When you or a loved one lives in a nursing home, you should expect a certain level of care and attention. After all, if you did not need assistance, you would likely still be living on your own. However, accidents and injuries do happen in nursing homes and often, the nursing home’s negligence may be to blame.
One accident to which older adults are particularly prone is a fall. According to the enters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults over the age of 65 are at a particularly high risk of falling for several reasons. In addition, one fall makes it twice as likely that another fall will follow. The following are some additional statistics about the severity of falls among seniors in the U.S. provided by the CDC:
- About 2.8 million older adults seek treatment in the emergency department after a fall
- Falls result in an estimated 800,000 hospitalizations for seniors annually
- The most common fall-related injuries for seniors are hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Falls cause over 95 percent of hip fractures.
- The estimated cost of treating fall-related injuries for older adults in the U.S. is $31 billion per year.
As you can see, falls among the senior population are a serious issue and nursing homes are a common location for such falls.
Nursing Home Liability for Falls
Sometimes, an older adult will fall simply because their balance is diminished. However, in other cases, a nursing home can be negligent in certain ways that can lead to falls. Nursing homes have the legal obligation to keep the premises in a safe condition to avoid falls and injuries whenever possible. When they allow dangerous hazards to exist or persist, it increases the risks that residents may slip and fall down, often suffering severe injuries. Some conditions that may be allowed by negligent nursing homes include:
- Wet and slippery floors
- Inadequate or broken handrails in bathrooms or in walkways
- Debris left on the floor
- Ramps and other inclines without non-slip flooring
- Mats or carpets that may slip
- Exposed electrical cords
- Uneven floor materials<
- Dim lighting
- Obstacles in walkways
- Walkways that are too narrow
If a nursing home allows such conditions and a resident falls as a result, the nursing home can be held liable for the often extensive costs of their injuries.
Another way a nursing home can be negligent in fall cases is inadequate supervision of residents. Some residents will require assistance and supervision whenever they need to be on the move—even if it is only to the bathroom. If staff allow such residents to move around without adequate supervision and they fall down and sustain injuries, the nursing home can be held at fault.
Contact a Maryland Slip and Fall Law Firm for Help Today
A fall can change the life of an older adult and may even be disabling or life-threatening. If you or someone you love has suffered fall-related injuries, please discuss your rights with the premises liability attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC today. Please contact us online or call (844) 632-7274 for a free case evaluation.