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What Causes Common Nursing Home Fall Injuries?

Falls are a serious problem in elder-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living residences. Falls can have devastating impacts on an elderly person’s quality of life, including functional decline, disability, and death. After a single fall, elderly nursing home residents may face fears of additional falls that lead to social isolation, depression, and feelings of helplessness. Sadly, nursing home residents make up over 20% of deaths from falls in those over the age of 65.

If your elderly loved one experienced a serious fall in a nursing home in Phoenix, leading to physical, emotional, and financial damages or death, a Phoenix nursing home attorney from Knapp & Roberts can help your loved one and your family recover compensation and a sense of justice. Call our Phoenix nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers today so we can become a powerful voice for your loved one.

What Causes Common Nursing Home Fall Injuries?

Why Choose Knapp & Roberts for Your Nursing Home Fall Attorneys?

At Knapp & Roberts, we have deep compassion for victims of elder abuse and neglect, especially when it occurs due to neglect by the very care teams tasked with preventing injuries in senior citizens. We are a team of attorneys dedicated to representing victims of catastrophic injuries or death. We’re ready to make a difference by telling your loved one’s story to seek a settlement or jury award as a path to achieving justice. At Knapp & Roberts, we provide the following advantages to your legal claim after a nursing home fall injury:

  • Free confidential consultations and no attorney fees unless we secure your compensation
  • Access to local resources and medical experts to determine the implications of the injury and its consequences for your elderly family member
  • Strong negotiators to present compelling evidence to the insurer of the nursing home’s liability for damages like medical expenses, funeral costs, compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and diminished life quality
  • Skilled and experienced litigators who won’t hesitate to take the case before a jury if it’s required to recover compensation in a jury verdict

Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers have a track record of success in nursing home liability claims including a recent jury award for $11 million in an assisted living residence neglect case, a $3 million settlement for a nursing home bed sore death, and a stunning $45.5 million verdict for a group home wrongful death case.

Common Causes of Falls in Nursing Homes

Family members place their elderly loved ones into nursing homes so they’ll receive the diligent, round-the-clock care they require for their health and safety. Out of the over 1.6 million nursing home residents in the U.S. nearly half report at least one fall per year. About one out of three residents who report falling report 2 or more falls per year. Even worse, evidence shows that falls are underreported, especially those involving dementia patients who are unable to inform their loved ones of their experience.

When nursing home management and caregivers breach their duty to prevent injuries to frail, aging residents, they are liable for the consequences, or damages, to the victim and their family. Common causes of falls in nursing homes include the following:

  • Failure to properly monitor elderly patients with balance and coordination problems
  • Failure to secure bed rails
  • Failure to provide adequate walking assistive equipment such as walkers and hall rails
  • Inadequate staffing, which leads to one caregiver attempting to move a patient when two are required for safety
  • Inadequate staff training 
  • Keeping a resident’s personal items inaccessible or out of reach
  • Cluttered living spaces
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Wet or slippery floor surfaces
  • Bed heights set too high
  • Broken or poorly maintained wheelchairs and wheelchair brakes
  • Unstable nursing home furnishings
  • Violence between patients
  • Medication side effects and over-medication

When a nursing home fails to protect frail elderly residents from falls, they must be held accountable. Falls result in serious injuries to elderly nursing home residents who lack bone strength and face increased risks of infections.

If your aging loved one experienced fall injuries that led to a health decline or death, the attorneys at Knapp & Roberts can help hold the negligent party accountable.

Recognizing Fall Injuries in Nursing Home Patients

Compared to younger individuals, elderly nursing home residents are at a higher risk of serious injuries from a fall, some leading to a decline in function and loss of enjoyment of life. Common serious fall injuries experienced by nursing home residents include the following:

  • Bone fractures, including debilitating hip fractures
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Soft tissue damage (torn ligaments, sprains, and strains)
  • Bruises, abrasions, and lacerations

Even cuts and bruises can cause significant harm to elderly nursing home residents. Many are on daily blood thinner medications that can result in uncontrolled or internal bleeding. The elderly are also at greater risk of infections, including deadly sepsis.

When elderly individuals suffer bone fractures and immobilizing hip fractures, they are at increased risk of respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and bed sores—all of which may result in deadly infections.

Preventing Fall Injuries in Nursing Homes

Nursing home caregivers have a responsibility to carefully assess each patient’s fall risk, including evaluating balance and coordination problems, muscle and bone weakness, and medication effects. Caregivers and staff must implement strategies to minimize each patient’s risk of falling. These prevention measures may include aiding mobility with assistive walking equipment, and handrails, and installing grab bars and bed rails. Nursing home management must ensure their staff receives adequate training on fall risk management and emergency response to fallen residents.

When an elderly resident in a nursing home falls, caregivers must immediately assess the resident’s injuries and provide appropriate medical care, including transportation to a hospital when required. They also have a duty to promptly notify family members of their elderly loved one’s fall and the resulting injuries.

Call the Phoenix Fall Injury Attorneys at Knapp & Roberts Today

If a nursing home did not take the proper precautions and your senior family member experienced a devastating fall with serious injuries or death as a result, the attorneys at Knapp & Roberts are ready to ensure your case is heard. We will argue aggressively for financial compensation through a substantial settlement or take your loved one’s case to court in a lawsuit against the negligent facility. 

Call or contact our Phoenix nursing home fall lawyers today so we can hear about your loved one’s fall and begin strategizing the best way forward in your family’s case.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.