How to Handle a Slip and Fall Injury in Indiana

 man slip and falls on staircase with papers on the floor in IndianaAn icy walkway. A loose stair. A spilled jar of tomato sauce in a grocery store aisle.

These items represent small snapshots from everyday life, but they can lead to life-altering injuries, missed work, and a shoebox of mounting hospital bills. And though people are more likely to be familiar with the steps to take following an Indianapolis car accident, fewer people know what to do in the wake of their slip-and-fall case

Whether it's the ice-covered sidewalk, the porch step that gives way, or the slippery substance on the floor, life for the victim of a slip and fall accident can change in an instant. In the immediate aftermath of a fall, the victim can be overwhelmed by pain. Seeking medical attention to address any injuries is always the first step. Call an ambulance or have a relative or friend transport you to the emergency room or schedule an appointment with your family doctor to begin healing from this personal injury incident.

Some people will recognize that their fall was due to someone else's negligence, yet they may not know the first step to take in order to right that wrong. In a car accident, the person at fault is usually standing in front of you and writing out their insurance information. A slip and fall are much tougher to navigate. However, our Indianapolis personal injury attorney is here to help.

How is Fault Placed After Such an Incident?

Startled and suffering from pain, the victim can rarely identify the source of that negligence. Most commonly, it's the property owner, caretaker or another person whose charge it is to maintain an environment of reasonable safety. If you've been involved in a slip and fall accident and you're unsure of what to do next, an experienced Indiana injury attorney can help you move forward by showing you your options.

Victims might be entitled to recover payments for medical bills and pain and suffering sustained during the fall. Dealing with the property owner's insurance provider can be a long and arduous process.

Slip & Fall Incidents on Indiana Hospital Grounds

As you can see, falls can occur anywhere, including inside hospitals and on hospital property. Both visitors and patients of hospitals may have claims against hospitals and hospital staff due to negligence that results in injury from a fall.  

For patients, the hospital must be able to provide sufficient care for their individual and specific needs. If the hospital is unable to provide this level of care, it must transfer the patient to a facility that can meet these requirements.

Fall risks are especially common and dangerous in a hospital setting. Vulnerable people, including the elderly, sick, and physically and/or mentally disabled are most likely to be patients in a hospital.  These individuals, especially when placed on certain medications by the hospital, are at greater risk to suffer a fall.  Elderly patients, including those with issues like Alzheimer's and/or dementia, are at an even greater risk to fall. When these individuals suffer falls, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the patient suffers a broken hip or head injury.        

Hospitals and their staff need to conduct a fall risk evaluation for their patients to determine what preventative steps need to be taken to mitigate against a fall and fall-related injuries. Depending on the level of fall risk, this can include: putting the patient close to a nursing station; checking on the patient frequently and consistently; having a bed alarm that alerts staff when the patient attempts to get up from his or her bed (and responding to the alarm immediately); responding to patient "call alarms" quickly; lowering the hospital bed closer to the floor; keeping the rails on the hospital bed up; having signs on the patient's door alerting hospital staff of a fall risk; placing wrist or armbands on the patient alerting staff that they are a fall risk; placing mats around the bed and the room in case of a fall, and evaluating the patient to see if they need constant supervision in the form of a patient sitter.

An unwitnessed fall involving a patient inside a hospital can be a sign of negligence, especially in the case of someone who is elderly and has mental health issues, such as Alzheimer's and/or dementia. If a patient is paying for care, they are placing their trust in the hospital and its staff with the expectation that they will be free from injury or death due to a preventable fall. This safety is contingent upon the hospital having sufficient staffing, being able to provide proper care for the individual needs of the patient, and taking the steps necessary to protect its most vulnerable patients.

When to Involve an Indianapolis Slip & Fall Attorney

Between determining fault, dealing with medical care, and wrangling with insurance companies, slip and fall victims need someone on their side. The law firm of Keller & Keller can provide help to Hoosiers hurt in slip and fall accidents.

Although they may start with the smallest, simplest pieces of everyday life, these cases are often complex, Below, you'll find further information on the finer points of these types of cases, how to prevent them from happening, and how to act in the wake of a serious fall accident on someone else's property. Just click the links to view each article.

Protect your rights by knowing the facts about slip and fall accidents.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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