Can I sue the hospital for neglect? - Accident Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can I sue the hospital for neglect?

My father was admitted to the hospital. While in their care, my father fell from the bed. He is now complaining of backpains which he did not feel prior to the fall. Can I sue the hospital for neglect? Isn't it their responsibility to watch over my aging father while in their care? What is the best course of action that I can take?

Answer By Jeffrey Lapin
Lapin Law Offices
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First, you cannot sue the hospital; if a suit could be brought it must be done by your father or on his behalf by a legal guardian. Second, from the information you provide, I cannot say whether your father has a case against the hospital. Whether the hospital should have done more to prevent your father from falling out of bed depends on whether he was considered a "fall" risk. Most hospital do an initial "fall" assessment when a patient is admitted into the hospital. This assessment may change depending on what your father was in the hospital for and whether he demonstrated behaviors that would put the hospital staff "on notice" that your father might fall. If your father was not considered a risk and was permitted to get up out of his bed on his own and he fell doing so, the hospital likely would not be at fault. However, if your father should not have been permitted to get up on his own and his bed guardrails were not up, then the hospital might be responsible. To determine whether there is a case I would suggest obtaining his medical records from the hospital and those from the doctor who admitted him. This could help determine whether your father was a "fall" risk as well as the events prior to and just after his fall. DISCLAIMER: This response should be considered general in nature and for information purposes only. It is based on the limited information provided, makes certain assumptions and assumes that all events took place in Nebraska. It is intended only for cases involving Nebraska and Nebraska law and is not applicable to any other state or jursdication. In addition, this response is not a substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation for additional legal advice or legal representation. If you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. You should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction to fully discuss your case. You should be aware that there are Statute of Limitations (the deadline imposed by law within which you may bring a lawsuit) as well as other requirements and/or limitations that limit the time you have to file any potential claims you may have. This response may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. The author of this response is not certified as a specialist in any particular field of law by an organization that has been approved by an appropriate state authority or that has been accredited by the American Bar Association.

Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 3/5/2012

Answer By Lacy Fields
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
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For it to be negligent, the hospital knew or should have known that your father could fall. So perhaps they did not take all the steps necessary to prevent the fall, or perhaps they failed to completely assess your father's fall risks. Either way, you should have a full consultation with an attorney and be prepared to give many more details. Likely the attorney won't know whether or not this is negligence/medical malpractice until she/he reviews the hospital records.

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/2/2012


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You have a basis for a lawsuit .More information needed.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/1/2012

Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
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The hospital is responsible to provide reasonable care to your father. More info is needed to determine if specific precautions were needed to protect your father from a fall. For example, did he have balance issues or other reasons to put the hospital on notice that he might fall? Whether the case is worth pursuing also depends on the extent of his injuries. Best of luck to you and your father.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/1/2012

Answer By Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman
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Yes. You can sue. You need a personal injury or medical malpractice attorney.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/1/2012

Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
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Stand by the bed, you mean. The hospital must not be neglectful but they don't guarantee to watch you 24 hrs. they cant. They don't have the personnel. Check the hospital report of the incident, check the hospital chart and see if there is neglect.

Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/1/2012

Answer By Lance Salladay

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You can sue the hospital, but you should first consult with an attorney. Depending on why your father was in the hospital the hospital may or may not be negligent and responsible for his fall. This type of suit would be very expensive and the damages that your father suffered must be serious enough to warrant the time and expense of any lawsuit. Consult with an attorney, the best course of action would be first to approach the hospital administration about a resolution of the claim.

Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 3/1/2012

Answer By Andrew Velonis
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
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It's a tough one. You'd have to prove that they knew or should have known this would happen. It would depend on his condition and what was known about his inclination to fall or try to get out of the bed. There are protocols involving having the bed rails up, and when its proper to strap someone in. Get all of the records and have them reviewed by an expert. I'd suggest a legal nurse consultant.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/1/2012

Answer By Robert Kelly
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
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Health care providers who fail to follow the accepted standard of care can be liable for the injuries they caused. You should call a lawyer.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/29/2012

Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
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Yes, you can sue the hospital if you can establish its negligence. I have a similar case pending at the moment. First step, have your father send the hospital a written request for all of his medical records and notes concerning his treatment at the hospital. Then, get your Dad into treatment and find out what is wrong. Then, call an attorney.

Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 2/29/2012

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