Hospital Accident Injury Compensation Claims
Hospital Accident Injury Compensation Claims
Although the most high profile claims against hospitals are attributable to medical negligence, it is also possible to make hospital accident injury compensation claims against a hospital if you sustain an injury in an avoidable accident – as it would be in any place of public access. This means that visitors to a hospital, as well as patients and hospital staff, may also have a legal claim against the hospital if they sustain an injury on hospital premises for which they were not at fault.
Claims for hospital accident injury compensation which are not related to medical negligence are processed through the Injuries Board Ireland; however, in many cases, it may be possible to resolve an injury claim for hospital accident compensation much quicker through direct negotiation with the assistance of a solicitor. The information below relates to several scenarios in which you may be eligible to make hospital accident injury compensation claims, but is no substitute for discussing your own personal situation with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
Accidents in Hospitals in Ireland
Accidents in hospitals in Ireland occur for a variety of reasons. Trips, slips and falls can occur due to any number of hazards which are present in a hospital and in a wide range of locations. What it is important to establish when making hospital accident injury compensation claims is that your accident occurred due to a breach in the hospital´s duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to visit a sick family member, receive treatment or work.
Like many other places of public access, a hospital does not have an “absolute” duty of care. This means that should you slip on an item of food which has just fallen from another person´s tray in the hospital canteen, an injury claim for hospital accident compensation would be unlikely to succeed as workers in the hospital canteen would not have had a “reasonable” period of time in which to identify the hazard and have it removed.
Compensation Slipping on Wet Floor in Hospital
Claims for compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a hospital are usually more straightforward, as any time a floor is wet due to a spill or because it has just been cleaned, a hazard marker should be placed in clear site of anybody walking through or near the wet floor to warn them of a slipping hazard. Due to regular cleaning in hospitals, these procedures are often followed and claims for compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a hospital are relatively rare.
However, if a member of the hospital cleaning staff neglects to warn visitors to the hospital of a hazard, their negligence would enable you to make claims for hospital accident injury compensation should you subsequently slip and sustain an injury due to a wet floor. Again, a hospital does not have an “absolute” duty of care in these circumstances and, if you are in doubt whether you are eligible to make claims for compensation for slipping on a wet floor in a hospital, you should discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced personal injury solicitor.
Compensation Claims for Falls in Hospitals
Slips on wet floors in hospitals are not the only reason why you may be entitled to make compensation claims for falls in hospitals. There are many times when hospital departments can become cluttered with medical equipment, supplies and other trip hazards. Floor surfaces, in some hospitals, may not be maintained to the highest standards due to constraints on finances and, should a visitor to a hospital trip and fall – and sustain an injury as a result – it may be possible to make compensation claims for falls in hospital.
Patients in a hospital and hospital staff are more likely to experience an injury due to a fall in a hospital simply because of the longer period of time that they spend on hospital premises. Patients in a hospital are regularly being manoeuvred between wards, theatres and consulting rooms while hospital staff who sustain an injury in a fall due to an avoidable trip hazard would be entitled to make an injury claim for hospital accident compensation against the hospital as their employer.
Claims for Slipping in Showers in Hospitals
Hospital accidents relating to slipping in showers may only account for less than 2 percent of all injuries reported in the State Claims Agency National Reporting Statistics, but they can result in serious and avoidable injuries when the accident has been caused by a lack of suitable flooring in the shower area, flooding of the shower area due to inadequate drainage or by faulty shower seats.
Those most vulnerable in claims for slipping in showers in hospitals are patients in geriatric care, but any patient who sustains an injury due to slipping and falling in a hospital shower when they should have been attended by a member of the medical staff, should be entitled to make an injury claim for hospital accident compensation.
Nurses Injured Working in Hospitals
Nurses working in hospitals are potentially at risk of injury from a far greater range of hazards. In addition to trip, slip and fall hazards, nurses can be injured working in hospitals by aggressive patients (or their families), from lifting patients without assistance or from general healthcare hazards such as needlestick injuries.
Hospitals have the same duty of care to provide their employees with a safe working environment as a shop, factory or business and nurses injured working in hospitals are entitled to the same rights at work as any other employee. Nurses – or any other employee of the hospital – who are injured due to their employer´s breach in their duty of care should also consult a solicitor about making hospital accident injury compensation claims.
Compensation for an Injury on Hospital Grounds
Accidents in hospitals in Ireland are not confined to inside the hospital buildings. Trips and slips on uneven car park surfaces or a fall due to a footpath that has been poorly maintained will also entitle you to make hospital accident injury claims if the hazard over which you tripped, slipped or fell could have been removed, repaired or identified clearly as a hazard in order that it could have been avoided.
Claims for compensation for an injury on hospital grounds have to be supported by evidence of negligence and fortunately many hospitals in Ireland now use CCTV cameras for security. Video footage from the scene of your accident will not only help prove that an accident an injury occurred on hospital grounds, but that the hazard which was responsible for the accident had been present for an unreasonable amount of time.
Statute of Limitations for a Hospital Accident
The Statute of Limitations for a hospital accident limits the amount of time you have in which to make claims for hospital accident injury compensation to two years from the date on which you know you have sustained an injury. In most cases this will be the same date on which you sustained an injury in an accident – such as slipping on food in the hospital canteen, falling over a trailing wire from an item of medical equipment or tripping on a pothole in a hospital car park – but there could be exceptions.
Some injuries sustained in accidents in hospitals in Ireland may not manifest immediately and, if several months were to pass before an injury is identified due to an accident in a hospital, it is not until you are diagnosed with an injury attributable to an accident at the hospital that the two-year limitation period begins. If you have any questions concerning whether you are still in the Statute of Limitations for a hospital accident for which you were not to blame, you are advised to obtain legal advice about hospital accident injury compensation claims from an experienced solicitor.
Legal Advice about Hospital Accident Injury Compensation Claims
Whether you have been injured in an accident in a hospital as a visitor, a patient or as one of the medical team, you should seek legal advice about hospital accident injury compensation claims from an experienced solicitor at the first practical opportunity. Quite often, the longer claims for hospital accident injury compensation are left, the harder it can be to obtain evidence of the hospital´s negligence and attain a satisfactory compensation settlement.
Our freephone legal advice service will enable you to speak directly with a solicitor, establish that you have an injury claim for hospital accident compensation which is worth your while to pursue and find out the procedures which should be completed in support of your claim. Just because claims for accidents in hospitals in Ireland do not receive the same news coverage as those concerning medical negligence, it does not mean that you are not entitled to recover compensation for your injuries against the hospital.