Slip and Fall Accident at a Nursing Home: Who’s Liable?
Older people are especially vulnerable to slip and fall accidents, and those living in nursing homes are at even greater risk. Among the elderly, falls are a leading cause of disability and death. Who is liable in a slip and fall accident in a nursing home depends upon the specific incident.
Falls in nursing homes are quite common. However, a fall does not always mean the nursing home or its employees are liable. It all depends upon whether facility or employee negligence was involved. Because falls occur with such frequency in nursing homes, the facility must take precautions to prevent them.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Law will investigate the circumstances surrounding the claim to determine liability. Our dedicated attorneys will work to help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
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Nursing home liability
Nursing homes are highly regulated. If the fall results because the facility or an employee did not adhere to regulations, the nursing home is likely liable.
For instance, each resident should have an individual care plan based on their physical and mental condition and needs. If the fall happened because the care did not meet the plan, the nursing home could prove liable.
Resident care plans should address any impairments, general mobility, cognitive abilities, and potential effects of medications. Many drugs can cause drowsiness or affect balance. It is also critical that the care plan take possible drug interactions into account. The care plan must include any devices used by the resident, such as a wheelchair, walker or cane.
Residents may suffer from diseases or conditions that increase susceptibility to falling. These may include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Neurological issues
- Parkinson’s disease
- Vision problems
The care plan requires regular updating. Nursing home residents undergo changes, whether physical or mental, that affect their condition and their propensity for falling.
Understaffing and inadequate training
Many nursing homes are seriously understaffed. Fewer staff members mean falls and other accidents occur more often, simply because overworked employees cannot pay as much attention to residents as they should. Some nursing homes try to remedy understaffing by increasing employee overtime, but that may simply mean employees are especially tired. Understaffing generally results in less than adequate care and increases the chances of neglect. Neglect can lead to falls because no one is watching out for residents in potentially dangerous situations.
Some nursing homes may try to ease staff shortages or save money by hiring unqualified workers. These facilities may not provide proper training to employees, whether the latter are otherwise qualified or not. Untrained or unqualified staff may not know the correct safety protocols for fall prevention. They may not know proper care techniques, increasing the odds of falls.
Nursing home hazards
Slip & fall attorneys know the many ways in which these accidents happen. Many of the hazards causing slip and falls inside nursing homes are present in other slip and fall cases. Property owners have a duty of care to make sure their property is safe. Slip and fall claims fall under the category of premises liability.
Younger, able-bodied people are seriously injured when a property owner fails to maintain their property. Older, disabled residents of nursing homes are in even greater jeopardy. Examples of hazards in the facility for which the nursing home is liable:
- Broken handrails
- Debris in walkways
- Poor lighting
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Wet floors
Reach out to us today
If your loved one was seriously injured in a nursing home slip and fall accident, you need the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. Schedule a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or submitting our online form.
We will review your claim and advise you of your options. If you do have grounds for a lawsuit, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation as we work on a contingency basis.