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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption