Compensation Claim for a Patient Slipping on a Hospital Floor

I would like to know if it is possible to make a compensation claim for a patient slipping on a hospital floor. My mother slipped and fell and broke her hip, and I think the nurses should have taken better care of her.

It is understandable that you are upset and angry about your mother’s slip and fall on a hospital floor while under the care of medical professionals, and while the accident should not have been allowed to occur, whether it is possible to make a compensation claim for a patient slipping on a hospital floor will depend on the circumstances of the accident.

It is possible for a compensation claim for a patient slipping on a hospital floor to be made against the HSE if your mother sustained an injury due to medical negligence – such as the failure to provide appropriate nursing care – or against the hospital’s public liability insurance policy if your mother slipped on a wet floor.

In both cases, a claim for a patient falling in hospital would only be possible if it can be established and proven that your mother’s injury was preventable, a duty of care was owed – and this was breached – and if the injury can be attributed to the negligence of a member of staff at the hospital.

In the case of a slip and fall on a wet hospital floor, provided statements could be taken from witnesses or other evidence collected to establish that the floor was wet and no warning sign was present, a claim for a patient falling in hospital should stand a good probability of being successful. A personal injury solicitor should be consulted to confirm that a claim is possible under the circumstances and, if so, to assist with the collection of evidence and preparation of the hospital slip injury claim.

A claim for slipping and falling in hospital due to inadequate nursing care is likely to be more complicated. While a lapse in the standard of care provided could be classed as a failure in a duty of care and negligence, it is necessary to establish where the duty of care was breached and the identity of the negligent third party against whom the claim will be made.

A slip and fall on a hospital floor could have occurred because the hospital was short staffed, for a failure of the staff to conduct an accurate assessment of your mother’s condition – and therefore allow your mother to walk around the ward on her own – or due to incompetence or inattentiveness of a single nurse. Since compensation for a slip on a hospital floor cannot be claimed until the negligent third party has been identified and negligence proven, an investigation would need to be conducted before compensation could be claimed.

An investigation can be arranged by writing a ‘letter of complaint’ to the HSE, and a personal injury solicitor should also be consulted to assess your mother’s hospital slip injury claim. A solicitor will write to all parties potentially involved, and the feedback obtained will be assessed along with the response from the HSE to establish whether there was negligence and a failure in a duty of care, and to determine if compensation for a slip on a hospital floor can be recovered under the circumstances.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.