When Could A Nursing Home Potentially Be Negligent If A Resident Falls And Injures Themselves?
Falls in nursing homes are unfortunately common, as many nursing home residents have medical conditions that make them more likely to fall. These accidents can cause severe injuries for the elderly, such as a broken hip or femur, so it's very important for nursing homes to do all they can to prevent their residents from falling. Not all nursing homes provide adequate protection for their residents, and the consequences of a fall can be devastating.
When a nursing home fails to protect its residents who are more at risk of falling, their negligence can make them legally liable for the injuries sustained as a result of the fall. If your loved one fell in a nursing home and was injured because of it, here is what you should know to determine if the nursing home was negligent in providing proper care.
Unsafe Conditions in the Facility
Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that the facility is safe for their residents, and they may be found negligent if hazardous conditions resulted in your loved one falling. Spills on the floor that weren't cleaned in time, inadequate hallway lighting, and rugs that slide easily on the floor are all examples of unsafe conditions that can result in nursing home residents falling. If the nursing home was aware of the falling hazard and took no steps to correct it, then they could be found at fault for your loved one's fall.
Failure to Recognize Fall Risk
When residents are first admitted to a nursing home, the nursing home needs to assess their risk of falling. Residents who are more likely to fall need closer monitoring from the nursing home staff. Their increased risk of falling should be noted in their medical chart, and all of the nursing staff should be aware of the risk. If a nursing home didn't correctly assess your loved one's fall risk or didn't inform staff of the risk, then they could be found negligent in preventing your loved one from falling and injuring themselves.
if the nursing home did recognize your loved one's increased fall risk, then they should have taken adequate steps to ensure that your loved one didn't fall and injure themselves. Nursing homes implement multiple measures to ensure that residents at risk of falls are kept safe, such as walking them to the bathroom, giving them extra supervision, helping them into their wheelchair, or putting up rails on their bed to prevent them from falling out. If the nursing home wasn't taking adequate steps to keep your loved one safe, then they could be found liable for allowing your loved one to fall and injure themselves.
Some medications make people more likely to fall, and the elderly are often more susceptible. These include medications that reduce blood pressure (antihypertensive medication) and sedatives such as benzodiazepines. Sometimes nursing homes make medication errors, such as giving residents the wrong medication, giving them a dose that's too high, or giving them their dose too early. If a nursing home medication error contributed to your loved one's fall, then the facility could be liable.
If your loved one fell in a nursing home and sustained an injury as a result, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Nursing homes have the responsibility to make sure that all of their residents are safe, and this includes providing increased supervision and implementing safety measures for the residents who are more likely to fall. If the nursing home was negligent in protecting your loved one, they may be able to receive compensation for their injuries, which can include having their medical bills paid along with financial compensation for the pain and suffering that resulted from the fall.
Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information.