Fall accidents among the elderly in Pennsylvania often lead to serious injuries like fractured hips and shoulders. Head injuries are also very common. For residents of nursing homes who have health conditions, fractures may result in complications, or the fractures may take long periods of time to heal.
Bathroom fall accidents are one of the most common types of nursing home fall accidents. Bathroom fall accidents include accidents on bathroom floors and bathing fall accidents. Below is a discussion of two nursing home bathroom fall accident scenarios and a corresponding discussion of liability.
Bathroom/Shower Accident Due to Water on the Floor
Water accumulation on the bathroom floor of a nursing home resident’s room is a serious problem. Because of the advanced age and health condition of nursing home residents, slipping on even a small amount of water can lead to major injuries. Many elderly nursing home residents never recover from a fall accident, and in fact, many get worse.
For example, an elderly nursing home resident in Philadelphia walks into her bathroom and slips on water that has accumulated on the floor. The toilet has been leaking, causing the accumulation. As a result of the slip and fall accident, the resident breaks her hip in multiple places and also hits her head on the floor of the shower wall. Due to her advanced age, she is not a candidate for surgery. She is confined to a wheelchair for several months. As a result of the head injury, she has severe headaches and begins having memory problems. During this period, she becomes increasingly depressed and anxious. Her family is worried and decides to talk to a nursing home injury lawyer.
Is There a Case Against the Nursing Home?
The lawyer determines that there is a viable claim against the nursing home for failing to maintain the bathroom plumbing. After the lawsuit is filed, evidence shows that the nursing home had ample knowledge about the leaking toilet and had in fact, intended to send someone to fix the leak. However, weeks went by and nothing happened; the resident was then injured in her fall down accident. If the nursing home had taken proper action and properly fixed the leak, the accident would not have occurred.
Bathtub Fall Accident Due to Negligent Supervision
Residents of long term care facilities like nursing homes often need aid in personal hygiene care like bathing or showering. If a nursing home resident is not supervised in accordance with the resident’s care plan, the nursing home may be liable for negligent supervision.
For example, a nursing home resident has a history of falling due to weakness. Per his nursing home care plan, he is to be aided whenever he takes a bath or shower. On the day of the accident, a nurse’s aide helps him into his bathroom for his scheduled bath. However, her pager goes off, and she leaves him unattended in the bath. As he tries to get out of the tub himself, he falls and suffers serious back injuries.
In this case, there would be sufficient evidence of negligent supervision on the part of the nursing home. The nursing home would probably be liable in a subsequent nursing home injury lawsuit for two reasons. First, the resident’s care plan indicated that the resident required aid for bathing, and second, the nurse’s aide left without ensuring the resident was being aided by another employee.
If you or a loved one would like a free consultation with one of our nursing home injury lawyers, please call (215) 985-0777.
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