The one place that everyone should expect to be safe, should be the hospital.
Every floor is staffed with well-educated experts—nurses, surgeons,
therapists, technicians—all of whom should be doing their best to
ensure patient care is of the highest possible quality. Accidents do happen,
however. Fortunately, many of them can be prevented with care and better
attention. A study published in 2013 showed that preventable hospital
errors were the third leading cause of death in the United States.
One of the most common preventable injuries in hospitals is falling. Patients
such as the elderly are particularly vulnerable to fall injuries. Bones
become more brittle as people age, mostly as a result of mineral loss
and the gradual wear and tear of the disks between the vertebrae of the
spine. A fall that could cause a younger person no more than a bruise
could result in a bone fracture or tendon tear in an older individual.
These injuries may increase fall-likelihood in the future, and they may
be severe enough to affect the quality of life for the elderly individual
from that point onward. In hip-fracture cases, 1 out of every 5 patients
dies within a year of the injury. Even something as simple as ensuring
any spilled liquids are quickly dispatched can help prevent many such
If you were injured during your stay at a hospital, or you were injured
visiting a patient in the hospital, you may be able to sue for hospital
negligence. The hospital is responsible for any of its employees whose
carelessness caused your accident, apart from certain doctors and employees
independent contractors. If, however, a doctor was not clearly represented as an independent contractor,
or the hospital kept a clearly incompetent doctor on staff, a hospital
negligence suit is still possible.
If you would like assistance determining who is responsible for your injury
and if you can seek compensation, call one of our DC medical malpractice
attorneys at 202.888.0872 or fill out our online form for a case review.