When residents fall, severe injuries are common
Nursing home residents can sustain serious injuries due to nursing home neglect. And one of the most common causes of injuries in nursing homes involves neglected residents falling and getting hurt.
When this happens, victims and their families need to take action right away to protect their health and their rights. That’s why it’s important to understand how falls happen in nursing homes. It’s also important to understand who’s legally responsible when a nursing home resident is injured in a serious fall.
How often do residents fall in nursing homes?
Injuries sustained in falls by nursing home residents occur far too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 100 to 200 falls happen every year in nursing homes for every 100 beds. That’s one to two falls each year for every nursing home bed in the country.
Overall, an estimated 20 percent of nursing home falls result in a serious injury, according to the CDC. In the U.S., nursing home falls cause an estimated 2,000 deaths every year.
What injuries can occur from a fall?
Nursing home residents who fall can sustain a wide range of injuries, such as:
- Broken hip (an estimated 95 percent of hip fractures sustained by nursing home residents occur due to a fall, according to the CDC).
- Other types of bone fractures, including broken arms or broken legs.
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions.
- Internal bleeding, especially in cases involving head injuries. This condition can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated immediately.
When a nursing home resident falls, that resident should be examined right away and provided with appropriate medical care. If not treated promptly, serious medical complications with potentially-life threatening consequences may occur.
Why do residents fall at nursing homes?
Nursing home falls often involve a negligent nursing home failing to provide a safe environment for its residents. Examples include:
- Unmarked hazards that can be tripped on.
- Water or other slick substances that are left on the floor.
- Nursing home residents not being properly monitored by staff. This is commonly due to understaffing, poor training, or hiring unqualified employees.
- Poor lighting, making it hard for residents to see where they're going.
Are nursing homes liable for falls?
The short answer? Yes. If a nursing home fails to create a safe environment and neglects to properly care for its residents, the nursing home can be held legally responsible (liable) for injuries sustained by its residents as a result.
There are many state and federal laws that nursing homes must follow to provide a reasonable level of care to residents, including federal law 42 U.S. Code § 1395i–3, which applies to skilled nursing facilities.
A nursing home neglect lawyer can help you file a claim
If a loved one sustained a serious injury in a fall at a nursing home, it's in your interest to talk to an attorney. At Kurle Justus, LLC, we know how to handle complicated legal cases involving nursing home negligence. That’s because we have years of experience helping families get the justice and compensation they deserve.
Make sure you fully understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced nursing home neglect attorney.