Would my father be entitled to claim for a hospital patient slipping in the shower due to inadequate nursing care and, if so, would his injuries be due to medical negligence?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
The viability of your father´s potential claim for a hospital patient slipping in the shower due to inadequate nursing care is going to depend on the reasons why his accident happened and why you believe that the presence of a more attentive nurse – or indeed a nurse at all – would have prevented his injuries from being sustained.
It could be the case that your father´s accident was not avoidable and no amount of nursing care would have prevented it from happening. Furthermore, if your father´s condition was such that it was considered he could use the showers without assistance, a claim for a hospital patient slipping in a shower could be contested on the grounds that he was not owed a ‘duty of care’ by the nursing staff; although it might be possible to go back to the decision to allow your father unattended showering to determine whether that was the correct decision ‘at the time and in the circumstances’.
In order to establish whether your father is entitled to injury compensation for slipping in a hospital shower, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor to explain the exact circumstances of your father´s accident; whether or not he was attended by nursing staff at the time and, if not, how long previously had the decision been made to allow your father unattended showering.
If it appears that your father´s accident was foreseeable and could have been prevented, the solicitor will write to the hospital, making an official complaint and requesting the hospital´s information relating to the accident. Once this is received, your solicitor will have the information reviewed by a medical expert, who will be able to advise your solicitor whether you have a claim for a hospital patient slipping in the shower due to medical negligence.
If a claim for an accident in a hospital shower due to medical negligence is not possible, your solicitor will look at alternatives – such as faulty installation and maintenance of the shower – which may qualify your father to make a claim for injury compensation for slipping in a hospital shower against the hospital´s public liability insurance (rather than against their medical insurance). However, it will not be known whether this approach is an option until such time as you discuss the circumstances of your father´s accident and injury with a solicitor.
As establishing negligence to support a claim for an accident in a hospital shower is much simpler the more recent the accident, you are advised to discuss the exact circumstances of your father´s slip in the hospital shower with an experienced solicitor at the first practical moment.