Slip And Fall In A Hospital In Michigan: Who Is Liable?

Slip And Fall In A Hospital In Michigan: Who Is Liable?

If you’ve been injured in a slip, trip and fall at a hospital in Michigan, you will likely be entitled to pain and suffering compensation as well as recovery of economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages and more. Hospitals have a duty to protect you from dangerous conditions and hazards on their premises, and when they fail to do so and someone is hurt as a result, a hospital can be held liable for the resulting harm.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a slip trip and fall in a hospital in Michigan our lawyers can help. The attorneys at Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers will fight to get the best possible legal settlement for you and your family, both in Michigan and throughout the United States. Our lawyers work with some of the very best attorneys throughout the country, and if we cannot personally help you, we are happy to work with you to find a lawyer who can.  

How slip, trip and fall accidents in hospitals occur

Hospitals are in a unique situation when it comes to slip and fall accidents as many patients cannot maneuver on their own and require trained staff to help them get around. In addition, hospitals are crowded with visitors, employees, and other parties who are not there for treatment but are still at risk of a fall.

The most common causes of hospital slips, trips and falls include:

  • Slippery floors (due to being recently polished)
  • Liquid, beverage and food spills
  • Lack of properly trained staff
  • Lack of communication between hospital staff
  • Lack of wheelchairs
  • Broken elevators
  • Uneven pavement and walking surfaces
  • Loose carpeting
  • Lack of handrails
  • Electrical cords
  • Medical and other equipment in hallways
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor maintenance

Possible injuries from a slip and fall in hospital

Our Michigan lawyers found that slips, trips and falls in hospitals often produce significant injuries, and even fatalities, including:.

  • Death
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones (hip fractures are especially common in older adults)
  • Eye injuries
  • Nose injuries
  • Teeth and jaw injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Knee injuries including torn MCLs and ACLs
  • Depression
  • Mental trauma

What to do after an injury

There are several steps you should always take after suffering an injury in a hospital. To protect your health, and your right to compensation, make sure to:

  • Seek medical care – See a doctor as soon as possible to determine the extent of your injuries and start treatment. The doctor can refer you to a specialist for further examination and testing. This will also help you start a paper trail by documenting your injuries and establishing a connection to your fall in the hospital.
  • Fill out an incident report with the hospital administrator – The incident report is proof of the accident and will preclude the hospital or its insurance adjuster from claiming it never happened. This report should be filed with the hospital administrator or chief administrative officer. Be sure to get a copy of your incident report so that you have proof that you filed it.
  • Document the condition that caused your fall – Take photos and videos from different angles. This will be crucial to your case against the hospital.
  • Gather contact info of eyewitnesses – Witnesses can bolster your case by confirming the conditions that existed at the time of your injury.
  • Contact an experienced lawyer right away – This is critical to recovering damages for pain and suffering, medical costs and lost wages if you are unable to work. With an attorney’s assistance, you are more likely to prove that negligence from the property owner or hospital staff caused your accident. 

How soon should I report my accident?

You should always report your accident right away to both the hospital and to your doctor.

Fill out an incident report with the hospital administrator or chief administrative officer as possible after your slip and fall. These reports provide written documentation of your accident and injury. Be sure to include all key facts, including what caused your fall and how you felt after. And, if possible, take a photo of your completed report so the hospital cannot later claim you did not file one.

You should also let your doctor know immediately. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more likely it is that the hospital or insurance adjuster will claim your injury happened after your fall and was not the hospital’s fault. In addition, the opposing party may claim that your injury could not have been serious if you did not feel the need to seek immediate medical attention.

How do I prove my injuries?

Photos and videos remain the best way to prove your fall was caused by a dangerous condition at the hospital. If your injury is too severe to do this yourself, ask a friend, family member, or even an eyewitness to do it for you. Seeking medical attention and filling out an incident report as soon as possible after the fall is also critical for documenting what your injuries are and how closely in time to your accident that you reported them to your doctor.

Is documentation critical in a case?

Documentation is essential to building a successful case. It starts with photos or video of the scene of your fall, including the dangerous condition that caused your injury and the surrounding circumstances such as lighting. It also includes your incident report and all of your medical records. 

The medical records you will need to document your injury, your diagnosis, your treatment, the disabling nature of your injury, and your prognosis will include: 

  • Hospital records
  • Doctor-visit records
  • Treatment records
  • Admission forms
  • Ambulance run sheets
  • EMS records
  • Test results
  • X-Rays
  • Procedure summaries
  • Daily charts
  • Diagnosis records
  • Treatment plans
  • MRI results
  • Discharge Instructions
  • Medicines prescribed
  • Follow-up schedules

Can I sue a hospital for a slip and fall in Michigan?

In Michigan, you may be able to sue a hospital for a slip, trip and fall injury if you can prove that the hospital: owed you a duty to protect you from or warn you about dangerous conditions, breached its duty by failing to protect or warn you and their breach caused your accident and you suffered injuries.

In its 2000 decision in Stitt v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that a property owner such as a medical institution “has a duty of care, not only to warn the invitee of any known dangers, but the additional obligation to also make the premises safe, which requires the landowner to inspect the premises and, depending upon the circumstances, make any necessary repairs or warn of any discovered hazards.”

Additionally, the Stitt court also ruled that a property owner such as a medical institution “owes a licensee a duty only to warn the licensee of any hidden dangers the owner knows or has reason to know of, if the licensee does not know or have reason to know of the dangers involved.”

The Michigan slip and fall statute of limitations for suing a hospital is 3 years from the date of your injury. However, if the hospital is government-owned, or is owned or operated by a city, county, state, or university, there are critical notice requirements that must also be filed or your case can be barred.  Please make sure to consult with an experienced attorney immediately. More information on specific notice requirements in Michigan is below.  

Can I sue a government-owned hospital for a slip and fall in Michigan?

In Michigan, if your slip, trip and fall occurred at a hospital run by a state university, county, region or city, you may be able to sue if you can show that the dangerous or defective condition that caused your fall was known to the hospital and it failed to fix the condition or take action to protect the public. (MCL 691.1406)

As with a private, non-government-owned hospital, the statute of limitations to sue is 3 years from the date of your accident.

However, there are other deadlines that you may need to comply with or risk having your lawsuit thrown out of court. These deadlines include:

  • According to Michigan law, within 120 days of the date when you suffered a slip and fall injury due to “any dangerous or defective public building,” you must serve a notice on the government-owned hospital of your injury, the defect that caused it, and the names of witnesses whom you knew of at the time. (MCL 691.1406)
  • If you are suing the State of Michigan (or any of its departments, commissions, boards, institutions, arms, or agencies) for your slip and fall injury in a hospital, then you must file a notice of intent to file a claim against the state with the clerk of the court of claims within 6 months after your slip and fall accident. (MCL 600.6431(1) and (4))

Who is liable for a slip and fall in a hospital in Michigan?

In Michigan, the parties who may be liable for a slip and fall in a hospital are the parties who had possession of and control over the property which may include:

  • The owner of the hospital
  • The owner of the property on which the hospital is located
  • The hospital’s board of directors
  • A state hospital’s board of trustees or regents
  • A health system
  • A health care corporation
  • A medical group
  • A state agency
  • A county
  • A city
  • U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Hospital management company

Possible compensation awarded from hospital slip and fall cases

There is no limit to the amount of compensation you can sue for in a lawsuit. This allows victims to request full and fair compensation for their injuries without any caps on compensation, noneconomic damages, and economic damages.

Nonetheless, the amount of your settlement depends on a variety of factors, including (1) the extent of your injuries; (2) your medical needs (present and future); (3) whether and for how long your injuries will disable you from working; and (4) your attorney’s experience and track record.

How can a lawyer help?

We think of hospitals as places that people go to for help. But when hospitals cause harm, it can quickly become an uneven playing field. Hospitals are huge entities that have aggressive risk management departments and big law firms at the ready to protect them when a hospital causes harm. As a result, suing a hospital can feel like a daunting task. Many hospitals deliberately make the process of seeking compensation an intimidating process.   

Our experienced attorneys can level the playing field and get you the help you need guiding you and protecting you throughout the whole legal process. We will immediately investigate your case, gather critical evidence, determine liability, and help you receive a full settlement that compensates you for all your harms and losses. Our attorneys are not intimidated by the big medical instutions and their risk management departments and teams of lawyers.  

Call now for a no-cost, no obligation, free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. To speak with us about your injury, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.

Injured in a slip and fall at a hospital in Michigan? Call now!

If you were injured in a slip and fall at hospital in Michigan, call now (855) 905-0332 for a free consultation with one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.

The attorneys at Michigan Slip and Fall Lawyers are here to help you and your family fight to get the best possible legal settlement for you and your family. Call now for a no-cost, no obligation, free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers to discuss your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation and to money damages to help you and your family pay your medical bills and make up for the wages you’ve lost because your injuries have disabled you from working.