Are Nursing Homes Liable for Falls?
Nursing home falls are all too common. While not all falls are preventable, they often result from negligent maintenance or supervision. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) approximately half of all nursing home residents will fall each year. When these falls result in serious injuries, a legal claim for monetary compensation could be the resident’s only avenue to recover their fall-related losses.
If you or a loved one was injured in a nursing home fall, contact a lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP to discuss your options. If we agree to accept your case, we will begin an immediate investigation to carefully gather and preserve evidence to determine who, if anyone, was legally responsible for the fall.
Determining Liability for Nursing Home Falls
Determining responsibility for a slip or trip and fall accident starts with identifying what caused the fall to occur. There are countless hazards within a nursing home setting that could lead to a fall, particularly in cases where the facility owners and operators maintain the premises in a poor condition or have poor staff supervision.
Some potential causes of falls could include:
- Poor or inadequate cleaning of spills or other slippery liquids
- Understaffing leading to poor supervision
- Failure to follow fall protocols for residents with fall precautions in place
- Inadequate shoes for residents
- Bunched carpet
- Lack of bed rails
- Loose trash or debris
- Dim lighting
Ultimately, the nursing home has a duty to act reasonably to ensure the safety of its residents. Any hazard that causes a resident to fall could result in liability for the nursing home.
It is not enough to establish that a hazard on the premises of a nursing home led to a fall. We must also show that the nursing home failed to adequately respond to the hazard involved in the fall in a reasonable period of time. Nursing homes can face liability for falls that occur on the premises, but only when they fail to take reasonable steps to avoid or prevent these accidents.
For example, if nursing home operators were aware of a loose handrail or missing light bulb that led to a fall, the nursing home may be held responsible for the injury caused. If they were not aware of the problem but it lasted for an extended period of time before an accident, they may still be responsible because with the exercise of reasonable care they should have known about it and fixed the problem.
On the other hand however, if a resident slipped on a spill that occurred seconds before, liability for the fall may not be established.
For a free legal consultation, call (646) 692-0204.
Potentially Liable Parties
There are other parties that could also be liable for a fall injury in a nursing home. It is one of the primary roles of an injury attorney when evaluating these claims to identify each of the parties that could be liable for a fall.
Other parties that could share fault in a fall accident could include:
- Nursing home employees. Many falls occur as a result of direct action on the part of a nursing home employee. This could include attempting to move an immobile resident without the help of another employee.
- Nursing home administrators. In some cases, the negligence of a nursing home administrator is directly responsible for these accidents. Some common examples include understaffing, negligent hiring, and inadequate training.
- Product manufacturers. Some falls only occur as the result of a defective product within the nursing home. This could include defects in non-slip flooring or bed guard rails, among other things.
- Maintenance contractors. If the fall was the result of improper cleaning services contracted to an outside cleaning company, that business may have legal responsibility for any fall which results from improper or inadequate cleaning.
Damages From a Fall
If the evidence shows that you or your loved one sustained injuries as the result of nursing home negligence, the nursing home or other party could be responsible to pay substantial damages for each and every type of damage you or your loved one sustained.
Fall injuries often lead to broken bones, brain and head injuries, spine damage, joint trauma, and other serious injuries. While every case is unique, some of the types of damages for which you may be entitled to receive compensation include:
- Pain and suffering. Fall injuries can be painful, particularly when bones are broken or other traumatic injuries occur. The physical and mental agony that comes with a fall injury could result in substantial monetary compensation. In some instances, permanent injuries entitle the victim to recover for future pain and suffering damages.
- Medical expenses. The cost of medical care following a fall is another potentially large cost that you should not have to bear alone. Often fall injuries also result in prolonged and long term problems that can complicate other pre-existing medical issues.
- Transfer costs. If the resident no longer feels safe in the facility, they could pursue damages related to the cost of transferring to a different facility.
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Work On a Nursing Home Fall Case With an Attorney
While nursing homes often are liable for falls, these accidents will only result in monetary compensation if you pursue a claim. If your loved one has suffered injuries in a fall, you have a right to seek legal counsel and you should do so without delay. The task of holding a negligent nursing home accountable only becomes more difficult as time passes.
In addition, there are deadlines for bringing a claim. Failure to bring a claim by the required deadline may prevent you from recovering the compensation you deserve. If you think you or your loved one was injured in a fall, call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP immediately. We will ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner.
The team at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP has been fighting for the rights of injured nursing home residents since 1988. We have recovered over $500 Million for our clients. To learn how we can help you, call us for a free consultation at (646) 692-0204 today.
If we agree to accept your case, you will not be asked to pay any money upfront. We only earn a fee when you recover compensation.
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