Fall on tile floor in hospital...

by L
(Arlington, Texas)

A year ago I was walking and slipped and fell on a hospital hard tile floor. It was near the utility room. There was trickle of water from down the hall, which made it slippery. It happened so quickly, I tried to break the fall by landing on my wrists as well as hitting my knees (more pain in the right one).

I sat there and grabbed my right knee and noticed I had water on my scrubs in the back, side and in front of me. I looked around to see how I was going to get up. I was scared to move.

I scooted to an entry of the c/s prep area, grabbed the arm of a chair and cried out for the unit secretary. A doctor came following, looked at my knee and said I should go to the ER. The secretary wheeled me there.

As of today, the doctor for my Cervical Infusion has released me to work. I'm still in pain and restless. I'm also still having pain in my right knee and lower back that never got treated, just mild therapy with my knee issue. Also, my right index and pinky finger aren't moving properly.

Should I try to work without the proper therapy sessions, due to my STD insurance ending and having to pay premiums up front? What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fall on tile floor in hospital...":

L. (Arlington, Texas):

While you can rely on your Short Term Disability (STD) insurance for now, you also have the basis for a workers' compensation claim. From the facts you present, we assume you were working at the time of your fall. If so, you need to file a workers' comp injury claim. Once you do, you'll have access to the doctors who can treat you for your additional injures.

While you refer to a cervical "infusion," we believe you may instead be referring to a cervical fusion. A cervical spinal fusion (arthrodesis) is a surgery where selected bones in the neck are fused together. There are different methods of performing a cervical spinal fusion. The most common is placing metal implants to hold vertebrae together until new bone is fused between them.

At this point you appear to have been treated for your most serious injury. Instead of speculating about the pain in your right knee and lower back, seek immediate treatment. There is no reason for you not to pursue the treatment you need for your right index, pinky finger, right knee and lower back.

Your injuries resulted from a slip and fall directly caused by water on the floor. Learn more about liability in slip and fall claims here. It is arguable the hospital was negligent in not having the water mopped up or having a cautionary sign cordoning it off.

While the doctor who performed the cervical fusion has released you to work, you have every right to seek additional medical evaluation and required treatment. If, during your treatment you must miss work, workers' compensation will reimburse you for about 2/3rds of your wages.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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