Making the decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy one. Odds are good you tried to take care of your loved one's needs; but now, they need more and more assistance so the family reluctantly agrees that a nursing home or assisted living situation is for the best. You probably feel bad and/or guilty, and you relentlessly search for the best nursing home around. You visit the facility, you speak with the nurses and staff and you observe that all of the patients look healthy and well-cared for. So you check your loved one into the home.
A few weeks later, you get a phone call to inform you that your loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident while unattended. They have received medical attention, but have broken their hip. You visit the hospital to check-on your loved one. Now you're wondering if you have a personal injury case against the nursing home.
The answer is: maybe.
First, you should know that when you agreed to let the assisted living facility take care of your mother, the facility took-on certain responsibilities. One of these obligations includes conducting a fall risk assessment regularly as your loved one's condition changes. This assessment will determine how likely your family member is to slip and fall. Based on the results of this assessment, the facility is then obligated to instill safety measures to help protect your loved one from falling. Some safety precautions include providing a walker or wheelchair or requiring that nurses or facility staff walk with your loved one when they are mobile. These safety measures prescribed for your loved one are known as their fall risk guidelines.
In many slip-and-fall situations that occur in a nursing home, it is not uncommon that the accident was a result of the facility staff's failure to follow the fall risk guidelines in place. This can constitute negligence on the part of the facility and their staff, which may form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.
Additionally, the Colorado Department of Human Services—if notified of your loved one's fall—can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. These investigations are thorough, and the Department will have no trouble concluding that the care facility failed to conduct a fall risk assessment, failed to abide by the required fall risk guidelines or ignored them altogether. The results of the Department's investigation can be extremely useful in establishing or supporting a personal injury case against the nursing home.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in a nursing home, it is critical to consult with a personal injury lawyer right away. At the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers have decades of experience representing clients injured in nursing home slip-and-falls as well as all sorts of personal injury accidents. We can review your case, discover if nursing home staff violated any fall risk guidelines or other rules and regulations, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (303) 825 – 2223 or visit us online.