According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, “unintentional falls were the leading cause of injury-related mortality among Arizona residents 65 years and older.” Based on this fact, it is clear that a major risk for residents in a nursing home includes anything that could trigger a fall—medications, mobility, and living environments should all be managed to prevent falls from happening.
If your loved one was injured or died from their fall-related injuries, a Tucson falls lawyer may be able to help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with a member of our team today. The call is free and there is no obligation.
Falling In a Nursing Home Is Dangerous
With one out of three people 65 and older falling each year, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), falling seems inevitable for older people. However, that is not always the case. In many cases, falls are preventable, and unnecessary when they do happen. The NCOA reports that 20 to 30 percent of fall victims “suffer moderate to severe injuries” that threaten or dismantle their independence completely. Not only do injuries from falls potentially limit the amount of independence an individual has, but it could also put them at risk for future health risks, including early death.
Falls are more likely to happen in nursing homes, too, according to the NCOA. One report says, “People age 75 and older who fall are four to five times more likely than those ages 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.”
Consequences of Falls For People Over 65
The consequences of falls are many: Financial, physical, and emotional impacts happen from falls. The NCOA reports that “…on average, the hospitalization cost for a fall injury tops $35,000 dollars.” Of course, the cost of treatment depends on the severity of the injuries. Do not forget that despite the initially high cost of treatment for a fall, it may not be the last of your financial burden from the fall. Here are some common injuries falls cause:
- Broken bones: If the impact of the fall is greater than your loved one’s strength or bone density, they could break or fracture a bone. For older people, recovering from a broken bone is going to take longer than in younger people. Then even after the bone is healed, there is the possibility of recurring fractures in the same area.
- Head and Brain Injuries: The NCOA reports that “40 percent of all traumatic brain injuries” occurred after falls, with 80 percent of those patients being 65 or older.
- Fear and Emotional Damage: The fear of falling again in the future can cause a shift towards codependency, immobilization, and depression for older adults. Falling is a traumatic event with potentially fatal effects, so an older person who falls once will not want to experience a fall again. The price of one’s emotional independence is not easily put into numbers, but will include therapeutic costs, and in some cases, prescription medications.
For nursing home residents, a fall can be a matter of life or death. Even when injuries can be healed and recovered, there is always the aspect of emotional health that could pose a problem in the future. It is better to be cautious when considering your legal options after a fall, and to consider all future impacts in your claim.
Liability After a Fall in a Nursing Home
Filing a lawsuit against liable parties can be complex. In Arizona, nursing home abuse laws follow suit with the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which guarantees basic rights to good quality care for nursing home residents.
Legal Options for Nursing Home Fall Victims
After a nursing home fall happens, you might feel completely alone in taking your next steps. Know that the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to support you, every step of the way.
When you work with a Tucson falls lawyer, you may be advised on one of the following claim types, depending on your circumstances:
- Personal Injury: The cost of falling in Arizona can be exponentially high, with long-term physical and emotional effects. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is up to two years from the date of the incident.
- Breach of Contract: Federal law requires most nursing home residents to write a contract with their medical, physical, and emotional needs in mind. When a nursing home resident falls due to the negligence of a staff member, that staff member failed to follow the terms of your nursing home contract for good quality care. The statute of limitations is up to four years from the date of the fall.
- Wrongful Death: If your loved one died unnecessarily due to the abuse or neglect of nursing home staff, dependents like spouses or children can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is up to two years from the date of the fall.
This is not an exhaustive list of the legal options you have when your loved one falls while living in a nursing home. The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can advise you on what legal actions you can take, keeping your rights and your best interests in mind.
For a free legal consultation with an falls lawyer serving Tucson, call (800) 794-0444
Work With a Tucson Falls Lawyer
When you work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our first priority is defending the rights of your loved one. We do not shy away from the tough cases.
Our team of lawyers works on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid until you receive a fair settlement to cover all of your costs. We know how important it is to hold all liable parties accountable for the cost of their actions. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your options for working with a Tucson falls lawyer today. The call is always free for nursing home abuse victims and their families.