Falls are increasingly common among elderly individuals who are often frail, on several medications, and have balance problems. In nursing home settings, up to 25 percent of falls result in broken bones and hospital admission. Statistics show that approximately half of all U.S. nursing home residents fall every year. Given the severity of the repercussions–these accidents raise the question of legal liability.
If your loved one was injured, contact us at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. Our New York slip and fall lawyers will provide the clarity you need and ensure that negligent parties are held accountable. The initial consultation is free, so there is no risk in speaking with qualified New York nursing home slip and fall accident attorneys about your rights to compensation.
Preventing falls in nursing homes
Many New York nursing home facilities have protocols designed to minimize slip and fall risks which are:
- Uneven or wet floors
- Unstable bed wheels
- Poor lighting
- Environmental hazards
- Poorly secured medical equipment or furniture
- Cluttered walking and living areas
- Incorrect bed height
- Improperly maintained wheelchairs or mobility aids
- Lack of handrails
Fall prevention in nursing homesis multi-faceted and has a significant impact on the overall safety of residents. Strict guidelines and regular assessments are the only way to identify high-risk patients. Guidelines also ensure that the staff is trained to mitigate hazards and supervise residents. A failure to adhere to basic fall prevention guidelines, as outlined below, can result in litigation when injury or death results.
- Educate and train all employees and staff on how to report safety concerns
- Remove slip and fall hazards from the environment
- Assess patients after changes in prescription medication that can increase dizziness or cause mobility impairments
- Evaluate medical conditions associated with an increased fall risk, including dementia, vertigo, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, vascular disease, and thyroid dysfunction.
- Proper maintenance of medical equipment and assistive devices
- The use of cushions and fall pads beneath beds
- The use of bed or chair alarms for residents who have impaired mobility and a history of falls
Unfortunately, many nursing home facilities are understaffed and unable to provide a safe environment for their residents. In this context, slip and fall injuries suffered by the elderly may be a direct result of negligence.
Effects of falls on nursing home residents
Slip and fall injuries can be life-threatening to elderly residents, who may already have weakened bones from osteoporosis. Reports indicate that bone fractures are the most serious injury resulting from falls in older individuals. According to American Family Physician, one-quarter of elderly persons who suffer hip fractures die within six months.
Long recoveries from bone fractures, concussions, and other injuries have a domino effect. During the recovery process, immobility places patients at increased risk for depression and bed sores, also known as pressure sores, which can become infected.
Can you sue a nursing home for a fall?
Whether your loved one was hurt after a slip and fall on a wet floor or was injured during a transfer process in the nursing home, our attorneys will investigate to determine liability. You may be able to sue a nursing home for a fall if negligence can be proven.
This can boil down to one of many factors, such as:
- Negligent hiring
- Lack of adequate supervision
- Failure to keep premises free of slip and fall dangers
- Lack of fall prevention protocols
- Lack of functioning assistive devices
- Failure to assess a resident’s fall risk and care plan
Contact our team of personal injury lawyers for a free consultation
Long-term care facilities are responsible for preventing slip and fall accidents wherever possible. While they cannot always be prevented, nursing homes must take extra precautions and have protocols to minimize this risk. If your loved one fell in a nursing home, monetary damages may be available to compensate for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and other losses. Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green is here to support your family’s pursuit of justice.
Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no attorney fees unless we recover financial compensation in your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.