Similar to any litigation, suing a nursing home for injuries your elderly loved one sustained in a slip, trip, or fall involves proving that negligence occurred. Your incentive to pursue legal action is based on the nursing home’s legal obligation to follow the Standard of Care under the U.S. law. According to this Federal Regulation, a nursing home facility that accepts Medicare must ensure that:
- The resident’s environment remains free of any hazard that can cause an accident.
- Each resident receives assistive devices and adequate supervision to prevent accidents.
If a resident suffers an injury in a slip, trip, or fall due to the nursing home’s failure to comply with the standard of care, you might have legal grounds to sue the facility.
Actionable Steps by a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
To pursue litigation, you can take the help of a personal injury lawyer or nursing home abuse lawyer to investigate the accident, provide legal counsel, and represent you at the negotiating table or trial, if necessary. A lawyer might take the following steps.
Your lawyer might investigate the nursing home to check whether they follow the standard of care while running the facility. They might also gather evidence showing that the nursing home’s negligent actions harmed your loved one’s health and directly caused their injuries. To sue a nursing home for slips, trips, and falls and hold the nursing home liable, your lawyer must establish that:
- The nursing home owed a duty to the resident.
- The nursing home breached that duty.
- The breach of duty led to the resident’s injuries.
- The injury resulted in losses.
Proving Duty and Breach of Duty
In your civil lawsuit against the nursing home, your lawyer might include the resident’s medical records and even add the testimony of a medical expert. The testimony of the medical expert could explain what actions can be called proper medical procedures in a given situation… If the lack of care or skill is so obvious that the average person can recognize it, your case might not even need a medical expert’s testimony.
Opposing Defense Strategies
A nursing home may claim that preexisting medical conditions, declining health, advanced age, medical complications, or a mental condition made the resident’s injuries inevitable. Other defense strategies may focus on the resident’s:
- Limitations on mobility.
- Medications causing dizziness, drowsiness, or delayed reaction.
- Impaired vision.
Your lawyer may refute these claims and give proof of the caregiver’s negligent actions and breach of duty of care.
Since nursing home residents have protected rights, the liable parties may face criminal charges, depending on the state and severity of the injuries. Charges for abuse or mistreatment of the elderly and neglect may also apply.
How Slips, Trips, and Falls Occur in Nursing Homes
Typically, these accidents occur due to poor administration and the failure of caregivers to follow safety measures, which creates hazardous living environments.
Accidents following poor operations may include:
- Negligent hiring or understaffing.
- Lack of efficient facility protocols, such as call buttons.
- Providing insufficient training or hiring unqualified employees.
- Failure to provide residents with assistive devices.
- Failure to create or regularly assess and modify the resident’s care plan.
Accidents that might happen due to this include:
- Failure to maintain clean and sanitary conditions.
- Slippery floors and accessories and inadequate lighting.
- Ill-placed items.
- Poorly secured furniture, electrical cables, and medical equipment.
- Lack of sturdy handrails along ramps, stairs, and walkways.
Common Injuries Associated with Slips and Falls
Wound healing and aging are important because when an older person suffers a slip and fall accident the consequences can be devastating, since their age increases their risk of suffering life-threatening injuries. A few of these injuries include:
- Fractured hip, wrists, or arms.
- Head trauma and brain injuries.
- Sprains and soft tissue tears.
- Severe bruising.
- Internal bleeding.
- Back and neck injuries.
Caregivers have the additional responsibility to prevent slip and fall accidents since residents’ injuries heal slower than younger people, if they heal at all.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 842-6336
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm May Help You
Caregivers have a protocol to help them prevent slips, trips, and falls but may fail to take precautionary measures, according to the National Safety Council. When you seek our legal services, we can defend your loved one’s rights, assess your case, and ensure that you recover a financial award for your loved one’s injuries.
We work on a contingency basis so that you never have to pay anything out of pocket. We only collect payment if we secure financial compensation in your favor. For a free consultation, call us now at (800) 842-6336.