Can I Sue a Hospital for a Slip & Fall Accident?

James Law Office, LLC

Personal injury lawsuits deal with harm done to a person through another person’s action or inaction, which led to an avoidable injury. Hospitals exist to provide medical care, and thus, perhaps even more so than other places, hospitals have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for patients and visitors. Keep reading to learn about which hazards occur frequently in hospitals and which options you have if you were in a slip and fall accident at a hospital. A Darlington County medical malpractice lawyer will be able to help you sort through this situation and advocate for the best possible result.

How Can a Hospital Slip and Fall Accident Occur?

A variety of different hazardous conditions can present themselves in a hospital. From broken pavement to wet floors, patients and visitors at a hospital can end up with head injuries, broken bones, and back injuries, among other kinds of injuries. Someone who is hurt because of one of these may have a right to compensation.

Medical Malpractice and Premises Liability in South Carolina

When someone decides to begin a personal injury claim against a hospital, their lawyer has to weigh whether to bring that claim under medical malpractice or under premises liability. This is an important distinction with regard to statutes of limitation.

In South Carolina, you have three years to bring a slip and fall case or a medical malpractice case, but only two years to bring a medical malpractice case if the institution in question was funded even partially by the state.

Notably, not all accidental injuries qualify as malpractice. Some examples of medical malpractice include a surgeon operating on the wrong body part (despite having been briefed on the situation earlier) or a nurse giving the patient snacks to which they are allergic (despite the patient’s records clearly noting the allergy. An example of premises liability could be slipping and falling in a restaurant or at your friend’s home.

Which category your accident belongs to depends on whether your fall involved your medical care. If you fell because the doctor incorrectly identified you as a low fall risk, that may be medical malpractice. But if your fall had nothing to do with your medical care and perhaps a lot to do with the environment, you may have an ordinary negligence or premises liability case.

From here, a lawsuit for damages relating to your stay in a hospital follows a similar process to what would happen if you had gotten hurt in any other home or establishment. Your lawyer will need to demonstrate that the hospital knew or should have known about the hazard. If the court determines that your own negligence contributed to your injury, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage the court decides you were at fault.

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