Older adults in San Bernardino County nursing homes are at greater risk of severe injuries from falls than younger adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls among adults aged 65 and older result in about 34,000 deaths yearly and three million emergency department visits. In terms of the economic costs of senior falls, the CDC reports that falls among older adults cost approximately $50 billion annually in medical care. There are many different reasons that older adults are more likely to fall and that those falls are more likely to result in severe injuries. Older adults are more likely to be on medications that make balancing difficult. Physical conditions can make it more challenging to get out of bed or shower without falling. In addition, older adults — and women in particular — may have bone density issues that can make a severe fracture more likely when a fall does occur.
When falls happen at nursing homes, is the nursing home liable? To determine liability, it will be important to have an experienced San Bernardino nursing home negligence lawyer assess your case. In the meantime, the following are some questions you can ask yourself to consider whether the nursing home could be responsible for damages resulting from a fall.
Did the Fall Result From a Hazard on the Nursing Home Premises?
Was there a hazard on the premises that caused the fall, such as a liquid spill, loose carpeting, or a damaged handrail? Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for residents and that hazards like these are repaired and remedied.
Did the Fall Happen Because the Resident Could Not Get Help From a Staff Member?
Was a nursing home resident trying to get help from a staff member with an activity of daily living like dressing or bathing but could not receive help due to understaffing? The facility could be liable.
Did the Fall Occur Because a Nursing Home Failed to Have a Resident Assessed for Certain Health Issues That Caused the Fall or the Severity of the Injury?
Nursing homes can also be responsible for falls when they fall to ensure that a resident receives reasonable health care and that the resident is assessed for health issues that could have caused the fall or the severity of the injury. For example, if a resident of a nursing home showed signs of having balance issues and the facility never took steps to have that resident’s health assessed or medications monitored, the facility could be liable if a fall occurred. Similarly, if the facility knew that a resident had severe osteoporosis and required particular care to avoid a fall, the facility could be liable for a fall that resulted in a life-altering hip fracture. According to the CDC, women experience about 75% of all hip fracture injuries, often due to osteoporosis, which “weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.”
Contact a San Bernardino County Nursing Home Neglect Attorney
If you have an elderly resident in a nursing home who recently suffered a fall-related injury, you should speak with one of the San Bernardino County nursing neglect attorneys at our firm. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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