You should treat every incident that affects your loved one’s health with the utmost seriousness, especially in the event of an elderly loved one falling. While some falls may result from unavoidable accidents, they may also result from abuse or neglect by a caregiver tasked with protecting your loved one. Approaching your loved one’s fall with a critical eye may help you prevent any danger that your loved one faces in the nursing home where they live.
If you suspect that your loved one’s fall resulted from wrongdoing by somebody in the nursing home, then call protective services and law enforcement. After you ensure your loved one’s safety, you can call a Berwyn falls lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your options for seeking justice on behalf of your loved one.
Elderly Adults Are More Susceptible to Falling and Sustaining Injuries
The elderly population lives at an increased risk of falling and sustaining injuries, according to The Second Fifty Years: Promoting Health and Preventing Disability. By those researchers’ estimates, fractures frequently occur with falls, and some of these fractures—namely, a broken hip—can lead to early death in seniors.
Several factors make falls in the elderly population likely, according to Canada Family Physician, including:
- An increased likelihood that the elderly may take medications that affect their balance, alertness, and other factors important in preventing falls.
- Worsening balance due to age.
- Diminished strength, which may affect their ability to stand firmly on their legs and catch themselves when they begin to lose balance.
- Difficulty seeing, which may affect depth perception and lead them to trip over objects or take false steps, especially when ascending or descending stairs.
- General difficulty walking in a way that promotes balance.
When a fall does happen, the elderly may sustain injuries due to osteoporosis (diminished bone density), which occurs in older populations. These risk factors make it all the more important that caregivers in your loved one’s nursing home take special precautions to protect your loved one from falling.
Negligence or Abuse May Have Caused or Contributed to Your Loved One’s Fall
Even if a caregiver harbors no ill intent toward your loved one, they may have acted in a way that contributed to your loved one’s fall, and this may qualify as negligence in a civil court. The person in charge of your loved one’s safety may have acted negligently if they:
- Did not physically assist your loved one in walking the entire distance from their starting point to the intended destination.
- Failed to catch your loved one once they began to fall.
- Failed to see, and either clear or help your loved one avoid tripping or slipping over hazards, such as clutter or a wet spot on the floor.
- Unintentionally tripped your loved one or put their body weight on your loved one for any reason.
- Insisted that your loved one had the ability to move around without assistance.
Another possibility involves your loved one as the victim of overt abuse by a caregiver, staffer, or resident in the nursing home. Such abuse may have caused your loved one’s fall if the offender:
- Intentionally tripped your loved one.
- Shoved your loved one.
- Intentionally led your loved one to a surface that was slick or contained other tripping or slipping hazards.
- Did anything intentionally that contributed to your loved one’s fall and resulting injuries.
While innocent accidents within the duty of care also occur in nursing homes, you should consider that negligence or abuse may account for your loved one’s fall. If you suspect any wrongdoing, call a Berwyn falls lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your loved one’s fall at no cost.
Your Loved One’s Fall May Indicate a Dangerous Nursing Home
One of the most important reasons to investigate your loved one’s fall thoroughly revolves around evaluating the integrity of the nursing home. You do not want to continue placing your loved one in harm’s way, and Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you recover the costs for relocation of your loved one if you find evidence of continuing neglect and abuse.
A nursing home may qualify as a dangerous living environment if:
- Management conceals even one allegation of abuse or neglect, which the law requires them to report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Management knowingly or unknowingly hires staffers, especially caregivers, who have past records indicating neglect, violence, or other red flags.
- Caregivers and other staffers fail to take regular, required drug tests.
- Administrators do not monitor patients both in-person and video cameras.
- No objective system ensures that patients meet their daily living activity needs, such as eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, or taking required medication.
Management in your loved one’s nursing home bears responsibility for protecting your loved one, and if they failed in this duty, you may seek compensation from them through a lawsuit.
Possible Compensation from Your Loved One’s Negligence Claim
Your Berwyn falls lawyer may aim to prove the liability of any individuals responsible for contributing to or causing your loved one’s fall, as well as the management that failed to prevent the fall. Your loved one may receive compensation for:
- Costs associated with their fall.
- Pain and suffering stemming from the fall and any other mistreatment that they experienced.
- The cost of their stay at the nursing home where they fell.
This list only represents some possible compensation for your loved one, and they may qualify for additional awards if they receive a favorable judgment or settlement.
For a free legal consultation with a Falls Lawyer serving Berwyn, call (800) 794-0444
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