Compensation for a Patient Slipping in Hospital Shower

Can compensation for a patient slipping in hospital showers be claimed for the failure to provide adequate nursing care? My father slipped and fell in the showers in hospital but he should have been allocated a nurse to assist him

If your father slipped and fell in the showers in hospital it may be possible for him to make a personal injury claim, as compensation for a patient slipping in hospital showers can be claimed due to a failure of the hospital to allocate a nurse to assist with showering, if this was appropriate under the circumstances.

Whether it is possible for a claim for a slip and fall in a hospital shower to be made will depend on a number of factors so, without further information on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident, it is not possible to establish whether your father has grounds to claim compensation.

Before the right to claim compensation for a fall in a shower in a hospital can be confirmed, it must first be established that your father sustained an injury when he fell. If your father was only ‘shaken up’ after the accident, it will not be possible to make a claim against the hospital.

Secondly, it must be proven that your father was owed a duty of care, and the failure to provide a nurse to assist him with showering constituted a breach in that duty of care. If your father was capable of showering himself without assistance, and this was accurately assessed by a doctor or nurse based on the medical information at the time, even though he slipped and fell in the showers in hospital it may not have involved a failure in a duty of care.

Thirdly, the accident must have resulted from negligence of the hospital staff. Negligence would include a failure to conduct a risk assessment before allowing your father to use the shower unassisted, or due to a serious error of judgement in conducting that risk assessment thus placing your father at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury. If there was a failure in a duty of care and negligence, and if your father’s accident was foreseeable and preventable under the circumstances, it should give your father grounds to claim compensation for a patient slipping in hospital showers.

There are two further areas of concern which must be addressed before the right to claim compensation for a patient slipping in hospital showers can be determined. The first is the role – if any – your father played in the cause of the accident. If your father was primarily responsible for the fall in a hospital shower, it will not be possible for him to claim personal injury compensation. A claim will also not be possible if the presence of a nurse would not have prevented the slip and fall in a hospital shower.

To establish and prove whether there was a failure in a duty of care, it will be necessary to for an investigation of the accident to be conducted, and for that you will need the services of a personal injury solicitor. A solicitor will write to all parties potentially involved, to determine whether actions could have been taken – and should have been under the circumstances – to prevent your father’s slip and fall. However the first task for a solicitor will be to assess the injuries sustained by your father to assess if he has a case that will be worthwhile pursuing. If your father only sustained minor injuries when he fell in the hospital showers, the amount of compensation for a fall in a shower in a hospital that can be recovered may not justify a legal claim being made.



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.