Slipping and falling poses a greater risk of harm to elderly individuals than to other, younger accident victims. When older adults experience slip and fall accidents, they can suffer major injuries. The fact that many elderly individuals suffer from osteoporosis and brittle bones places them at higher risk of hip fractures, which can further evolve into other serious complications.
If your elderly loved one sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident in a Phoenix, AZ nursing home, let one of Zanes Law’s elderly slip and fall lawyers in Phoenix, AZ champion your right for compensation. We will do everything from A to Z to hear that your voice is heard. Call us today at (866)-499-8989.
What Makes Nursing Homes Inherently Responsible for Residents’ Injuries
The high risk of falling represents one of the leading reasons many elderly individuals find themselves in the care of nursing homes. For this reason, when a resident experiences a slip and fall accident in such a facility, we consider it an egregious offense.
Nursing home facilities exist for the sole purpose of protecting their elderly residents. To fail in such a fundamental capacity—a duty of care—renders the owners of these facilities certainly liable.
Why a Nursing Home Slip and Fall Should Not Be Treated Like a Slip and Fall
From a legal standpoint, examples of a slip-and-fall accident include a restaurant patron slipping and falling on spilled grease or a factory worker tripping and falling down a staircase with loose treads. Although a nursing home resident can certainly slip and fall in similar ways, more commonly, the falls stem from the individual’s physical and mental condition.
If you try to pursue a nursing home slip and fall as you do a typical slip and fall, your case of negligence will more than likely snap shut when the arguments come to proving cause.
The wheels of justice in such a case should follow the idea that a nursing home is ultimately responsible for keeping its residents safe. As falls represent a common and expected danger for residents for reasons that extend beyond slipping on a liquid or falling down a set of broken stairs, the nursing home is responsible for establishing and implementing safety measures geared to protect the risk factors of slipping and falling that are unique to the elderly and infirm.
Duty of Care as it Applies to Nursing Homes
For any personal injury to succeed, it must primarily establish negligence. This is accomplished by meeting four essential criteria:
- Duty of Care – The nursing home had a duty to take reasonable steps to provide for the care of its residents. (This is an easy one.)
- Breach of Care – The nursing home failed in its duty of care. (We will use the evidence we gather to prove that the nursing home did not put safety measures in place or did not execute on those measures.)
- Causality – The nursing home’s breach of its duty of care caused your loved one to experience a slip and fall that caused him/her to be injured.
- Damages – The slip and fall caused injuries that, in turn, created physical, emotional, and financial damages that can be compensated.
Our elderly slip and fall lawyers in Phoenix, AZ will prove negligence and liability in your loved one’s slip-and-fall accident using our intimate knowledge of nursing home operations.
The Nursing Home’s Fall Risk Assessment and MDS Can Make Your Case
Our legal experts know the specific procedural issues connected to nursing homes that can facilitate proving an otherwise challenging case.
Minimum DataSets – Nursing homes must record a resident’s fall history on the Minimum Data Set (MDS). They share this information with the federal government so that if a single nursing home reports too many residents fall, the government can intervene. The MDS is just one of several tools that we will use to assess a nursing home’s liability in your loved one’s slip and fall.
Customized Care Plans – The nursing home must also create a customized care plan for each resident, with the purpose of preventing falls for that resident. The nursing home must ensure that the care plan is communicated to staff, implemented, reviewed, and, if necessary, revised to prevent a resident’s falling better.
A nursing home can be proven as liable for a fall if a resident slips and falls, and the staff failed to:
- Assess the resident
- Develop a care plan suited for preventing that resident from falling
- Implement the care plan
- Review the effectiveness of the care plan once it’s been implemented
- Revise the care plan if it is not preventing falls
How Elderly Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Nursing Homes
Research indicates that a high number of elderly slip and falls happen in nursing homes due to faulty facility policies and staff mistakes.
More Elderly Slip and Fall in Nursing Homes Than Outside Nursing Homes
According to a BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, article “Reducing falls in a care home,” the likelihood that a nursing home resident will fall is three times that of their counterparts who do not reside in such facilities.
Nursing home residents’ chances of sustaining a serious injury as a result of the fall are 10 times greater than that of their peers who do not live in nursing homes, the article reports.
Some Common Causes of Nursing Home Slip and Falls
Nursing home staff have a duty of care to be responsive to the different ways in which a resident may “slip and fall” and become injured.
- Prescription medications that make the resident groggy, weak, or dizzy
- Medical conditions, like weakness, balance issues, and blood pressure problems
- Improperly transferring the resident to or from a bed, wheelchair, toilet, walker or standing position
- Spills and obstacles on the floor
Often, staff members try their best but are unable to prevent falls due to staff shortages or inadequate training. Either way, the nursing home facility is liable for the injuries that happen from these accidents.
Slip and Fall Case Results
Zanes Law Elderly Slip and Fall Lawyers Wants to Help You
The elderly slip and fall lawyers in Phoenix, AZ at Zanes Law care deeply about the proper care of nursing home residents. We will do everything from A to Z to see that you get justice for your loved one’s injuries. Call our firm at (866)-499-8989 for a free consultation.