The risk of falling is common among elderly people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about half to three-fourths of resident falls occur in the nursing home. With such frequency and potential for injury, nursing homes are usually equipped to assist fallen patients and work diligently at minimizing fall risk for residents. This could be installing grab bars and cushioning, the use of walkers, or ensuring patients are at safe bed and chair heights. If a fall occurs, that does not mean that the nursing facility is immediately to blame. However, there are instances where a fall leads to negligence or abuse charges depending on how the nursing home handled the fall.
Placing responsibility on the nursing home will depend on whether the nursing home acted accordingly to help the resident recover from the incident. For a nursing home to be considered liable for a resident’s fall, the nursing home can:
- Fail to enact an appropriate care plan based on the resident’s health condition
- Use improper care techniques
- Fail to follow facility protocol involving care alarms or resident access to call buttons
- Fail to fix environmental hazards within a unit or in public areas, including wet floors and inadequate lighting
Further, if a resident’s condition worsens because of improper follow-up care, negligence, or abuse on the part of nursing home staff, the nursing home could be accused of elder abuse and negligence. However, before placing blame, make sure to take your evidence to an experienced injury lawyer so they can assess whether you have a convincing case or not. A knowledgeable attorney can answer any questions regarding your claim and further clarify the requirements necessary to proceed with a lawsuit.
It is important to watch out for signs that an elderly patient recently fell at the nursing home. Usually physical signs manifest after a fall such as abrasions or bruises. However, medical assistance is required if the resident broke bone, sprained themselves, or sustained other types of severe injuries. Review the resident’s chart if you can and ask the nursing staff for detailed information regarding the fall. Look out for any additional signs of abuse such as neglect of injuries or withholding medical assistance. Report any abuse you witness and collect evidence to prepare a potential elder abuse case.
If you’ve had a loved one who recently fell and injured themselves while under the care of nursing home staff, contact an attorney before proceeding with the personal injury case. The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis can help you ensure your loved one receives the treatment and respect that he or she deserves. Contact us for a free consultation.
Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”