Property owners are responsible for maintaining the interior and exterior areas of their premises. Hospitals are not an exception. They must ensure that all walkways, staircases, and other parts of the property are in good condition for guests and patients.
Property owners are supposed to inspect their properties for dangerous conditions, remove them promptly, or place warning signs. If someone visits a hospital and a hazard injures them, the hospital could be liable for the resulting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls at Hospitals
A slip and fall can occur for numerous reasons, such as:
- Slippery floors – A wet floor is one of the most common causes of a slip and fall accident. A freshly mopped floor or spilled liquid creates a slipping hazard for anyone who walks on it.
- Poor lighting – Lighting is crucial, especially in hospitals. Patients must be able to see where they’re walking at all times to avoid potential dangers. Without adequate lighting, someone can trip over a hazard, fall down the stairs, or slip on a wet spot.
- Loose rugs and mats – Rugs and mats should contain anti-slip materials. Anyone who sets foot on a loose rug or mat can twist their ankle, lose their footing, and fall.
- Snow or ice – Maintaining a property means removing snow or ice in the parking lot and exterior sidewalks. An accumulation of snow or ice creates slippery conditions.
- Broken steps – Broken steps aren’t stable. They can cause someone to slip or trip and fall down the stairs.
- Missing handrails – Handrails are crucial in hospitals. Patients need them to assist them in walking or standing up while showering. A missing handrail prevents someone from catching themselves if they start to fall.
Proving Liability After a Slip and Fall
You must prove the hospital, an employee, or a third party is at fault for the slip and fall to hold them financially responsible for your injuries. That means establishing that their actions led to the accident.
You must prove they knew about the dangerous condition or should have known based on their status as the property or hospital owner. You must also prove they did not address the hazard promptly or take the necessary steps to warn visitors of the potential danger. You must also prove that you sustained injuries from the fall and that you fell because of the hazardous condition.
The evidence that can be collected is essential, including the hospital’s maintenance and repair records, photographs of the property, and medical records. A security camera or eyewitness may also have caught what happened.
Although you might think you can pursue your case alone, hiring an experienced lawyer is critical. They can help you prepare your case and seek the compensation you deserve.
Possible Compensation in a Slip and Fall Case
Holding a hospital liable is challenging. Their insurance company won’t want to pay, and the defense attorneys will likely use tactics to get you to back down. Additionally, they might be self-insured, in which case, you’ll be dealing directly with the hospital’s lawyers. However, you have a right to compensation and should fight for it.
The compensation you receive in an injury claim or lawsuit against the hospital could cover your:
- Emergency room visits, physical therapy, and other medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damaged during the fall
Contact an Experienced Roanoke Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Strickland, Diviney & Segura has decades of experience helping clients move forward after traumatic accidents. We understand your situation and will work to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (540) 982-7787 for your in-person or virtual consultation if you sustained an injury in a slip and fall at a hospital due to someone else’s negligence.