According to several sources, such as the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. A devastating fall can seriously threaten a senior’s safety independence while accumulating large costs and medical expenses, among others.
Although falls can be a common occurrence among the elderly, there is an alarming amount of falls that could have otherwise been avoided in nursing homes. As such, when neglect or substandard conditions in a nursing home lead to an elderly’s fall and injuries, you may have a case against the nursing home. The first step is to call Charleston WV nursing home neglect attorney Charles M. Love at the Love Law Firm. We offer free consultations, and so by giving us a call, we can review the accident and the injury and determine if you have a case.
Call today at (304) 344-5683 to speak with attorney Charles Love today. In the meantime, you can learn more about falls in nursing homes below.
Facts About Falls in Nursing Homes
Whether due to a lack of strength, common conditions associated with old age, and other reasons, about one-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall, while every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall (Source: CDC)
Taking these facts in mind, it’s important to remember that a fall could have been avoidable in certain, specific circumstances. In a nursing home, the largest single cause of preventable injury in nursing homes is due to a fall. To better understand this issue in nursing homes, we’ve included a few other facts:
- Falls that lead to death, sometimes wrongful deaths, include approximately 1,800 nursing home residents every year.
- A typical, 100-bed nursing home reports at least 100 to 200 falls a year.
- Adults 65 and older are four times more likely to die of fall-related injuries if they live in a nursing home (as opposed to their own homes or their family’s homes.
- About 10 to 20 percent of nursing home falls result in serious injuries.
- According to the CDC, about 16 to 27 percent of nursing home falls result from environmental hazards.
It’s important to remember that these statistics are not indicators that your loved one’s fall was definitely the result of nursing home neglect. Typically, some elders in nursing homes are, on average, in poorer health than senior citizens who live in their own homes or with a loved one. This means that nursing home residents may be more prone to falling and serious injury (including death).
When a Fall Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is still a serious issue in West Virginia. In some cases where you or a loved one fell and was injured in a nursing home, the nursing home’s maintenance (or lack of!) and supervision, among other factors, may have produced the conditions that led to the fall and injury. For instance, federal and West Virginia law require nursing homes to complete fall risk assessments
For instance, federal and West Virginia law require nursing homes to complete fall risk assessments for every resident, which evaluates a patient’s risk for falling in order to correct problems and prevent falling. In addition to the fall risk assessment, nursing homes should implement action plans and fall prevention strategies. The resident’s care plan should include:
- Loss of strength and balance
- Mobility limitations
- Medications that can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or poor reaction time
- Impaired vision
Not every fall is preventable, and not every fall is grounds for a viable personal injury lawsuit. However, a fall constitutes nursing home neglect when the care facility or one of its employees acted negligently, or failed to take standard steps to prevent a fall, then the nursing home may have been liable for the incident.
Do You Have a Case?
If any of the following occurred in the nursing home setting, and injured occurred due to a fall, then you may have a lawsuit:
- The nursing home failed to develop adequate care plans based on an individual’s health and needs
- The nursing home failed to regularly assess and adapt an individual’s care plan
- The nursing home failed to provide care according to the resident’s care plan
- The nursing home used improper care techniques
- The nursing home hired unqualified employees
- The nursing home failed to provide insufficient training
- The nursing home was understaffed
- A nursing home employee failed to follow facility protocol
- The nursing home failed to maintain or remedy hazards, such as wet floors, inadequate lighting, and defective flooring
Call the Love Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one fell in a nursing home and was injured, one of the first things that you should do (aside from caring for your loved one and making sure he/she gets the necessary medical care) is to contact a Charleston WV nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. At the Love Law Firm, we’ll carefully and compassionately listen to your case to determine if you have a possible lawsuit. By filing a lawsuit, we’ll vigorously litigate for your rightful compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
For a free consultation with the Love Law Firm, call our Charleston WV office today at (304) 344-5683.