As people age, they are at a greater risk of falling and, if they fall, they are at a greater risk of suffering a serious injury. To be sure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than one in four older people falls each year, and that one out of every five falls causes a serious injury.
In nursing homes, falls are all too common. What’s more, many falls are preventable and would not occur but for hazardous conditions or the negligence of nursing home staff. If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home fall, you may have legal recourse. Call our nursing home abuse lawyers today for the help you need.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls
Falls in nursing homes may occur as a result of hazardous conditions on the property, nursing home staff neglect, or a combination of both. Common causes of nursing home falls include:
- Debris and objects in walking areas;
- Spills of food, drink, and other substances;
- Poor lighting;
- Uneven walking surfaces;
- The administration of certain medications that comprise one’s ability to walk safely;
- Failure to use proper equipment and procedures when treating nursing home residents, such as bed rails and support belts; and
- Improper supervision and care of nursing home residents, often as a result of a poor staff-to-patient ratio.
When an older adult experiences a fall, they are at high risk for bone fracture, soft tissue injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can lead to additional complications and death in the most severe cases.
What to Do If You Suspect that a Fall Was Caused By Nursing Home Negligence
If you suspect that your loved one’s fall in a nursing home was caused by nursing home neglect, you may have grounds to bring forth a claim or lawsuit against the nursing home for damages.
The first thing to do is to ensure that your loved one is receiving the treatment that they need for their injuries. You should also make sure that the fall was reported to the nursing home manager; ask for a copy of the official accident and injury report.
If you are able to, you should begin gathering evidence. This might include documenting your loved one’s story (if they are able to share it), taking notes of hazardous conditions that exist in the nursing home, and finding out how many staff members are onsite at a given time.
Importantly, you should reach out to an attorney who has experience working on nursing home abuse cases. Your attorney can investigate the accident, determine liability, and represent you during the claims process.
Call Our Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
At the office of Tetzel Law, we believe that nursing home accidents are completely preventable and should never occur. If a slip and fall has left your elderly loved one with serious injuries, the nursing home may be to blame. To learn more about your rights and legal options, please call our nursing home abuse law firm today or send us a message online to request a free consultation. You can reach us at (617) 742-1700.