Who is Responsible When a Nursing Home Resident Falls?

September 10, 2018 Announcements and Law Updates

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one out of four older people fall each year. Falls and fall prevention is so prevalent in older populations that families often use a fall as the incident or catalyst that has them place a loved one in a nursing home. The thinking behind the decision is that supervision and monitoring will prevent an older person from falling. Families are devastated when their loved one falls and hurts him or herself while under the care of a nursing home.

Is it Malpractice to Fall in a Nursing Home?

Liability for a nursing home fall could rest with a nursing home and its employees under a variety of legal theories. The most prevalent theory is negligence. Most of the time however the legal theory is a failure to take reasonable steps to prevent a fall from occurring in the first place.

The nursing home could be liable for injuries sustained after a nursing home resident falls if it:

  • unqualified employees;
  • Fails to train employees on proper care of the nursing home residents;
  • Fails to develop an adequate care plan and update the plan when the nursing home resident’s health condition changes; or
  • Is understaffed for the amount of residents in its care.

Why Nursing Home Residents Fall

When a nursing home accepts a resident, it is legally obligated to develop a health plan to address the needs of the individual. Because falls are so common and dangerous to nursing home residents, all plans need to address fall prevention measures and discuss it with the resident and his or her family. Older individuals tend to have physical limitations brought upon by age and disability. For example, their vision can be impaired, they can suffer from dementia, or they can have strength and balance issues.

Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?

A family member in a nursing home may not immediately report a fall. It is important when you visit your family member that you ask about his or her care and any falls that may have occurred. It is also a good practice to ask your family member’s care team. Always look for visible signs of a fall like bruising and cuts.

Contact Louisiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation. We have three convenient offices throughout the state in New Orleans  888-601-0127, Baton Rouge  225-612-0800, or Lafayette  337-409-0003. You can also schedule your appointment via email at [email protected] or book an online appointment.

The law offices of Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC also represent victims of serious injuries or death because of negligence, defective products, premises liability, or strict liability matters, including car accidents, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, medical malpractice, boating accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Book an online appointment with one of our Louisiana Nursing Home Abuse lawyers today.