Nursing Home Fall Injury Lawyer
When you leave your loved one in the care of nursing home staff, you expect that they will be well looked after. And while many nursing homes do offer high-quality care, it’s also not uncommon for there to be instances of abuse and neglect in these facilities. Unfortunately, when nursing home patients are not given the adequate care they need, they can suffer serious, life-threatening injuries.
Slip and fall accidents, for example, are already common among older adults. Those in nursing homes can be at an even higher risk of falling and hurting themselves when they are not well-cared for. Fortunately, when a fall injury happens due to negligence, the nursing home can be held liable, which can provide you and your loved one with financial compensation for the damages suffered, such as medical costs for the treatment of the injuries sustained.
At Crossen Law Firm, a fall injury lawyer will advocate for those suffering in nursing homes. We understand how devastating and traumatic these situations can be and are here to help you and your loved one hold the right parties accountable and get the compensation you deserve for your suffering.
If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer at (317) 401-8626.
Dangers of Patient Falls in Nursing Homes
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among senior adults. And even when a fall does not result in death, it still often leads to serious injuries, like hip and head injuries. Around 3 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms every year for fall injuries — and according to research, almost half of all falls that occur happen to nursing home residents.
While fall data collected by the CDC shows that fall injuries are an issue across the country, there are some states where falls are reported more often, and Indiana is one of them. Indiana is among the top 15 states where percentages are the highest for older adult fall injuries, coming in at 30.8%, which is about 311,000 a year.
While these falls can occur anywhere, the CDC indicates that most falls involving elderly adults are likely to occur in nursing homes. This is especially true when nursing homes are understaffed and poorly managed.
Common Nursing Home Injuries Due to Falls
The type of injury a nursing home resident can sustain after a fall can vary depending on how exactly the fall happened as well as their physical condition before the fall occurred. For example, if a nursing home resident who is in relatively good health falls a short distance on a carpeted surface, they are not likely to sustain as severe an injury as someone who is in poor health and/or who fell on a hard surface or even down some stairs.
That said, certain injuries are reported more often than others in nursing home residents who fall, which include:
In the worst-case scenario, a nursing home patient who falls could sustain such severe injuries that it leads to death. As already mentioned above, falls are one of the leading causes of death in those over the age of 65.
What is the Cause of Patient Falls in Nursing Homes?
While nursing home falls can happen truly by accident or simply because older adults are more prone to falling due to poor health and limited mobility, these incidents can also happen due to negligent nursing homes or staff. Some of these reasons can include:
- Poor nursing home management and supervision
- Nursing homes being understaffed
- Lack of fall risk assessment training for nursing home staff
- Neglectful or abusive nursing home staff
- Inadequate care plans for residents
- Lack of communication between staff
- Safety hazards that cause residents to trip and fall
- Lack of handrails and bed rails
- Poor lighting
- Wet floors
- Not providing residents with assistive devices, such as walkers and wheelchairs
If you suspect your loved one has fallen and injured themselves for one of the reasons above or for any other reason that indicates negligence, you should report the incident and get in contact with a nursing home fall injury lawyer as soon as possible. A fall injury lawyer can help investigate what happened and help you gather evidence so you can file a claim and win your case.
When are Nursing Homes at Fault for a Fall Injury?
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide adequate care for residents and do everything within their power to ensure a resident’s safety and well-being. Though some falls are truly accidental and may have not been preventable, many falls are preventable and are matters of nursing home’s failing in their legal duty.
When a nursing home or nursing home staff fails to ensure a safe environment and/or fails to provide adequate care and supervision, they can be held liable for their negligence. Specific examples can include:
- Failing to ensure floors are not slippery
- Failing to ensure areas and spaces are clutter-free
- Failing to provide proper assistive devices
- Failing to adequately monitor patients
- Failing to help patients who need assistance getting in and out of bed or going to the bathroom
- Failing to provide staff with proper fall risk assessment training
- Failing to hire licensed staff or hiring staff who are not suited or qualified for the job
- Failing to identify patient needs and create a proper care plan
- Failing to identify risk factors that could increase the chances of a fall occurring
- Failing to provide grab bars and handrails where needed
- Failing to keep spaces well-lit and easy to move around
- Failing to provide residents with the nutrition they need to stay strong and healthy
- Failing to provide patients with medication or giving patients the wrong medication
These are a few of the many ways that a nursing home can fail in its duty to provide adequate care. Although the entire purpose of a nursing home is to provide care for the elderly, it is not uncommon for them to fail to live up to their obligations and duties, especially those that are poorly managed.
How to Prevent Patient Falls in Nursing Homes
As falls are such a common occurrence among the elderly, especially in nursing homes, part of a nursing home’s duties should include fall prevention strategies. These include:
- Adequately assessing and addressing potential risks that could lead to falls, such as patients with poor vision, poor balance, or those who are taking medications that could make them dizzy and unstable.
- Helping improve mobility by encouraging residents to move around and get exercise daily.
- Providing residents with the assistive devices they need to move around.
- Ensuring all staff are adequately supervised.
- Ensuring all areas are free of hazards that could contribute to falls, such as broken or uneven flooring, slippery floors, cluttered rooms and walkways, loose rugs, and other obstructions.
- Implementing a fall management plan which can include educational workshops and training for staff, regular hazard inspections, installing bed alarms, and targeted interventions for residents who are at higher risk of falling.
Families and loved ones of those living in a nursing home can also do their part to help prevent tragic falls and fall injuries from occurring, which can include:
- Visiting regularly and checking in on your loved one.
- Getting to know the nursing home staff and checking that they are providing adequate care.
- Being aware of your loved one’s risk factors and making sure the nursing home is aware of their needs.
- Reporting any instances of negligence that you notice upon visiting the nursing home.
- Keeping the lines of communication open with the nursing home to ensure your loved one is getting the care and assistive devices they need.
Why You Need an Indianapolis Nursing Home Fall Injury Lawyer
Even if you are aware that nursing home negligence has caused your loved one to fall and injure themself, you still need to be able to prove this to win your case. Because falls happen quite often in these settings simply due to infirm residents, the nursing home may try to use that as an excuse to get out of holding any responsibility for what happened. Thus, it is often necessary to work with a lawyer who can help you investigate the incident, gather evidence, and prove that the fall was, in fact, due to negligence.
As a whole, nursing home abuse and fall injury lawyers can advocate for your rights and the rights of your loved one, help you build a strong case, handle communication with the parties involved, and ensure you are awarded the full and fair settlement you deserve for your and your loved one’s suffering.
Explore Your Legal Options With an Indianapolis Nursing Home Fall Injury Lawyer
Discussing your case with an experienced Indiana nursing home abuse lawyer can help you during this trying time. At Crossen Law Firm, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf and the behalf of your loved one to help you get what you are owed. You will not owe us anything unless we win your case.
Make the right call. Call Crossen Law Firm at (317) 401-8626 or contact our firm online.