Falls in Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Tuesday, Mar 26, 2024

Patients in hospitals and nursing homes entrust those facilities with their well-being and even their lives. Both hospitals and nursing homes are required by law to provide an adequate level of care. If someone is injured as a result of receiving a level of care that can be considered to be below the accepted standards, or negligent, then you may be entitled to receive compensation with monetary damages.

Falls in hospitals and nursing homes are, unfortunately, a too common occurrence. When patients are admitted to a facility, they need to be properly evaluated for what is called a “fall risk assessment". Once a patient is evaluated then the proper level of care, monitoring and assistance needs to be provided.

Nursing home residents are more likely to fall because they:

  • Tend to be older and frailer, that’s why they’re in nursing homes;
  • Have more chronic conditions and more difficulty walking;
  • Tend to have cognitive issues;
  • Are less able to manage simple tasks like toileting and dressing on their own;
  • Have poorer balance and more general muscle weakness;
  • Take more medications that increase the risk of falls;
  • May suffer weakness from being improperly nourished or hydrated.

The lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have successfully represented many patients that suffered injuries due to falling in both hospitals and nursing homes. Patients our firm has represented who have fallen and been injured comprise many different circumstances, including;

  • a commode which was missing the proper rubber ends on its legs and slipped from under a patient;
  • a patient who was dropped while being lifted by a HOYA lift;
  • a patient who was left to go the bathroom on his own despite having been evaluated as requiring assistance and slipped and fell;
  • patients who needed to use the bathroom and the nurses did not answer the call bells so they tried to get out of bed on their own and were injured when they fell;
  • bed rails that were left in a down position when they should have been raised;
  • patients suffering dementia or confusion who were left unattended;
  • a patient that fell off of a bed when the mattress fell off the bed;
  • and many other specific fact patterns.

Unfortunately, falls in hospitals and nursing homes can result in serious injuries, and in elderly and frail patients often result in a fractured hip or other serious fractures. As a result of these injuries many patients may physically and mentally deteriorate, and even die. That is why the prevention of these types of injuries with proper care is so important.

Different ways that negligence or malpractice could be found:

  • The staff was not properly trained to prevent accidental falls;
  • The elderly or infirm patient was not being supervised when supervision was clearly needed;
  • There was misconduct by a nursing home staff member causing the accident;
  • The equipment and furniture used was not safe. Perhaps it was equipment that was clearly too dangerous for the elderly to use or did not take into account the increased fall risk.
  • The property was in poor condition and wasn’t maintained properly. For instance, a loose banister gave way. It was intended to prevent falls, but it caused the one that injured your loved one. A few loose screws can make a world of difference, and facilities have to be maintained with consistent upkeep.

With respect to nursing homes or residential health care facilities, the law is particularly strict. If a patient suffers any damages in a nursing home because of a failure to treat the patient properly, a private lawsuit may be brought to recover your damages. The law also provides that if the plaintiff is successful, the nursing home may have to pay the plaintiff’s reasonable legal fees.

So, if you or someone you know were injured in a Hospital or Nursing Home as a result of a fall, or who suffered from bedsores, then you need to contact the attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros who can review the medical and nursing home records with an appropriate medical expert, including nurses and doctors, and can then provide you with a legal opinion.

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You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.