Philadelphia Nursing Home Fall Accidents Lawyer
Falls are all too common at nursing homes due among other things, limited physical capacity, medications with a sedative effect, and disorientation. The nursing home must be held to a higher standard because they know that their residents are at a higher risk of falling. Although the residents may not be improperly restrained, the facility must ensure that the nursing home remains as free of accident hazards as possible and that the residents receive adequate supervision, assistance along with using devices to prevent accidents.
If you or a loved one believes the negligence of nursing home staff caused an injury from a fall, contact Rosenbaum & Associates for a free consultation.
Why Choose Our Nursing Home Fall Accident Lawyer
- For more than 25 years, we have helped clients achieve justice and recover millions in compensation.
- We prepare each case for trial in the event that it is necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.
- We are committed to fighting for you and will only accept legal fees if we win.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Nursing Home Fall Accident Case
Suffering severe harm from a fall or finding out that a loved one has been injured while at a nursing home is devastating. A Philadelphia nursing home fall accident lawyer understands the importance of finding answers and pursuing accountability. They have a thorough understanding of applicable state laws on how to hold the nursing home liable, as well as the resources to investigate the accident and gather the evidence necessary to prove your claim. A Philadelphia nursing home fall accidents attorney can help ensure you are treated fairly and that you or your loved one obtain the compensation warranted.
Many of the cases that our nursing home attorneys handle involve unsupervised falls or falls while the resident is getting in and out of bed. This is very serious because statistics show that approximately 1,800 adults in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries. In addition, many of the fall victims sustain head injuries and hip fractures which leads to a more significant disability and reduced quality of life. We have made it a focus of our practice to pursue these claim throughout Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
The nursing home must undertake to properly maintain the facility and protect residents from foreseeable harm. In addition to eliminating tripping hazards and providing adequate lighting the facility most provide assistance many residents who are unable to get around independently. First, the nursing home must assess whether the resident is a fall risk. Then a plan should be implemented to prevent injury. If the patient has difficulty getting in and out of bed then the mattress should be kept close to the floor. Also mats or padding on the floor around the bed can reduce the severity of any fall.
Causes of Nursing Home Falls
Lack of staff or poor staff can also contribute to accidents. Often a resident will call for the nurse when they need assistance such as getting to the bathroom. If there is no response for 20 or 30 minutes then the patient will attempt to take himself or herself to the bathroom and may fall in the process. Some patients require a lifting device, called a hoyer lift, to get them into bed. If the resident is not properly strapped in or they try do use the lift with one staff member instead of two this could be considered negligence.
Many residents are hooked up various machines to monitor health condition or administer medication. It is important that the wires be kept out of the travel path as this can pose a trip hazard. Other patients are disoriented because heavy medication or mental impairment such as dementia. These residents may require bed monitors and wheelchair monitors to alert the staff if they attempt to get up. Sometimes simply overmedicating the resident can lead to a fall. This raises the related issue of improper chemical restraints. That is, when the nursing staff purposefully over medicate the patient to control their behavior, which can also be a basis for a negligence claim.
In addition to providing patient-specific care to prevent falls the nursing home also has a duty to see that the condition of the property is safe for the activities for which it is regularly use. The question of whether the condition that caused the injury was a dangerous condition requires a case-by-case review of the specific facts. This can be a higher standard at a nursing facility because the premises is used to house elderly and potential unstable individuals who may have a propensity to fall.
Fall Prevention in Nursing Homes
Nursing home facilities have a duty to take fall prevention measures, which might include:
- Assessing patients for fall risk factors
- Treating underlying conditions that cause dizziness, weakness, or imbalance
- Monitoring patients on medications that could contribute to fall risks
- Putting in such mobility aids as grab bars, handrails, raised toilet seats, and lowered beds
- Developing exercise programs designed to increase strength, coordination, and balance
- Educating residents and staff about fall prevention techniques
Any use of physical or chemical restraints is not only unethical but unlawful. Immediate action must be taken if you believe your loved one is routinely restrained to beds or chairs or given sedative medications to reduce their risk of wandering.
Can Nursing Homes be Held Liable?
Like any business the nursing home will be liable if they (1) know or by exercising reasonable care would discover the condition that led to the slip and fall, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to residents, and (2) should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and (3) fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against danger. You can read more about general slip and fall accidents on our website.
What to Do if You Believe Your Loved One’s Fall Was Caused by Nursing Home Negligence
If you suspect that your loved one’s fall accident and subsequent injury resulted from nursing home negligence, trust your gut and take swift action. Call 911 if you believe they are in immediate danger.
Otherwise, notify the nursing home facility’s administration. They are required to check into your report and make any appropriate changes to remedy the situation and prevent future falls. Be sure to follow up, and if no action or not enough was done on their part, file a complaint by:
- Calling Pennsylvania’s Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505
- Using the online complaint form
- Emailing email@example.com
- Sending a fax to (717) 772-2163
- Sending a letter to the following address:
- Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Nursing Care Facilities
625 Forster St., Room 526
Health and Welfare Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701
- Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director
If you call the hotline, you may speak with a Department of Health professional, and an Ombudsman may get involved. An Ombudsman advocates for nursing home residents’ rights and will fight to get your loved one proper care.
Contact a Philadelphia Nursing Home Fall Accident Lawyer
Either before or after you file a complaint, speak with a Philadelphia nursing fall accident lawyer. Our law firm offers free consultations and can discuss your options for holding the nursing home or staff members accountable for their negligent or abusive actions.