When an elderly person falls, they can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) states that falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in elderly Americans. Falls can have devastating consequences on elderly nursing home residents, resulting in hospitalizations, surgeries, and expensive medical bills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 2015 alone, the medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.
Failing to prevent a nursing home resident from a fall can be a sign of nursing home neglect. If your loved one suffered injuries in a fall, you may be able to hold the nursing home to account and could potentially recover compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to the fall. You can contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with a team member regarding whether you have a case.
Types of Injuries From Falls
While falls can be harmless and the elderly person may get away with a few bruises, scrapes, or a sprained ankle, up to 20 percent result in serious injuries. Serious injuries from falls can result in hospitalization and lengthy medical treatments. In severe cases, injuries from falls cause fatalities. Some of the more serious injuries that occur with falls can include, among others:
- Fractures of the hip and other bones
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Back or spinal cord injuries
While a younger adult can recover from some of these serious injuries, an elderly nursing home resident may have to live with the pain and consequences of such an injury for the rest of their lives.
Nursing Homes Can Prevent Falls
There are several steps a nursing home should take to prevent elderly residents from falling and injuring themselves in the facility. The nursing home environment should be free from hazards that could cause falls, and staff should screen all rooms and public spaces regularly to that effect.
The nursing home should also make sure that a resident has access to medical devices helping them to get around the property safely, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. If the nursing home resident has vision problems, staff can bring up the issue. Adequate prescriptions and up-to-date eyeglasses can easily resolve any vision problems. Daily muscle strengthening exercises can also go a long way to help seniors with mobility, which can prevent falls.
Nursing home staff should further ensure that medication is adequately adjusted to prevent residents from falling due to dizziness or the effects of inappropriate sedation, for example.
Generally, staff should monitor residents and assess them periodically regarding their ability to move around the facility safely. If needed, nursing home staff can provide equipment and personal assistance to reduce the risk of falls.
For a free legal consultation with an falls lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 842-6336
Proving Nursing Home Negligence
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 generally protects all residents of nursing homes from abuse and neglect. It also specifically states that facilities must assess each resident’s functional capacity and their ability to perform daily life functions. Nursing home staff should assess residents for mobility needs and potential fall risk and take the necessary precautions to reduce any risks.
The act further mentions that the nursing facility should “attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident” and create a written care plan for them. Not taking the appropriate actions to minimize fall risks can be considered a form of nursing home neglect.
The nursing home could also be liable for any slips and falls on their property under premises liability law. If a nursing home resident suffers an injury due to, for example, defects in flooring, spilled liquids, or inadequate lighting, the nursing home could be negligent. Unfortunately, nursing homes can be short-staffed or mismanaged, putting profits before residents’ safety and comfort.
When your loved one has suffered injuries due to a fall, you may be rightfully convinced that nursing home negligence caused or contributed to their fall. However, proving negligence and liability of a nursing home can be challenging. Initiating legal action against a nursing home can also be a daunting prospect, as they will most likely fight any claims vigorously.
You may benefit from having a New York City falls lawyer by your side as you consider legal action against a negligent nursing home. If your loved one suffered injuries in a fall due to nursing home neglect, they deserve justice and could receive compensation for their pain and suffering. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can stand with you and fight for your loved one’s rights and compensation. You can contact us today for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.
New York City Falls Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Falls account for many serious injuries as well as deaths. According to the journal American Family Physician, around 70% of accidental deaths in the over-75 age group are due to falls. If your loved one has suffered severe injuries or died because of a fall in a New York City nursing home, you could receive compensation by holding a nursing home to account for your loved one’s injuries. The types of compensatory damages you could receive include:
- Medical expenses and equipment
- Transportation and relocation costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Funeral costs
There may be other compensation available, depending on your case. In egregious cases of neglect, plaintiffs could receive punitive awards in addition to compensatory damages.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understands the laws regarding nursing home neglect and knows how to pursue these types of claims. We do not shy away from tough cases, and there is no need to worry about upfront fees. We get paid only if we secure a settlement for you. You can contact us today and speak with a New York City falls lawyer about how you may be able to hold a nursing home responsible for neglecting your loved one.