When Hospital Injury Can Be a Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim

- Charles Ruhmann

Injuries can happen in hospitals and other places that regularly provide medical and health care to patients. Hospitals, their care professionals, and staff, owe patients a duty of care and may be held liable for injuries while under such care. This duty of care, however, is different from the duty of the hospital to prevent injuries to persons that are in hospital premises.

If a person is injured in a slip and fall accident during a hospital or physician visit, is the injured party entitled to compensation and if so, under what type of claim?

Recent Case Decision on Slip-and-Fall Accident

The Court of Appeals in Texas had the occasion to decide a case involving a plaintiff who suffered injuries when she slipped and fell on a hospital floor due to spilt water. The plaintiff pursued compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the hospital, alleging that:

  • The plaintiff was an invitee on the defendant’s premises
  • She slipped and fell due to a liquid substance on the floor
  • The area where she fell did not have any signs or safety precautions around to warn patrons of the hospital of the unsafe condition
  • The defendant knew or should have reasonably known of the dangerous condition on its premises
  • The plaintiff sustained injuries from her fall, which was attributed to the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent it.
  • The plaintiff did not submit an expert report, prompting the defendant to move for its dismissal.

TMLA or Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim?

Under the Texas Medical Liability Act (TMLA), a health care liability claim must be timely filed together with an expert report; otherwise, the court may dismiss the claim. But the appellate court rejected the defendant’s arguments and ruled that the plaintiff’s claim was not substantially related to the hospital’s health care services and therefore not considered a ‘health care liability claim’ for which an expert report was necessary.

If you suffered injuries after you slipped and fell in another person’s property, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Your lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your situation and determine whether you have a right to claim compensation for your injuries and under what law should the claim be made.

In El Paso, Texas, the Ruhmann Law Firm has been helping injured clients in slip and fall accidents recover the fair amount of compensation that they deserve. We welcome your call today at (915) 845-4529 to arrange a free consultation. We also handle other types of personal injury cases such as bicycle accidents, brain injury, dog bites, and motorcycle accidents.