Nursing Home Falls: Do I Have a Case?
Unfortunately, fall-related injuries are a major health threat for nursing home residents. Senior citizens and elderly residents who are under the supposed trusted care of nursing home personnel tend to fall more frequently than those living on their own or with loved ones in the community – why is this?
Nursing homes are supposed to be ‘safe’ places where our loved ones can go for excellent care and assistance when living on their own becomes too difficult. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die from fall-related injuries every year. Those who survive such serious falls are left with debilitating injuries from which they oftentimes never fully recover. Falls in nursing homes and other senior living facilities are common because residents are – obviously – older and have a tougher time walking on their own. However, these types of falls are also preventable if employees take the proper steps to supervise and protect residents who are under their care. If your parents or loved one has taken a spill in a nursing home and you question whether it could have been prevented, you may have a case.
The law requires nursing home residents to receive adequate care, supervision, and assistive devices that will help keep them safe and prevent them from slipping or falling. When you find a nursing home that seems like a good fit and your loved one enters the home, you are trusting that administrators and staff members are doing the best job possible to ensure their residents are safe and properly cared for. If certain policies are not followed or if someone is negligent with their care, this may increase the risk of falling.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall accidents happen in nursing homes for a variety of reasons, including the following
- Wet floors
- Poor lighting
- Lack of necessary bedrails
- Bedrails used improperly
- Improperly maintained wheelchairs
- Tripping hazards
- Insufficient staff to answer call buttons
- Lack of working call buttons
- Failing to properly train staff in lifting and handling techniques
- Failing to supervise residents
- Malnutrition or dehydration
Do I Have a Case?
If a family member or loved one has suffered serious injuries in a nursing home fall, we recommend contacting AMA Law to discuss your potential lawsuit right away. There are limitations to filing lawsuits, but if the nursing home administrator or personnel are found guilty of negligence or abuse after we conduct an investigation, you may be able to take them to court and seek compensation for your loved one’s injuries. When evaluating a potential case involving a fall and injury, we look for the following:
- How many falls occurred, and how soon after admission to the home?
- Was the fall witnessed by a staff member, or other resident or family member?
- What documentation of the fall exists on the medical chart?
- Did the staff complete a fall risk assessment and care plan upon the resident being admitted to the facility?
- Was the care plan followed?
- Is there a record of how much assistance the resident required in order to get out of bed and walk?
- Was the resident on any medications that may cause drowsiness or confusion?
- What injuries did the resident suffer as a result of the accident?
If we find that the injuries sustained as a result of the fall are serious, and the resident has a history of prior falls at the nursing home, you may be able to file a lawsuit and obtain compensation for your loved one’s injuries. To find out more, please contact AMA Law today.