Falls are a common occurrence in Louisiana nursing homes. According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN), a typical nursing home will experience 100-200 falls every year. This is a staggering number considering the severe consequences that can come with a fall.
Fall injuries can be serious, regardless of age. With that said, seniors often suffer worse injuries than most people in these accidents. According to American Family Physician, falls are the leading cause of death and injury-related emergency room visits for individuals aged 65 and over.
If your loved one suffered a fall in a nursing home, the attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. To discuss your case during a free consultation with our team, call us at (800) 842-6336. A Louisiana falls lawyer can hold the negligent party (or parties) accountable.
Common Fall Injuries
Injuries in nursing home fall accidents will vary substantially from one case to another. There are an array of factors that determine both the type and the severity of these injuries. An important factor is the way a nursing home resident lands after a fall. For example, arm injuries are common when a resident attempts to break their fall with their hand. Injuries to the head and neck are by far the most devastating.
The health of a resident also plays a part in determining the severity of a fall injury. Many elderly residents are prone to broken bones due to the loss of bone density due to age. Some of the other injuries common in fall accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Broken arms
- Broken ribs
- Sprained wrists or knees
- Back injuries
- Spinal damage
If your loved one suffered injuries in a nursing home fall, they are entitled to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit. This lawsuit could target all of the at-fault parties, including the nursing home, its employees, and its administrators.
You do not have to take on the challenge of an injury lawsuit alone. The attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are prepared to discuss your loved one’s claim and lend our assistance. Reach out to a Louisiana falls lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Risk Factors in Nursing Home Falls
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the nursing home to take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of falls. That does not mean that every nursing home is up to the task. Whether it is due to general negligence, improper training, or understaffing, many nursing homes fail to take the necessary steps to address the risk of a fall.
Many fall risks lie with the physical and mental condition of the injured nursing home resident. For instance, certain medications cause muscle weakness, dizziness, or sleepiness. Other residents struggle with their vision or their balance naturally. It is crucial that a nursing home takes steps to protect nursing home residents that are prone to falling.
Other factors relate entirely to the condition of the nursing home. Falls can occur due to inadequate lighting or tripping hazards, like bunched carpet. In some cases, unclean conditions can lead to debris in hallways that can result in a fall. These hazards are entirely preventable and should be addressed by a nursing home or its staff.
How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Falls
Every nursing home should take active steps to screen for fall risks. It is not enough to passively address falls as they occur. By carefully evaluating a nursing home for potential safety hazards and addressing those hazards quickly, an administrator could dramatically reduce the risk of a fall. Some of these preventative measures include:
- Ensuring mobile residents have appropriate footwear
- Providing residents with hip pads to prevent hip fractures in a fall
- Offering exercise programs for elderly residents to increase their mobility
- Assessing each individual resident and make a fall prevention plan for them
- Ensuring staff routinely checks for hazards on floors, like spilled liquids or debris
- Installing helpful hardware like handrails, raised toilet seats, and lowered beds
- Properly staff the facility so that residents do not risk walking to meet their own needs
Every nursing home should guide their staff on assessing fall risk and aiding residents as necessary. The failure to properly train staff is one of the most common factors that could result in a legal claim following a slip and fall accident.
Compensation from a Claim
Fall injuries often result in extensive medical care, and the physical pain can stay with a resident for the rest of their life. Some of the damages that could be available include:
- Medical costs. In many cases, the medical bills following a fall injury can be staggering. These include the cost of emergency medical care, prescription medication, hospital visits, surgical expenses, and physical therapy.
- Pain and suffering. These injuries are typically painful, and that pain can linger for many elderly residents.
- Mental anguish. The stress of reliving the accident can weigh on the mind of an elderly resident.
It is vital that your loved one’s attorney carefully reviews the case and pursues the compensation they are entitled to recover. This effort starts with a review of the medical records but also includes a discussion with your loved one about how the injury impacted their life.
Speak with a Louisiana Falls Lawyer Immediately
In the event that your loved one suffers a fall in a nursing home, your first priority is to ensure their safety. Once you have addressed their medical needs, it is time to see to their legal needs as well. This starts with a conversation with a Louisiana falls lawyer.
The attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are ready to assist you throughout the claims process. If you have questions about your loved one’s legal rights, call (800) 842-6336 for your free consultation today.