Nursing Home Fall Risks

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | March 12, 2022
Nursing Home Fall Risks

Falling Accidents in Nursing Homes

A fall can result in devastating harm and even death for the elderly. Nursing homes owe each resident a duty of care to prevent falls by enacting specific safety measures. If your loved one suffered severe injuries in a fall caused by nursing home negligence, a nursing home attorney can help you. Pursuing compensation can get justice for your loved one.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls

The Nursing Home Reform Act contains a patient bill of rights that protects residents from abuse, neglect, and inadequate care. Unfortunately, far too many nursing homes fail to protect residents from harm that results in damaging and deadly falls. Nursing home falls are generally the result of two factors: environmental and people. Where and how they live, and the people wh care for them, can place the elderly at risk of a preventable fall. Examples of environmental factors include:

  • Wet floors
  • Poor lighting
  • Defective or poorly maintained wheelchairs
  • Clutter or obstacles in walkways
  • Torn or worn carpeting or flooring

Entrusting a loved one to the care of strangers is never easy. Therefore, proper training and a caring, compassionate attitude are vital for elderly residents in a nursing home setting. Nursing homes typically face staffing shortages, resulting in overworked and stressed caregivers. Examples of how staff can cause a resident to fall include:

  • Physical abuse: pushing or shoving a resident
  • Verbal abuse: shouting and startling a resident
  • Failure to report safety hazards that may cause a fall
  • Setting a resident’s bed too high or neglecting calls for help

If your loved one suffered a fall due to nursing home negligence, a nursing home lawyer could help you. Your lawyer can investigate the accident and conditions that led to your loved one’s suffering. Collecting evidence, interviewing staff, and filing your lawsuit promptly are just a few examples of how a lawyer can help. By building a solid case for compensation, your lawyer can firmly hold the nursing home accountable for your loved one’s damages.

The High Cost of an Elderly Fall

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports report that one out of five falls results in broken bones or a head injury. A fractured hip is a common outcome of falls for the elderly. Recovery from the break can take as long as a year if recovery is possible. Broken hips are especially dangerous for the elderly due to reduced or stopped mobility. In addition, confinement in a hospital bed can lead to other health complications and death. These alarming statistics concern the elderly, falls, and mortality:

  • One year mortality after the surgical repair of a hip fracture is 21 percent.
  • Without surgery, mortality after a hip fracture increases to 70 percent.

A hospital stay, rehabilitation, and finding a new skilled nursing facility can exhaust you and your loved one. You may face such challenges as finding a safe and affordable facility with an available bed. Traumatic brain injuries are another concern if the elderly person strikes their head against a hard object as they fall. Such an injury disrupts normal brain function, like cognitive and motor skills, along with behavior and emotional changes. Your loved one may require intense therapy to relearn basic tasks. However, the changes you witness are upsetting and maddening when you learn the nursing home could have prevented their fall. The emotional cost of your loved one’s situation can overwhelm you. Knowing that the nursing home breached its duty of care by allowing your loved one to fall can also anger and frustrate you.

When to Contact an Attorney

One of the most important steps you can take following your loved one’s fall is to contact a nursing home attorney. A free case consultation opens the door to learning more about whether you have grounds for a civil case. The nursing home may attempt to hide information about your loved one’s fall. Staff may appear reluctant to talk due to fear of repercussions. Anyone involved or responsible for your loved one’s harm wants to protect their best interests. Hiring an attorney can help protect your best interests and those of your loved one. Rather than spend your precious time fighting for answers, an attorney can fight on your behalf. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better for your loved one’s situation. Complications from a fall can develop rapidly, making time with your loved one even more precious. Consider contacting a nursing home lawyer today to start protecting your loved one’s best interests.

Nursing Home Injury Claims and Lawsuits

The nursing home industry is a large one that is mostly privately owned and protected by insurance companies. The CDC reports that close to 70 percent of nursing homes consist of for-profit ownership. A nursing home lawyer can negotiate with a facility’s insurance company for a fair settlement. Many nursing home cases settle without going to trial. However, your lawyer may find that proceeding to trial is best for your case. Negotiating with a company that wants to protect profits—both the nursing home and the insurance company—requires skill and experience. Both entities like nothing better than to make a civil claim go away and for the least amount possible. Insurance adjusters are sometimes aggressive and unnerving when it comes to their tactics. Unfortunately, the reality of your situation leaves you neither patience nor time for dealing with pressure from adjusters. Accepting a settlement offer to get an adjuster off your back is a bad idea. If you take a settlement, you cannot pursue additional compensation later, should your loved one’s condition worsen. Civil cases hold negligent people, companies, and organizations accountable for the harm caused to others. If your loved one suffered a fall due to nursing home negligence, think about discussing your case with a nursing home lawyer without delay. A nursing home claim and lawsuit could recover adequate compensation. Do not accept a low-dollar settlement offer from an insurance company.

How a Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help You

Personal injury and wrongful death lawyers provide legal services to those harmed by negligence. Additionally, a civil lawyer offers such services with care and compassion. Having someone by your side throughout the legal process can comfort you. In addition, the knowledge that someone is at work on your behalf allows you more time to spend with your loved one. If your loved one did not survive their fall, spend your time of grief with family and other loved ones. Your lawyer can take the legal burden off your shoulders, keep you informed, and remind you of their availability for your questions and concerns. At the same time, a nursing home lawyer can apply the law and their experience to your case. You may need aggressive representation during negotiations or trial to take on reluctant insurance companies. Your lawyer can also ensure that your lawsuit meets court deadlines. The statute of limitations is a serious deadline that, if missed, can result in the dismissal of your case and no further legal options.

When a Nursing Home Fall Results in Death

A nursing home fall can result in a broken hip and a traumatic brain injury. Whether your loved one died immediately or suffered from their injuries before their death, they deserve justice. The elderly do not deserve to experience an untimely death due to negligence. The Nursing Home Bill of Rights clearly outlines the rights of nursing home residents, such as:

  • Be free from abuse and neglect
  • Be treated with respect
  • Be free to make complaints
  • Receive proper medical care

The list is extensive and includes other rights that nursing home facilities often fail to honor. If you entrusted your loved one to a skilled nursing facility, only for them to suffer a fall that resulted in their death, a lawyer is ready to help you. Fighting for justice and possible compensation is best rather than settling for less than you or a loved one deserves. Unfortunately, compensation is never promised. Each nursing home case is different. The lawyer you hire will fight for the best outcome possible. Pursuing compensation brings attention to a problem that a nursing home must fix. In addition, your fight for justice may prevent another resident from experiencing the same harm.

Justice for Elderly Nursing Home Residents

The elderly depend on others for help with their physical and personal care. Nursing home care is not inexpensive. Quality care for your loved one is something the nursing home must deliver. Untrained or uncaring staff and unsafe conditions are unacceptable. Negligence is at the core of many nursing home abuse cases involving preventable falls. Your lawyer must prove negligence to win your case. A free, no-obligation case consultation is an essential first step following your loved one’s fall. For residents who do not survive their injuries, loved ones may fight for such damages as:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Pain and suffering

Upon carefully reviewing your case, a lawyer can determine the best approach and what types of damages to pursue. Unfortunately, fact gathering and reviewing evidence takes time—something not on your side. If your loved one suffered severe injuries or died due to nursing home negligence, you may want to contact a lawyer today.

Nursing Home Residents Have Rights

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, for example, oversees that state’s nursing home laws, rules, and regulations. The extensive list of requirements sets a firm standard that skilled nursing facilities must meet. No nursing home should put profits over people. However, all nursing homes owe residents a duty of care that keeps residents free from harm. Failure to provide a safe environment is negligence that demands action. Seniors deserve to spend their golden years feeling safe and well cared for. Unfortunately, while not all nursing home staff are abusive, it only takes one poorly trained, uncaring, or stressed caregiver to cause your loved one to fall. A nursing home lawyer can fight on behalf of your loved one. Consider entrusting your loved one’s case with a lawyer experienced in nursing home negligence cases.

Call a Nursing Home Lawyer Today

Bruning Law Firm Lead Lawyers
Elder Injury Accident Lawyers at The Bruning Law Firm

Nursing homes must take all steps necessary to prevent falls. The elderly are a high fall risk who face breaking a bone or suffering a head injury. There is no excuse for poor conditions that create fall hazards. Nursing homes that fail to maintain a safe environment must face accountability. If your loved one suffered a life-changing fall due to nursing home negligence, a nursing home lawyer can help you. Contacting a personal injury lawyer for a free case consultation as soon as possible is a crucial first step for your case. All seniors deserve to live the best quality of life possible. However, their reliance on others for care is necessary as they age and specific actions become more complex. Loved ones who witness their loved one suffer unnecessarily or lose a loved one due to negligence deserve answers. A nursing home lawyer understands how to search for answers and prove negligence in civil claims and lawsuits. Whether it is a parent or other relationship, your loved one is a senior who deserves quality care. If a nursing home fails to provide a safe and caring environment, free from harm or abuse, consider legal action. A nursing home lawyer stands ready to assist you with your case. contact a lawyer today for your free case consultation.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

Author's Bio

You Might Also Be Interested In