According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-fifth of all elderly falls result in severe injuries. Over 1,800 residents of nursing homes die as the result of falls every year. Residents who have already suffered a fall are at a greater risk of falling a second time, compounding their existing injuries.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to make sure that their elderly residents receive the attention, care, and supervision they need in order to prevent falls from occurring. Unfortunately, in some cases, nursing homes attempt to cover up instances of falling in their facilities to protect the nursing home’s safety rating.
If your elderly loved one fell and suffered injuries as a result of a fall in a nursing home, consider calling Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to learn how a Detroit falls lawyer can work with you to help you understand your and your loved one’s legal rights.
Why Nursing Home Residents Suffer Fall Injuries
Nursing home residents experience falls due to an overall decline in health and strength, which often was a reason that they needed to move into a nursing home facility in the first place. Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable physically in our society and should receive proper care, supervision, and attention.
Some of the causes of nursing home falls by residents include problems with walking, overall muscle weakness, medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness, improper care of feet, and improperly fitting shoes. In some instances, nursing home residents fall, and it is not due to any nursing home negligence, but simply because they are frail and weak.
Falls and Nursing Home Negligence
Not every fall that happens in a nursing home will result from the nursing home staff’s negligence. In some cases, a fall occurs and is not a determination of negligence or abuse. However, nursing homes have a responsibility to mitigate all risks in their facility that may increase falls and ensure that residents receive proper care and supervision to avoid falls as much as possible. There are certain circumstances in which a nursing home will bear responsibility for the fall of a resident. Examples of falls where the nursing home may remain negligent could include the following circumstances:
- The nursing home fails to ensure that hallways are free and clear from debris and hazards.
- The nursing home fails to clean and properly maintain both public areas and the private areas of residents.
- The nursing home fails to clean or warn residents of slippery floors.
- The nursing home fails to keep its facility sanitary and clean.
- The nursing home maintains improper bed heights for residents causing them to fall when they attempt to exit their beds.
- The nursing home fails to properly maintain their wheelchairs.
- The nursing home fails to properly install and maintain handrails and ramps for residents.
- The nursing home does not properly supervise residents that need assistance with going to the restroom, walking throughout the facility, exiting or entering their bed, or getting up from a chair or wheelchair.
- The nursing home fails to provide specialized attention for residents that have medical conditions, such as a broken bone or dizziness, making them more susceptible to falls.
- The nursing home remains understaffed, and the staff is overworked so that they are unable to assist residents with moving around or supervise them to prevent falls from occurring.
- Failure to train and properly educate nursing home staff members regarding how to supervise residents, assist residents walking through the facility, and help residents get in and out of beds and wheelchairs.
In certain cases, a nursing home staff member may use the threat of not helping a resident go to the restroom or get out of bed as a way to obtain compliance. These heinous acts of manipulation, shame, and threats may rise to the level of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered any of these types of negligence or abuse, learn how a Detroit falls lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can work with you to establish a case of nursing home negligence or abuse. Reach out to us today.
For a free legal consultation with a Falls Lawyer serving Detroit, call (800) 794-0444
Consequences of Falls in Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents typically have frail bodies, with brittle bones, thinner skin, and weaker muscles. As a result, a fall can result in serious medical complications or even death. Some of the types of consequences of falls in nursing homes include the following:
- Broken and/or fractured bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
In some cases, a fall in a nursing home goes unreported or unnoticed for a significant period of time. Consequently, if a nursing home resident falls and receives no medical attention, they may have worsening of injuries resulting in additional medical complications, which can require hospitalizations or surgeries.
Additionally, when an elderly resident falls in a nursing home, they often become more and more fearful of falling again. As a result, they stop moving around the nursing home as often as they previously did, which can result in feelings of isolation, reduced physical activity, reduced quality of life, anxiety, depression, helplessness, and loss of function. The consequences of a fall in a nursing home can even result in post-traumatic stress disorder, as reported in research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Detroit Falls Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consider Hiring a Detroit Falls Lawyer
If your elderly loved one has injuries from a fall in a nursing home, you can seek awards for nursing home negligence or abuse, depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s fall. Learn more about how a Detroit falls lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you file your case. In Michigan, you have three years to file both a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit under Michigan Compiled Laws §600.5805. Dial (800) 842-6336 today.