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Why is a hospital slip and fall case considered a "Never Event"?

When at a hospital, you assume that you will be well taken care of, and in good hands. Otherwise, why would you be at a hospital in the first place? Of all the places to visit or to be sent to, you would hope that a hospital is the safest of them all.

As such, it is almost unheard of to have accidents occur inside of a hospital or medical facility. Yet, they can occur, and sometimes result in disastrous injuries and complications for patients and visitors alike, such as a slip and fall. These incidents, known as “Never Events”, should statistically never happen, and yet they do. So why do they occur, and how do they impact you?

What exactly is a hospital slip and fall?

Even though a slip and fall incident anywhere can be a dangerous mishap to have occur, a slip and fall within a hospital or medical facility can be extremely dangerous. This is due to the fact that patients and visitors alike to hospitals are already in a vulnerable state to begin with. The most prominent type of person that would be prone to a slip and fall would be an in-patient resident who needs constant care due to long-term problems that are being treated. This may make them especially susceptible to spills and other hazards that may not be easily identified.

There is also a specific type of slip and fall case that is not seen in most regular workplaces. These are the slips and falls caused by a hospital's, or doctor's, error when either diagnosing the patient, or giving care to a patient. This can be especially dangerous, as the diagnosis was made already, but the treatment may not be fit. Things such as prescribed medications and absence of proper medical equipment present can lead to an increase in slip and fall possibilities.

Hospital Vs. Common Workplace Cases

There are some major differences when it comes to talking about slip and fall cases between workplaces and hospitals. These differences do play a role when going into the courts and making a case. As such, it is important to discuss them, and their distinctions.

With common workplace slip and fall cases, it is seen as a hazard that comes with the workplace. Depending on what is deemed as the cause of the slip and fall, it can be easy to determine the amount of repayment and aftercare payments that should be made to the employee or person in question for damages and injuries sustained.

This can vary drastically when it comes to medical facilities. This is due to the amount of safety and precautions that are generally taken to prevent such a simple accident from occurring.

Why is it known as a Never Event?

Slip and fall cases are known as “Never Events” by most medical facilities and hospitals due to the fact that they should almost never occur. With most events, it is seen as somewhat acceptable if they do occur. However, with slip and fall cases, they are seen as simple, and easy to prevent. Some signs up over spills, and some positive lighting, and it should be okay. Along with that prevention, most patients are taken care of by staff, and should be attended to regularly.

With how much safeguarding is given to the patients, it is almost inconceivable that an accident could occur. As such, it is known as a “Never Event”, or an event that should never happen due to the safety precautions laid out.

However, with a lapse in judgment for the patient's diagnosis, they can be left with improper care, resulting in the increased possibility of an accident occurring.

How does this Impact patients?

The impact of a slip and fall accident being labeled a “Never Event” does leave an impact when dealing with claims and possible lawsuits. This falls under technical legal jargon that can either make or break your case.

In most instances of a slip and fall, the hospital that the incident occurred in will attempt to state that they had given proper warning and adequate equipment to ensure the safety of the patient in question. In turn, the patient may state that the cause of the incident was due to the negligence of the doctor or staff on site at that time, or if it were due to a fault in the medical facility.

In all slip and fall cases, the claim and lawsuit bottom line is who is at fault, and who was the cause of the incident. If probable cause is stated that implicates and confirms that the error was on the side of the hospital, or its staff, then the event would not be labeled as a “Never Event”.

If you still have questions about a slip and fall incident, or if you feel like you have been wrongfully turned away with your claim, then it will help to contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help with your case. With an experienced attorney, they will be able to walk you through the definitions and functionalities of the “Never Events”, and how to set up your case to ensure you get the proper treatment necessary.

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