What is a hospital’s liability if a patient falls and is injured?

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What is a hospital’s liability if a patient falls and is injured?

My grandmother who is in the hospital had surgery on her colon. After the surgery during her recovery, on the day she was supposed to go home, she tried to get out of the bed. She fell and hit her head and broke her hip. She needed stitches and surgery to repair her hip. My aunt was there but was asleep. They immediately stitched her head and did surgery on her hip the following day. Are there any ground to file a lawsuit against the hospital? Keep in mind this is a stubborn woman they are dealing with who hates for anyone to help her.

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The hospital is liable if--but only if--they were at fault. From what you write, they may not have been at fault...for example, if there was no restriction on your grandmother getting out of bed--and she did not need any restrictions--then her falling is not the hospital's fault unless they had left spilled liquid or something on the floor making it slippery. Or even if there were restrictions, if your grandmother ignored them (e.g. she was supposed to ask a nurse to help her get of bed, but decided to it herself despite the medical advice), the hospital would also not be fault. Only if you can show that the hospital either deliberately or careless did something wrong, would they be liable; the mere fact your grandmother was injured while in the hospital, without more, does not establish liability.


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