Patients in a nursing home deserve their dignity and quality care. When a facility fails to create a safe environment for this vulnerable population, slip and fall accidents may expose residents to long recovery periods and pain.
If your loved one suffered a preventable fall in a nursing home facility in South Carolina, you need a nursing home injury lawyer to help you with a legal claim. Contact the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm in Greenville today to discuss your legal options.
Why Are Nursing Home Residents at Risk of Falls?
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in nursing homes. Older people with cognitive or physical medical issues require supervision in their care. When untrained staff, distracted employees, or staff shortages leave nursing home residents without the right care, falls can occur. Failure to respond to these falls right away can cause further injury, especially if the patient doesn’t get the proper care to allow their fall injuries to heal.
Many people in nursing homes are recovering from serious injuries and illnesses. Others have ongoing conditions that make mobility difficult. Since this population faces a higher fall risk already, nursing homes have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to minimize slips and falls. If you can show that a nursing home didn’t take these steps or ignored protocol, this evidence may help prove liability in a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
What Should Nursing Homes Do to Prevent Falls?
Nursing homes can take proactive steps to decrease fall risks. Some examples include:
- Taking care when transitioning patients from one place to another
- Keeping floors free and clear of obstacles or spills
- Placing warning signs near hazards
- Ensuring proper staff levels to address the medical needs or residents
- Preventing fights between residents that can lead to injuries like falls
- Installing handrails and other assistive devices throughout the facility
- Properly training staff
All too often, nursing homes are improperly staffed. An understaffed facility doesn’t have proper coverage for each of the patients inside.
Without appropriate supervision, residents may attempt to move themselves, increasing their chances of a trip and fall accident. Fights may break out among residents or a staff member may be involved in direct abuse of a resident.
If you can show that a nursing home didn’t do enough to prevent slip and fall accidents and resulting injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit to help your loved one recover compensation.
Injuries From Falling at a Nursing Home
Injuries from a trip and fall are often more serious than victims realize. Some of these injuries may not cause symptoms right away. Some of the most common injuries from a slip and fall accident in a nursing home include:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries like concussions or TBIs
Getting prompt medical attention after any fall is crucial for a nursing home resident, since this enables the medical team to create a recovery plan and to begin treatment immediately.
Do Nursing Home Falls Have to Be Reported?
When someone gets hurt in any nursing home or related facility, strict protocols inform staff and medical providers what to do. Documenting the fall is important to prevent future complications and other injuries. If a fall goes unreported, the patient may not receive the care they need and may suffer unnecessarily.
The first step after any slip and fall in a nursing home should be to carry out a full assessment of the patient’s condition and to write a detailed report about the fall itself.
When Does a Fall Become Potential Nursing Home Abuse?
In a lawsuit against a nursing facility, a victim must show that the nursing home was negligent in some way to cause the conditions for the injury. Abuse, neglect, and poor supervision of patients may all be named in a nursing home injury lawsuit.
When nursing home abuse allows for dangerous situations where a patient falls down and the staff could have taken steps to prevent that incident, the victim or their family members may have grounds for legal action.
For example, if a patient was subjected to abuse by a fellow resident and staff members did nothing to stop it, or if failure to provide basic needs contributed to someone’s fall risk, a nursing home abuse lawyer will gather evidence of these issues to fight for compensation.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Your loved one may be unable to speak for themselves or may fear retaliation for bringing up concerns about nursing home neglect and abuse. As a family member, you may play an important role in helping your loved one get compensation to recover from their injuries.
By holding the nursing home facility accountable for their actions, you can also send an important message that changes behavior and protects other residents in the future.
Filing a nursing home lawsuit for a fall can be challenging. From gathering evidence to prove liability to making sure your family member gets the medical treatment they need, it’s a lot to keep track of when filing a lawsuit. Contact a nursing home fall lawyer at the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm to get support with your injury claim now.