Is a Nursing Home Liable for Falls?: What You Need to Know
Falls are a common occurrence in nursing homes. The elderly population in these facilities often has mobility issues or medical conditions that make them more prone to falls.
When a resident falls, it can result in serious injuries or even death. This raises the question of whether nursing homes are liable for falls. This article will explore the legal framework governing nursing home liability for falls and what you need to know.
Nursing homes are held to a high standard of care. They have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their residents. The federal government has established regulations that nursing homes must follow to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents. These regulations are enforced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Under these regulations, nursing homes must assess each resident’s risk of falling and implement appropriate measures to prevent falls. This includes providing assistive devices, such as handrails and grab bars, and implementing fall prevention programs.
Nursing homes must also ensure that their staff is adequately trained to provide care to residents at risk of falling.
Liability for Falls
When a resident falls in a nursing home, the question of liability arises. Nursing homes can be held liable for falls if they fail to meet their legal obligations. This can include:
Nursing homes can be held liable for falls if they are negligent in their care. This can include failing to follow fall prevention protocols, failing to supervise residents who are at risk of falling or failing to provide adequate staffing levels.
2. Premises Liability
Under premises liability, nursing home facilities may be held responsible for falls if they do not maintain a secure living area for their residents. This encompasses neglecting to fix safety hazards such as loose handrails or uneven flooring, which can result in a fall incident.
3. Medical Malpractice
Nursing homes can be held liable for falls if they fail to provide adequate medical care to their residents. This can include failing to diagnose or treat medical conditions contributing to falls.
Proving liability in nursing home fall cases can be challenging. It is often difficult to determine the cause of a fall and whether the nursing home was negligent. However, several things can help establish liability:
1. Medical Records
Medical records can provide valuable information about a resident’s medical condition and whether it contributed to the fall. They can also provide information about the nursing home’s care and whether it was adequate.
2. Witness Testimony
Witnesses, such as nursing home staff or other residents, can provide valuable testimony about the circumstances surrounding the fall.
3. Expert Testimony
Expert witnesses, such as doctors or nurses, can provide testimony about the nursing home’s care and whether it met the standard of care.
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their residents. When a resident falls, it can result in serious injuries or even death. Nursing homes can be held liable for falls if they fail to meet their legal obligations.
This can include negligence, premises liability, or medical malpractice. Proving liability in nursing home fall cases can be challenging, but medical records, witness testimony, and expert testimony can help establish liability.
If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, trust Bossie, Reilly, & Oh today. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to helping victims and their families seek justice. Call us now to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.