics that property owners can use to avoid taking any accountability or deny any negligence to avoid paying any money. 

If you want to increase your chances of getting compensation, you need to prove the following;

Duty of care

Every medical facility owner has a duty of care to visitors who have the legal right to be on their premises. The owners must remove all dangerous conditions on the premises that may cause people to trip or lose their footing. If the owner neglected his duty of care, he will be held liable. 

Negligence

The medical facility owners must ensure that the premises are safe for everyone. They must constantly maintain the premises by fixing any uneven floors, loose handrails, slippery floors, loose carpeting, and removing obstacles among others. If they neglected their responsibility and you can prove it, you will strengthen your case. 

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Causation

You should prove that the owner’s negligence to fix the problem caused a hazard that resulted in your accident. For instance, if the owner was aware the floors were slippery but failed to replace it with non-slippery floors which resulted in your incident, you could hold the owner liable. 

Alternatively, if they failed to put up proper signage that indicated the slippery floor hazard and you lost your footing as a result, you could get compensation.

Injuries

You must prove that the incident resulted in physical injuries or psychological damage. The severity of the injuries and your medical bills will be used to calculate the monetary compensation you will receive. 

Conclusion

If you have sustained injuries in a medical facility, you should seek medical help, take pictures of the area, limit communication with witnesses, fill out an incident report and consult a legal representative. An attorney will assist you to exercise your legal rights by strengthening your case and ensuring you get adequate compensation to deal with damages such as lost income and medical bills. 

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