Are Nursing Homes Liable for Falls?

A nursing home may be liable for a fall that injures a patient, if the fall is a result of negligence, neglect, or abuse.

Are nursing homes liable for falls? They may be. When we place our frail, elderly, and vulnerable loved ones in a nursing home, we expect them to receive competent care and be kept safe from harm.  When this does not happen and a loved one is injured or has died due to a fall, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to hold the nursing home liable through a lawsuit.

While some falls are unavoidable, with proper care, staff, and living conditions, most nursing home falls are preventable, and a fall may thus be a sign of nursing home negligence, abuse, or neglect. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that resulted from the fall.

While some falls are unavoidable, with proper care, staff, and living conditions, most nursing home falls are preventable, and a fall may thus be a sign of nursing home negligence, abuse, or neglect. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that resulted from the fall.

If your loved one has suffered a fall or has shown other signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, the Macon nursing home lawyers at the Mann Law firm can help you understand your rights and determine the best approach to take to secure a settlement and ensure that your loved one is properly cared for. We know the law, the courts and the system, and we will fight to make sure your loved one is safe, the nursing home is held accountable, and the negligent behavior stops so other vulnerable residents will not be harmed.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of the case and find the best way to move forward. Call us today for a free consultation if you even suspect an abusive or neglectful nursing home situation, at (478) 742-3381.

What Happens When a Resident Falls in a Nursing Home?

When a nursing home resident falls, the result can be severe injuries or death.

Nursing home residents are often weaker and more susceptible to falls, due to problems such as physical or mental disabilities, weak muscles, and impaired eyesight. Consequently, they need more assistance, monitoring, supervision, and care to prevent falls.

When this does not happen and a frail, elderly resident falls in a nursing home, the chances are good that serious injuries will result. Elderly people have increasingly brittle bones that fracture easily, and falls may cause broken bones, head injuries and concussions, and bruises and lacerations. In addition, it takes the elderly longer to recover after a fall, so falling may lead to worsening of other health issues. In some cases, death may result.

In cases where there was severe injury from a fall, our nursing home lawyers may be able to bring a lawsuit for personal injury based on negligence.  If negligence led to death, we may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, which is like a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of the deceased who is no longer able to do so. In Georgia, a wrongful death case may be brought by the family of the deceased person or a person that is representing the estate of the deceased person.

When is a Nursing Home Liable for a Fall?

A nursing home may be liable for a fall if there was negligence involved.

Nursing homes in Georgia have a duty of care to protect their residents from hazards and keep them safe by providing adequate care based on their individual needs. Failing to protect residents from falls breaches this duty, and if a resident is harmed by the fall and suffers damages, the nursing home, its owners, and its staff may be held legally responsible.

Common situations that involve negligence and can lead to resident falls include:

  • Nursing homes are understaffed. Nursing homes may hire less staff in an effort to increase profits, or they may not be able to attract and retain adequate staff. When a nursing home is understaffed, caregivers cannot provide adequate supervision or give residents the specific help they need, such as assistance with walking.
  • Unsafe conditions exist in the nursing home environment. There may be slippery floors, obstructions and equipment in hallways, lack of railings, poor lighting, belongings placed out of reach, and furniture that is too high or too low. Bathrooms may lack special seats, handles, and no-slip floors. According to the CDC, between 16% and 27% of nursing home falls occur due to environmental hazards
  • Medications are not properly monitored. Residents may be taking medications, such as sedatives and sleep medications, or combinations of medicines that increase instability and their risk of falling.
  • Residents are not monitored for high-risk diseases and situations. Diseases such as arthritis, dementia, and frailty syndrome put elderly people more at risk for falls, and residents who have previously fallen are at high risk to fall again. All these individuals require additional supervision.
  • Staff has not been properly vetted before hiring or properly trained and supervised after employment. Nursing homes are required to investigate their staff to ensure that they do not have abuse in their background, and they must train them to adequately care for residents and provide policies and supervision to ensure compliance.
  • Abuse or neglect by staff or dangerous or abusive situations caused by other residents was not noted and stopped.

What to Do if Someone Falls in a Nursing Home?

If a loved one falls in a nursing home, find out what happened, and get legal assistance if you suspect negligence.

If you suspect your loved one has suffered injury from a fall, start by asking them about what happened, if they are capable of a response. Have them checked medically for fractures and bruises. Report the problem to nursing home staff and management.

If you think negligence was involved, you can report the injury to Georgia Healthcare Facility Regulation, and contact a lawyer for help.

When you call the Mann Law Firm, we will investigate the situation and ensure that your loved one is removed to a safe environment if appropriate. We will build your case and fight for the compensation you and your loved one deserve by gathering evidence through interviewing patients, staff, and management and examining medical records, videos and photographs. Parties who may be held liable can include the owners and administrators of the facility, doctors, nurses, attendants, or other residents. They may all have insurance or assets that can go toward a settlement award.

In a successful nursing home lawsuit, we may be able to win compensation for the costs of damages such as the medical bills, emergency room visits, and extra care necessary because of the fall. In addition, we may win a damage award for non-economic damages such as the pain and suffering caused by your loved one’s fall.

Call Our Macon Nursing Home Injury Attorneys for Help

If your loved one has suffered serious injuries from a fall in a nursing home, the Macon burn injury attorneys of the Mann Law Firm can help. We aggressively seek full and fair compensation for our clients, negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement, and take a case to trial if necessary. We have been successfully litigating personal injury cases across Georgia for over 50 years.

While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any case, we can promise to listen, to advise, and to deliver unwavering legal advocacy on behalf of you and your loved one. Call us at (478) 742-3381 today.

Macon Personal Injury Lawyer