Taking a fall at any age is not fun, but it can have even more devastating consequences for an elderly person staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility. For senior citizen residents, a fall can result in severe injuries, permanent disabilities, and even wrongful death. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, a nursing home with 100 residents reports around 100 to 200 falls in an average year, and approximately 1,800 patients die from falls each year. It is a distressing reality that nursing home negligence and mistreatment often lead to these life-altering incidents. Families and caregivers trust nursing homes to provide a safe environment for their elderly loved ones. When this trust is violated due to the facility’s negligence, legal action becomes necessary.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence resulting in a fall, it is essential to understand your rights and seek justice for the pain and suffering caused. Our Albuquerque nursing home abuse attorneys are dedicated to holding accountable those responsible for such incidents and helping families navigate the complexities of filing a lawsuit to ensure justice is served.
If your loved one has been injured in a fall, call our team today for a free consultation.
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What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries from Falls in Nursing Homes?
Falls are a significant concern in long-term care facilities, often leading to various injuries among residents. In fact, one in every 10 residents who falls has a serious related injury, including around 65,000 patients with hip fractures. It’s important to look for warning signs that something may have happened. Some of the most common serious injuries resulting from falls in nursing homes include:
Fractures: Falls can lead to fractures, most commonly involving the hip, forearm, upper arm, or hand. Hip fractures are particularly serious and often require surgery and rehabilitation.
Head Injuries: Falling in a nursing home can cause head injuries ranging from minor bumps and bruises to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have long-lasting effects on cognitive and physical function.
Soft Tissue Injuries: When someone falls, it can result in soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions. These injuries can be painful and may require medical attention and rehabilitation.
Dislocations: Falls can cause joints to become dislocated, especially in the shoulders and knees. Dislocations can be extremely painful and often require medical intervention to reset the joint.
Cuts and Abrasions: Falling can lead to cuts, abrasions, and lacerations, which may become infected if not properly cleaned and treated.
Fear and Psychological Impact: Even if there are no visible injuries, falls can create fear, anxiety, and a loss of confidence in one’s ability to move independently. This psychological impact can significantly affect the quality of life and well-being of the affected individual.
Can You Sue a Nursing Home for a Fall in New Mexico?
Nursing homes in Albuquerque can be held liable for falls if it is determined that they were negligent in providing proper care and ensuring the safety of their residents. Residents in nursing homes have the right to expect a certain standard of care. If the facility fails to meet that standard, it may be held responsible for the injuries that result from a fall. Here are some situations where a nursing home might be liable for falls:
Negligence in Supervision: If a nursing home fails to provide adequate supervision for residents who are at risk of falling, they may be held liable if a fall occurs due to lack of supervision.
Environmental Hazards: Nursing homes are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. If a resident falls due to hazards like wet floors, clutter, inadequate lighting, or improperly maintained walking surfaces, the facility might be held liable.
Inadequate Staff Training: If staff members are not properly trained in assisting residents with mobility, transfers, or using assistive devices, and a fall occurs as a result, the nursing home may be considered negligent.
Medication Errors: If medication errors lead to dizziness or disorientation, increasing the risk of falls, the nursing home could be held responsible.
Inadequate Care Plans: Nursing homes are expected to create individualized care plans for residents, including fall prevention strategies. If these plans are not developed or followed, and a fall occurs, the facility might be liable.
Failure to Assess and Address Fall Risks: Nursing homes should regularly assess residents’ fall risks and implement appropriate measures to prevent falls. If they fail to do so, and a resident falls, the facility could be held accountable.
Understaffing: If a nursing home is consistently understaffed, it can lead to rushed and inadequate care, increasing the risk of falls. In such cases, the facility may be held liable for falls resulting from insufficient staffing levels.
It’s important to note that liability in these cases can be complex and may depend on specific circumstances. If you suspect that a loved one’s fall in a nursing home was due to negligence, you should consult with one of our nursing home neglect attorneys experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. They can help you take legal action by assessing the situation, gathering relevant evidence, and helping you understand your legal options.
Nursing Home Fall Prevention Techniques: What to Look For
It’s important to check if the nursing home where your loved one resides implements fall-prevention techniques for older adults. There should be a comprehensive approach that addresses both the environment and the nursing home residents’ individual needs and abilities. Here are tactics nursing homes should be using to help prevent falls. Use this list to educate yourself and ask questions as you tour nursing homes in the Albuquerque area.
- Conducts regular assessments of residents’ mobility, balance, and fall risk factors.
- Updates the assessments when there is a change in a resident’s condition or medication.
- Trains nursing facility staff members to recognize fall risk factors and provide proper assistance to residents.
- Educates staff about residents’ specific needs and conditions, especially those with mobility issues or dementia.
Fall Risk Label
- Labels patients as a fall risk in their charts.
- Labels patients as a fall risk prominently in their rooms.
- Keeps floors clutter-free and well-lit.
- Provides handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms.
- Uses non-slip mats in bathrooms and on slippery floors.
- Secures loose carpets and rugs.
- Ensures that chairs and beds are at an appropriate height for easy sitting and standing.
- Maintains a clear pathway for residents to walk without obstacles.
- Encourages residents to wear non-slip, properly fitting footwear indoors.
- Discourages walking in socks or bare feet.
- Provides nursing home residents with appropriate assistive devices like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs and ensure they are properly adjusted.
- Trains residents in the correct use of assistive devices.
- Regularly reviews and assesses medications that might increase fall risk (e.g., sedatives, hypnotics).
- Works with healthcare providers to minimize the use of medications that can affect balance and coordination.
Vision and Hearing Checks
- Schedules regular vision and hearing checks for residents.
- Ensures residents wear prescribed glasses or hearing aids.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
- Implements exercise programs designed to improve strength, balance, and coordination.
- Encourages residents to participate in physical therapy if recommended by healthcare professionals.
Fall Alarms and Monitoring
- Uses fall alarms or monitoring systems in care facilities, especially for residents at high risk of falls.
- Ensures that staff responds promptly to alarms and calls for assistance.
Supervision and Assistance
- Provides adequate supervision for residents at risk of falling, especially during high-risk activities like bathing and walking.
- Offers assistance to residents as needed, especially during transfers and when moving around the facility.
Patient and Family Education
- Educates residents and their families about fall risks and prevention strategies.
- Encourages residents to actively participate in their own fall prevention plans.
Regular Review and Improvement
- Regularly reviews fall incidents to identify patterns or trends.
- Continuously updates and improves fall prevention protocols based on the facility’s experiences and resident needs.
If your family member has already suffered a fall, find out how long they laid on the floor before they were discovered. If they were there a long time, that can be a clear indication that the staff is not making proper rounds.
Your Legal Rights in Albuquerque: Filing a Nursing Home Fall Lawsuit
Nursing home falls can result from neglect and abuse, affecting the well-being of your loved one. Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse, such as unexplained injuries, broken bones, sudden weight loss, or emotional changes, is crucial. We are here to guide you through the legal process, deal with insurance companies, and fight for the financial compensation your family deserves.
What is a nursing home fall lawyer?
Our Albuquerque law firm understands the pain and suffering that long-term care residents and their families endure when someone suffers a fall. Our nursing home abuse attorneys are well-versed in the relevant New Mexico laws and regulations governing nursing home care. We are able to investigate and build a strong case against the facility responsible. Here are a few specific ways we can help you with your case.
- Gather medical records and other evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Consult medical experts
- Assess the extent of the harm caused to our clients.
- Negotiate with the nursing home and its insurance companies for fair compensation
- Take the case to court if necessary
If your loved one has suffered injuries and required medical care due to nursing home neglect, our nursing home abuse attorneys are here to provide skilled guidance. We offer a free consultation to assess your case. We’ll answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights.
Why choose Ron Bell Injury Lawyers for your nursing home fall lawsuit?
Experienced Legal Team: Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in nursing home fall cases, ensuring the best possible outcome for your claim.
Comprehensive Case Evaluation: We conduct a thorough evaluation of your case, uncovering crucial details to build a strong lawsuit.
No Upfront Fees: We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay when we win or settle your case, providing you peace of mind during this challenging time.
In-depth experience in New Mexico Nursing Home Laws: Our legal team understands the complexities of nursing home laws in New Mexico, advocating for the proper care and justice your loved one deserves.
Testimonials from Our Clients
Our nursing home abuse lawyers in Albuquerque have successfully represented numerous families in personal injury cases, and our testimonials speak to our dedication and commitment to our clients’ well-being.
“My dad was treated badly in a nursing home. We called Ron Bell, and they sent a representative to get us started. The services are great, and they really explained everything clearly. Everybody we have spoken with has been really helpful. I would recommend Ron Bell Injury Lawyers.”
Johnny R. – Albuquerque, NM
“My aunt was in a skilled nursing facility. She was neglected and had a couple of unexplained falls. Ron Bell’s law firm was called. They sent out a representative to start paperwork and get things started. They were very friendly and explained everything to us. I am very satisfied with services we have received.”
Crestina B. – Albuquerque, NM
“My mother was in a nursing home, they did not take good care of her. She was assaulted, and finally I had to take her out of that facility. She was traumatized. I called Ron Bell. I am very satisfied with the help the firm has provided me to get justice for my mom.”
Michelle R. – Albuquerque, NM
Free Consultation and Nursing Home Fall Case Evaluation
In the battle against nursing home neglect and elder abuse, trust Ron Bell, Albuquerque’s top rated nursing home fall attorney, to protect your family’s legal rights and seek justice for your loved one. Contact our Albuquerque law office today for a free consultation and let us help you hold negligent nursing home staff and healthcare providers accountable for their actions. Your loved one’s health and safety matter, and we are here to fight for them.
If you suspect a fall is a result of nursing home neglect or abuse in Albuquerque, don’t wait. Contact Ron Bell Injury Lawyers today at 505-899-BELL for a free case evaluation.