Hospital Slip & Fall Injuries Lawyer in Indiana
Representing Clients in Doctor’s Office Slip & Fall Injury Cases
Falling at a hospital, doctor's office or health clinic can be the most frustrating of all slip and falls or trip and falls in Indianapolis or the rest of the State of Indiana.
If your slip and fall or trip and fall case occurred while you are considered a patient and the medical provider is a "qualified healthcare provider" under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, then you will be required to file your claim first with the Indiana Department of Insurance. That department will then require you to form a panel group of three physicians who will review your claim and vote whether the slip and fall was caused by a negligent medical act -- rather than a negligent premises act or omission.
Not only does this add years to the resolution of your case (empaneling a panel of doctors takes lots of time and expense), but the standard of care is also much different and can be more difficult to prove that your doctor made an error while performing a "medical" act that led to your slip and fall -- rather than proving the property itself had a dangerous defect that led to your fall.
Even worse, you cannot bring your case in front of a jury without:
- a favorable panel opinion by the three doctors
- an expert witness that you hire to review your case that gives an opinion that negligence occurred
Consequently, it is very important to hire a law firm that has over 30 years of experience in reviewing slip and fall or trip and fall cases in Indiana hospitals and can determine whether the negligent act or omission that led to your hospital fall was medical malpractice or premises liability.
If there is no evidence that a healthcare professional was involved in the cleaning of a facility or the transportation of a patient to his or her home, then the Medical Malpractice Act does not apply. Often, an employee of a healthcare facility will have the duties to mop a floor or clean a patient's room. If the mopping or cleaning was performed negligently, causing the patient to fall and be seriously injured, then those types of cases are clearly outside the scope of the Medical Malpractice Act. Those cases can be filed directly in state court and bypass the Indiana Department of Insurance. Of course, the decision whether a case is a premises liability case or an action involving medical malpractice rests with the Judge, not a jury, to determine early in the litigation of the case.
Perhaps this question comes up most often in the context of a patient who falls out of a hospital bed or off a gurney while being transported due to improper restraints or oversight. Those cases depend greatly upon the facts and what particularly led to the fall.
Call Shaw Law at (260) 777-7777 for all your slip and fall questions.
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