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Nursing Home Liability for Falls in Nursing Homes

nursing home liability

Under nursing home liability laws a nursing home may be held responsible for an injury or death that occurred on their watch. Depending on the laws in your state, the injured person or the immediate family members may be able to recover damages (financial compensation) for the medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of enjoyment of life and the pain and suffering caused by the incident. Damages are generally recovered in a negligence lawsuit brought by a nursing home neglect attorney.

Most falls in nursing homes are preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuries from falls frequently go unreported and those that are account for about 36 percent of potentially preventable visits to the hospital emergency room by nursing home patients.

Nursing home “duty of care”

When a nursing home agrees to take on a resident they accept a “duty of care” to that resident. This means that the nursing home has a responsibility to protect each resident from harm with a level of reasonable care including a safe environment. When a nursing home facility, its administrators or employees breaks their duty of care by acting recklessly or negligently and a resident is injured as a result, they may be liable for damages.

Determining nursing home liability for falls in nursing homes

Elderly people are extra vulnerable to slip and fall accidents because many have mobility and balance problems. When an elderly person falls they often suffer serious consequences including functional decline/reduced quality of life, broken bones and even disability.

If a resident falls in a nursing home and suffers broken bones or other deterioration of health or life, the nursing home may be held liable if it can be shown that the nursing home failed in their duty to prevent falls among its residents through an unsafe environment or negligent care. Examples of negligence in fall cases include:

  • Patient was not properly monitored for their medical needs
  • Safety precautions such as wet floor signs and handrails were not used to protect residents
  • Dim lighting in walkways meant residents could not see properly
  • Tripping hazards left in walkways
  • Failure to provide access to mobility devices
  • Failure to install no-slip flooring and handles on walls/inside the shower in bathrooms

To prove that nursing home or staff negligence caused the injury, the plaintiff will be asked to provide evidence such as pictures, documents and reports that explain the circumstances around the incident. In most cases, an expert witness is asked to testify that the nursing home violated the duty of care owed to nursing home residents.

If you believe that your loved one was injured as a result of nursing home negligence, first call the Washington State nursing home abuse and neglect hotline number to report your concerns: 1-866-ENDHARM (1-866-363-4276). Next contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer; he or she will discuss your legal rights and may be able to fight for a settlement on your behalf through legal proceedings.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice and other types of negligence. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.