Lawsuits Resulting From Nursing Home Falls Are Different From General Fall Suits
One of the common concerns that lead family members to admit a loved one into a nursing home is the occurrence of falls. Sometimes, frequent falls lead family members to conclude that there is a safety risk that they simply cannot address themselves and closer supervision in a nursing home setting is needed to prevent injury from falls. Other times, the decision to go to a nursing home has come too late – injury from fall has already occurred, and the fall victim is in need of rehabilitation and supervision to prevent further injury from falls. Another scenario is a fall where the senior is unable to get up on their own or to call assistance. These situations motivate concerned, well-meaning family members to admit their loved one to a nursing home. Cases resulting from injuries suffered from nursing home falls are very different from those involving falls that occur elsewhere, such as in a grocery store. The special differences between the two kinds of cases require that a specialized approach be taken in representing nursing home residents who are injured in a nursing home fall.
Unlike falls involving normal, healthy adults, nursing home falls are, to a large extent, foreseeable, and special plans must be made for their prevention.
Nursing home residents are often susceptible to falling for the following reasons:
- Declining physical condition
- Confusion and poor decision-making
- The need for assisting devices, such as canes or walkers
Nursing homes are required to make ongoing assessments of the fall risk for each resident and to develop plans to prevent a nursing home fall from occurring. They are also required by federal regulations to keep the facility free of the hazards that can cause accidents. The following is a list of some of the issues at the heart of nursing home fall lawsuits:
- The adequacy of the fall risk assessment
- The adequacy of the treatment plan
- The implementation of that plan
Many nursing home residents suffer from osteoporosis, commonly referred to as brittle bone disease. This makes them especially vulnerable to injury if they fall. Broken hips and other fractures are often the result of a nursing home fall, and if the person is also suffering from malnutrition or has some other health condition, which impedes healing, recovery, can be slow and may never be complete. Many studies have shown that fractures often have an adverse effect on the life expectancy of the nursing home resident. These factors should be carefully considered in assessing the liability of the nursing home when a resident suffers an injury in a nursing home fall. Be sure to read our 5 tips to help prevent nursing home falls. If you or a loved one has fallen in a nursing home, contact our experienced Illinois nursing home fall lawyers. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
If you feel that your loved one is or has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, file an Illinois nursing home complaint here.