Patients in a hospital or medical treatment setting can be at risk for injury while in that setting. Patient falls, for instance, are not uncommon. However, when do those falls give rise to a personal injury claim? The answer is not a simple one. There are two types of personal injury claims that typically may arise from injuries acquired in a medical facility or hospital setting: medical malpractice and ordinary negligence.
This blog post will focus on identifying the parameters surrounding inpatient falls that constitute medical malpractice.
When a patient falls or is otherwise injured during inpatient treatment or testing, the first thing that should be determined in assessing liability is what were the circumstances surrounding the event that caused the injury. And as with other malpractice claims, there are conditions that must first be met before inpatient falls can be categorized as such: the patient must be receiving treatment in the context of a doctor-patient relationship when the fall took place; and the medical care or treatment must have fallen short of the medical standard of care under the circumstances of the setting and treatment.
With that established, several instances create conditions that make a hospital setting ripe for falls that result from medical malpractice mistakes. Here are a couple that demonstrate this fact:
Polypharmacy: When a patient is given multiple medications simultaneously and their combination produces side effects that cause the patient to become unsteady or unbalanced, in turn causing the patient to fall.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose: When a physician fails to recognize the symptoms in a patient that indicate stroke or another condition that debilitates the patient and leads to patient confusion or immobility.
Proving medical malpractice as the cause of an inpatient fall can be particularly complex. It often requires expert medical testimony attesting to the medical standard of care in the given set of circumstances surrounding the fall. What’s more, it’s not enough that the patient falls as a result of medical negligence, the fall must have been the cause of the patient injury in question.
It is important to discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney when you believe your injuries have resulted from medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered a fall in an inpatient setting, it is all the more important to obtain counsel from an experienced personal injury who understands the intricacies of filing a medical malpractice claim.
The skilled attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago offer a wealth of experience fighting for the rights of our clients in these kinds of cases. We win the highest award amounts and will work assiduously for you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at 773.881.9000. We can help.