Nursing home residents and patients in care facilities often suffer fall accidents while in the care of the home or facility. Common types of nursing home fall accidents include:
- falls from a bed or wheelchair,
- falls in a bathroom or shower, and
- falls in other areas such as a hallway or dining room.
While a healthy person would probably walk away uninjured from a minor fall accident, the same type of fall accident involving an elderly nursing home patient can lead to fractures, medical complications and even death. The problem of falls in long-term and short-term care facilities is quite real. In fact, falls are a major health issue for individuals over the age of 65.
A Common Fall Accident Scenario Resulting in a Nursing Home’s Liability Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey Law
Nursing home residents often suffer from a myriad of health conditions, and due to old age, may be more prone to falls. While nursing home fall accidents can and do occur anywhere on the premises, one of the most common scenarios involves falls from a bed or wheelchair. Therefore, nursing homes must take reasonable precautions to prevent their residents from falling. If a nursing home fails to reasonable precautions, the nursing home may be held liable under both Pennsylvania and New Jersey negligence law.
Example 1, Falling from a Bed: A nursing home resident is known to attempt to get out of bed during the night. The resident has fallen out of bed on prior occasions. As a result, the resident’s medical doctor previously indicated to nursing home employees that his patient, the resident, must be closely monitored, especially at night.
A new nursing home employee/aide is putting up bed railings and fails to properly ensure that the bed railing for this particular resident is secure. The new aide is never informed that this particular resident is prone to night waking. The railing is not secured properly, and at night, the resident falls out of bed, suffering a major head injury. She dies one week later.
As a result of the nursing home employee’s failure to properly secure the bed rails and the nursing home’s failure to notify its employees of the problems specific to the resident, the family of the deceased resident may have a valid wrongful death claim against the nursing home.
Example 2, Falling out of a Wheelchair: A nursing home resident is non-ambulatory and also suffers from severe dementia. His only method of mobility is a wheelchair. Due to staff shortages, the resident is left alone for an extended period of time. He falls out of his wheelchair and suffers a serious leg and hip fracture. Due to his dementia, treatment for the fractures is difficult, and the resident’s condition becomes much worse.
Here, as a result of the nursing home’s negligence in providing proper staffing, this resident fell out of his wheelchair. Therefore, the nursing home may be liable for the resident’s medical bills and pain and suffering damages.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Accident & Abuse Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a fall accident at a nursing home or other care facility in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please call our nursing home accident lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation. (215) 985-0777
Our lawyers are skilled at handling nursing home negligence, abuse and assault cases in the Pennsylvania area, including Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Bucks County. Our lawyers also handle nursing home accident cases in the New Jersey area.
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Since each case is unique, discussion of prior outcomes and settlements in past cases is no guarantee of a similar outcome in current or future cases. Contacting our lawyers via the email contact form on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through the contact form.