Who liable if a patient has repeated falls while in a hospital?

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Who liable if a patient has repeated falls while in a hospital?

While a patient, admitted to this hospital, with stomach problems. I fell 4 times in the course of my stay at this hospital. I of course did not know I would fall. After the first, second, third nor fourth fall was I advised by the hospital staff to ask for assistance, when getting up. After the first fall I just became more conscious of my movements as I walked. I was never advised by the hospital staff to call for

assistance before getting up. My case was rejected by the court. Can I retry this case?

Asked on May 5, 2017 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The hospital would only potentially be liable if they knew you were having motor or balancre difficulty and were at a real risk of falling, but despite knowing of the risk, did not take actions to help. So to being with, you'd have to show that the staff either independently knew of the issue (e.g. it was on your "chart" to provide assistance standing/walking to you) or that you had told them not merely that you *had* fallen, since that would be a one-time thing, but were having some balance, motor, etc. problems, so they would know to provide assistance going forward. If they did not know of the issue(s), they did nothing wrong by not providing assistance. You'd also have to show that you asked for them before standing--even if they knew you needed some assistance, if you stand up without informing them first or asking for help, they had no opportunity to assist you and are not liable.
Furthermore, since you would have been aware of the problem after the first fall, you could be considered to have been negligent, too, in not affirmatively requesting help, which you could have done. You'd have to overcome this offsetting potential negligence of your own by showing why it was not careless for you to not ask for help.
Finally, if the case was already "settled" or concluded, you cannot "retry" it unless the outcomes was that it was dismissed "without prejudice." Otherwise, even if you don't like the outcome, the fact there was an outcome prevents you from trying again; you only get one chance in litigation.
There are accordingly significant obstacles to your case.


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