Ohio residents may be interested in the legal treatment of slip-and-fall accidents that occur within a hospital. Whether these accidents are an example of ordinary negligence or medical malpractice has caused significant debate. It is important to distinguish between the two types of accidents since it there are more obstacles when filing a medical malpractice case than in ordinary negligence cases. The classification of such cases can have a significant impact on the cost and difficulty of litigation.
Inconsistencies in courts in several states make it difficult to predict whether a given hospital fall case will be considered medical malpractice. In Texas, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must obtain an expert medical opinion to confirm that medical negligence occurred before the case can proceed. If no expert opinion is found, the court may refuse to hear the case. Two recent Texas decisions ruled that a ‘substantial nexus” between the fall and the provision of care must be established before medical malpractice can be established.
In one 2015 fall case, a court ruled that there must be a substantive relationship between the alleged breached safety standards in the hospital and the provision of health care to the plaintiff. If this relationship does not exist, the case is not considered a matter of medical malpractice.
If there is a link between medical negligence and a fall occurring inside a hospital, the victim may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The assistance of an attorney who has experience with these types of matters can be important to people who are in this situation.