Injury Claim for a Patient Falling Out Of Bed

Is it possible to make an injury claim for a patient falling out of bed if no guard rails were used? My mother fell out of her bed and fractured her wrist.

It is possible to make an injury claim for a patient falling out of bed due to a failure to install guard rails when their use was appropriate or if a nurse or hospital porter had forgotten to raise and lock the guard rails in place.

The use of guard rails in hospitals and nursing homes can prevent patients from falling out of bed and sustaining an injury, although there have been a number of cases of guard rails causing an injury to patients in recent years. Because of this, before a guard rail is installed a risk assessment must be conducted by the care staff to determine whether the use of guard rails is appropriate and whether they can be used safely.

If a risk assessment was conducted and it was decided that guard rails were not appropriate only for your mother to fall out of bed and sustain an injury, it is possible that this would constitute medical negligence for failing to conduct an adequate risk assessment. A claim for falling out of bed in a nursing home or hospital could potentially be made on these grounds, and a failure to conduct a risk assessment would also constitute negligence.

The standard of care provided by nurses in Ireland is usually exemplary; however simple mistakes can be made which lead to patients having accidents and sustaining highly serious injuries. If a nurse forgot to raise the bed rails after lowering them when attending to your mother, a claim for falling out of bed could also be made on these grounds as this would also be classed as negligence.

If the accident occurred in a hospital an official complaint must be made to the HSE or to manager of the nursing facility if your mother was being treated privately. After reporting the accident it is important that legal advice is sought about claiming compensation for falling out of bed in a hospital or nursing home. While it may seem the accident involved a clear case of staff negligence, the right to claim compensation should still be assessed. An investigation of the accident must be conducted and proof of negligence collected to support an injury claim for a patient falling out of bed before it can be filed, and it will be quicker and easier if a solicitor is instructed to do this for your mother.

Although it may appear that a nurse was to blame for the accident occurring, this may not necessarily be the case. If the guard rails had a faulty locking mechanism, it may be the manufacturer that will be liable to pay your mother injury compensation for falling out of bed. When the accident is investigated, a solicitor will establish the third party – or third parties – at fault and against whom the claim must be made.

A solicitor will also ensure that a suitable level of compensation for falling out of bed is claimed. The amount of injury compensation for falling out of bed must be assessed based on the severity of the fracture, the pain and suffering it caused and whether a full recovery can be made. An independent doctor also will be consulted to ensure that all aspects of your mother´s injury are factored into the claim, once the solicitor has confirmed that an injury claim for a patient falling out of bed is possible.