What is my recourse if I was injured due to a hospital’s negligence?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is my recourse if I was injured due to a hospital’s negligence?

I was admitted into the hospital; my total stay was 7 days. From the first day, I was on morphine every 4 hours then moved up to every 2 hours. Also, was being given Percocet every 4 hours as needed. At no time was I put under fall percautions or my bed alarm turned on knowing I have 1 year of syncope

episodes. I got up after receiving morphine and fell. Now I have a great deal of pain in my left knee. I advised the doctors and the nursing director of this issue but all the did was provide ice and made an incident report. I’ve been home 3 days now and the pain is still awful. No X-rays or scans where ever done.

Asked on August 7, 2018 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

What you describe may be malpractice--that is, medical carelessness, since they should seem to have had to take anti-falling precautions. However, you can only get compensation for the additional, out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid) health costs you get; lost wages or earning potential due to the injury, if any; and, for long-lasting (months at least, if not years) serious disability or life impairment, some amount of "pain and suffering." Pain for three days does not entitle you to any compensation as a practical matter, and malpractice suits are expensive (you have to hire an pay for a doctor to examine you and testify in court about the injury, and also write a report). If, as we hope, you recover in another few days or at most few weeks, there is no point in suing or taking legal action: you'd spend more than you get back. On the other hand, if you need surgery to correct this and have to spend out of pocket, or undergo months or more of disability, loss of function, etc. speak to a malpractice attorney about possibly suing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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