Each year, millions of individuals in the elderly population—those aged 65 years and older—suffer from an injury due to a fall. Often times, these falls occur in the nursing homes or other assisted living facilities where the elderly reside. While falls that occur in nursing homes can sometimes simply be the sole fault of the elderly individual, more often than not the fall is a result of the reckless, negligent, or abusive treatment of the elderly by the nursing home staff. When this happens, the nursing home can be held legally liable for any damages that were incurred by the elderly as a result of the fall.
While nursing home falls may not seem to have serious consequences, they often lead to the elder’s permanent disability, functional decline, reduced independence, and reduced overall quality of life. In addition, falls can cause fractures and other injuries that require surgery and other intensive medical treatments, which can be incredibly costly both financially and physically on an elder. Furthermore, when a once-active elder individual winds up immobile after a fall, he or she can experience feelings of helplessness, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and if left untrated for a while, could develop bedsores. If your loved one suffered an injury due to a fall in a nursing home, the personal injury attorneys of Abbott Law Group would like to speak to you today about your loved one’s legal rights.
Reasons behind Nursing Home Falls
The elderly residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are typically older and in worse health than the elderly population living alone in their own homes or with a family member. This could be one reason why senior citizens living in nursing homes are four times more likely to die or experience a permanent medical complication due to a fall compared to those living in their own residences or with family members. However, for the most part, nursing home falls are completely preventable and are the result of negligence, neglect, or simply inattentiveness on the part of the nursing home staff. Other reasons behind the elderly falling so frequently in nursing homes are:
Failure to provide special care to residents suffering certain physical disabilities and/or cognitive deficiencies;
Failure to provide proper shoes and walking aids;
Insufficient lighting throughout the nursing home;
Debris on the floors and in walkways;
Understaffing the nursing home;
Improperly training the nursing home staff; and
Hiring employees who are unqualified or incompetent.
A nursing home that is adequately staffed and run competently should be able to prevent the vast majority of falls. However, this does not seem to be the case, seeing as a typical nursing home with around 100 beds reports at least 100 to 200 falls in the nursing home each year. What’s more, these are only the falls that are reported. There is no telling how many falls actually occur each year in nursing homes in Florida and across the rest of the country.
Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits
If your loved one suffered an injury due to a fall in a nursing home, it may be likely that the fall was due to the negligence of the nursing home staff. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 16 to 27% of nursing home falls are a direct result of environmental hazards, such as poor lighting or slippery floors. This statistic does not account for much of the other common neglectful conduct of nursing home employees. It is vital that once your love one has suffered a nursing home fall injury that you contact a personal injury attorney as the Florida Statute of Limitations restricts the amount of time one has to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. At Abbott Law Group, our attorneys have dedicated themselves to protecting the rights of elders who have experienced nursing home abuse, neglect, or falls in the nursing home. Our attorneys have served the elderly population of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, and the surrounding areas for well over three decades. Call our nursing home abuse lawyers today to determine if you or your loved one have a case against the nursing home responsible for keeping your loved one safe.