Compensation for a Head Injury in Hospital

Is it possible to claim compensation for a head injury in hospital caused by a slip and a fall on a wet floor in an Accident and Emergency Department?

A slip and a fall could give you grounds for making a claim for compensation for a head injury in hospital, provided that it can be established and proven that the hospital was responsible for causing your injury.

Under the Occupiers Liability Act (1957), there is a common duty of care owed to visitors to a hospital that places a legal responsibility on the healthcare trust which operates the facility to ensure that it is kept safe. Visitors must be able to use the facilities and services safely, without being placed at an unacceptable risk of sustaining an injury.

The hospital should have had a system in place to ensure that the floor was regularly monitored for hazards, and cleaning staff should have been available to mop up any liquids promptly. If the floor was wet, the staff should have ensured that the wet floor was cordoned off or a warning sign should have been used to advise visitors that the floor was wet, slippery and dangerous. A failure to do so could be classed as negligence on the part of the hospital staff, and this would make a claim for a head injury in hospital possible.

The hospital must however be given a reasonable amount of time in order to identify the presence of a hazard and take action to correct it. If the floor had only just become wet, it is probable that the hospital will not be liable for your slip and fall.

Presumably you were visiting the Accident and Emergency department of the hospital to have an injury diagnosed and treated. If this was the case, this has potential to make your hospital head injury claim complicated. If you slipped and fell as you were entering A&E before you visited the reception desk, it may be difficult to establish and prove that you injury was caused by the slip and fall in the hospital, and you did not already have the injury before arriving at hospital.

In order to claim compensation for a head injury in hospital, negligence must be proven and it must be established that an injury was sustained by your accident. It is likely that you will need to provide evidence to support your claim to help determine that your injuries were caused by your fall in the hospital, and not elsewhere where a duty of care was not owed to you.

If there were any witnesses to your accident, and you were able to record their contact details, statements can be taken from them to support your claim. A witness who can testify that you hit your head badly in the fall will help you to establish that you did not already have a head injury when you arrived in A&E.

Due to the potential for your claim for a head injury in hospital to be complicated, we strongly advise you to seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor. Using an experienced solicitor can make an important difference to the probability of making a successful claim and of recovering your full entitlement to compensation for you injury.