Injuries From Falls
Falls in a nursing home environment are extremely common making up 36 percent of nursing home ER visits. While many of these falls typically go unreported, injuries from falls are preventable.
On average, a nursing home has approximately 100 beds. These facilities have as many as 200 reports of falls per year. A fall can be seriously damaging for an elderly person. They can cause broken bones, head trauma, disability, and even death. Even the fear of falling can cause severe anxiety for a senior.
Injuries from falls are often caused by the nursing home’s carelessness. If your loved one suffered serious injuries from a nursing home’s negligence, discuss your situation with a Chicago nursing home lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. Schedule a free consultation at (312) 236-2900.
Causes of Nursing Home Falls
Inadequate staffing – combined with health conditions and other factors – make it easier for seniors to fall when standing up or walking. Some common causes of falls in nursing homes are:
- Mobility issues
- Medication use
- Inadequate or damaged walking aids
- Muscle weakness
- Environmental hazards
- Improper foot care
Creating a Care Plan
While not every fall can be prevented, nursing home staff have a duty to protect residents from harm. Falls caused by negligence may result in liability issues for facilities. While negligence is a broad concept, one of the main elements it encompasses – particularly in a nursing home environment – is the failure to abide by a resident’s care plan.
Each resident has different medical conditions and varied needs. Therefore, when a resident first enters a nursing home, he or she should be thoroughly evaluated by staff. The evaluation should include a safety plan as well as a fall assessment that takes all the person’s medical issues into consideration.
In addition, this evaluation should include issues regarding mobility, visions, and mental capacities. If the resident uses mobility aids and medications, this needs to be noted. Anything else that is required in order to properly care for the resident should be included in the care plan.
Liability issues often arise when nursing home staff fails to comply with each resident’s care plan. Many facilities fail to establish a care plan in the first place, which can result in numerous care issues down the line. Besides failing to provide proper care and reassess the plan as needed, there are other ways in which the nursing home may be held liable.
Understaffing and poor training are huge factors in nursing home falls. Many facilities do not have fall prevention programs in place and many employees are not trained on how to prevent falls. If they are, most do not follow the procedures the facilities have in place.
Hazards contribute to as many as 25 percent of nursing home falls. Hazards such as debris, poor lighting, and slippery floors can also contribute to falls that would place the facility at risk of a lawsuit. Mobility devices and other equipment at the facility should be in good working order since faulty equipment can cause mobility issues and subsequent falls.
A nursing home fall may fall under two types of claims: malpractice or slip and fall. This is something that your Chicago nursing home lawyer can help you determine. The classification depends on the circumstances of the fall.
Getting Legal Help
While children typically fall down and get right back up, the elderly often don’t have that resilience. Increasing age leads to weak bones and mobility issues, making it difficult for a senior to get back up after a sudden fall.
A fall is a serious matter for a nursing home resident. The average nursing home resident falls 2-3 times a year. Serious injuries occur in 20 percent of these falls. Every year, 1,500 people die due to injuries sustained in a nursing home fall.
If your loved one was seriously injured or killed in a nursing home fall, your first step is to ask the facility to see the patient’s medical chart. A fall would be indicated on the chart. The next step is to seek legal help to determine how you should proceed.
The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can assess the situation and determine liability. If the nursing home is at fault, we can hold them liable for their pain and suffering they caused.
Your loved one should not suffer unnecessarily. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to learn about your rights to compensation. Give us a call at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.