There has been a debate in courts in some states on whether an individual who is injured in a fall in a hospital might be able to pursue a lawsuit to recover damages as a slip and fall injury or as medical malpractice. The importance of this is related to both the procedural issues connected to medical malpractice in Arizona and other jurisdictions and the impact this has on the case and the cost of litigating it.
In Texas and Pennsylvania, among other states, a medical malpractice lawsuit must supply the opinion of a medical expert attesting that medical negligence occurred before the lawsuit may proceed. If this is not possible, the court may dismiss the case, halting the process. In some slip and fall cases that occur in a medical facility, medical malpractice lawsuits meant to prove hospital negligence may be subject to more stringent requirements. Two rulings handed down by the Supreme Court of Texas established that there should be a substantial connection between the health care provided to an individual and the fall itself before it might be considered medical malpractice.
In many states, the statutes of limitation for a slip and fall or other personal injury case and those for medical malpractice cases are different. Because procedural steps must be taken in some areas to prove medical negligence, a lawsuit based on malpractice might not always be possible.
A patient who has been injured after a fall in a hospital may want to discuss the situation with an attorney. In some cases, it may be possible to demonstrate a nexus between the patient's treatment and the injury to proceed under a theory of medical malpractice.