What Happens When a Resident Falls in a Nursing Home?
Falls in nursing homes are common. More than 33% of adults over the age of 65 fall each year according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that falls are “the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.” A significant percentage of these serious and fatal falls occur in the nursing home setting.
When an aging resident falls in a nursing home, what happens? Unfortunately, too often the answer is, “Not enough.” Nursing homes routinely fail to take appropriate action in response to resident falls, and in some cases they will even attempt to hide information about falls in order to avoid legal liability.
If your loved one fell in a nursing home and suffered injuries as a result, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida can explain your rights and legal options. You may be able to seek damages for your loved one’s physical, emotional, and financial losses.
A Common Example of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing homes can provide quality care, and many nursing home caregivers and staff members are passionate about helping residents who are unable to fully care for themselves. But, it is not uncommon for nursing homes’ responses to be problematic.
For example, the following scenario is unfortunately common:
A nursing home resident falls on her way to the cafeteria. Unable to stand up, she calls for help, but no one comes. Fifteen minutes later, a staff member happens to walk by, and the staff member helps the resident back to her room. The staff member leaves the resident in her room unattended.
The following weekend during a family visit, the resident complains of pain in her hip and explains that she fell. A family member inquires with the nursing home, which says it has no record of a fall occurring. When the family tries to take the resident to the hospital for a diagnosis, the nursing home resists, saying that the resident needs to stay in the facility and that there is no evidence that medical treatment is necessary. When the resident finally receives treatment, her condition is far worse than it should have been as a result of the delay.
What Should Happen When a Resident Falls in a Nursing Home?
Now, what should happen? Let’s start with the same example above. But, instead of waiting for help, the resident gets help immediately because staff members are monitoring during the lunch hour. The staff member contacts the nursing home’s administrator, who promptly arranges transportation to the local hospital. The administrator also contacts the resident’s family immediately and explains what happened.
What if the Nursing Home Doesn’t Do the Right Thing?
When we entrust the care of a loved one to a nursing home, we expect the nursing home to do the right thing when residents fall. So, when a nursing home doesn’t do the right thing, it should be held accountable for any damages that occur as a result. With this in mind, if you or a loved one has suffered preventable complications due to a fall in a Florida nursing home, consider the following steps:
- Get medical treatment right away: If you have not done so already, you should see a doctor right away. If you have already seen a doctor, make sure you know your doctor’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- Do not let the nursing home tell you what to do: When you are dealing with preventable complications from a fall (or possible preventable complications from a fall), you do not have to let the nursing home tell you what to do. At this point, you should do whatever you think is necessary to protect yourself or your loved one.
- Talk to your family member and take detailed notes: Following a fall in a nursing home, it is important to try to record as many details as possible. Take the time to sit down and walk through the events that took place both prior to and after the fall. No detail is too small, and anything you can remember will be helpful to your lawyer.
- Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida: The financial and non-financial costs of falls in nursing homes can be substantial. In order to protect yourself and your loved ones, you should talk to an Orlando nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Florida for Free
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall at a Florida nursing home, we encourage you to contact Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter promptly for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with an experienced Orlando nursing home neglect lawyer today, call (407) 712-7300. We serve clients from Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and other areas in Florida.