In some cases, nursing homes are liable when their residents suffer injuries in a fall accident. Whether nursing homes are liable for falls depends on a number of factors. Individual accidents may bring unique challenges, so every nursing home is not automatically at-fault in the event of a fall accident.
Alternatively, even though some nursing homes require you to fill out paperwork that exonerates them of any wrongdoing in the event of a fall, they may still be held liable if they are found guilty of displaying gross negligence leading up to the accident.
When someone requires residential assisted living, it is safe to assume they are in a weakened state, and they are more vulnerable to injury than the average person. As such, nursing home residents require special attention to keep them safe on a day-to-day basis. When nursing home employees neglect their duties or otherwise put their residents in harm’s way, they may be responsible for the outcome of the accident.
Falls Among Elderly People
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 3,000,000 older Americans are treated in emergency departments for injuries they received during a fall. They estimate that around one in four older people suffers a fall accident every year. These statistics are even more alarming when you consider that the chances of falling double when the older person has fallen in the past.
Sadly, many of these fall injuries are serious and life-altering. Each year, fall injuries cause around 800,000 older people to be hospitalized. Most of these fall injuries affect important areas of the body, like the hips or head.
Common Injuries in Elderly Fall Accidents
According to research from the CDC, approximately 20% of falls result in serious injuries. The most common of these injuries are hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In fact, falls are responsible for 95% of all hip fractures, which equals about 300,000 hip fractures every year. Further, falls are the leading cause of TBIs around the country.
Ultimately, elderly falls can cause numerous injuries to virtually any area of the human body. Other types of fall injuries include:
- Deep bruises
- Facial injuries
- Broken ribs, clavicles, noses, or arms
- Damage to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Injuries to the back or spinal cord
- Organ damage, which may lead to internal bleeding
Falls can result in serious medical conditions that last well into the victim’s future.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls
Many nursing home falls are caused by misplaced objects, slick floors, uneven surfaces, improper medications, and more. In some cases, falls are caused by a combination of physical and mental influences.
For example, if a patient is given heavy sedatives to help them deal with a medical condition, and they are not provided with a proper device to help them walk, they may suffer a fall accident. Alternatively, some patients may suffer a fall simply because a janitor failed to put up a “wet floor” sign.
Ultimately, many nursing home fall accidents are caused by general negligence, which may lead all the way up to the executives of the organization.
Other common causes of falls in nursing homes include, but are not limited to:
- Improper railings
- Unsecured cords
- Loose floorboards, nails, or carpeting
- Steep staircases
- Sudden drop-offs
- Potholes in the parking lot
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
- Weather conditions, including rain and snow
Nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent issues that can lead to their residents falling.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serving Victims in Las Vegas
Here at Bernstein & Poisson, we have worked with countless victims who suffered life-changing falls at nursing homes. When determining if nursing homes are liable for falls, our law firm can be there to help investigate your accident and fight for your right to compensation. To get started with your free consultation today, contact a Bernstein & Poisson representative at (702) 633-3333.