What Happens if a Fall in a Nursing Home Is Unwitnessed?Nursing Home Abuse
Fall risks increase as people age, and falls are common in long-term care or assisted living facilities. Data shows that about half of nursing home residents suffer at least one fall a year, and fall-related injuries can kill nursing home residents. For example, many people who suffer a broken hip pass away from surgical complications during standard treatment courses or, if they survive, they might never walk again.
In a nursing home setting, falls can occur without any witnesses present. This can worry both the resident and their family. When a fall happens, and no one is around to see it, it can raise questions about how and why it occurred.
If a fall happens due to nursing home neglect or negligent maintenance of the premises, the injured resident or their family has important legal rights. While legal claims might be more challenging with no witnesses to the fall, you should still determine the cause of the fall and explore your options for proving the facility’s liability.
Seek a free consultation with a Summerville nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible if you believe the nursing home was to blame for your loved one’s fall.
Signs of an Unwitnessed Fall
Sometimes, your loved one will call and report that they fell, while in other situations, they might receive emergency care for serious injuries from a fall. However, knowing that a fall happened is not always this simple.
One of the most obvious signs of an unwitnessed fall is the presence of bruising or injuries on the resident. Falls can result in bumps, cuts, bruises, or even broken bones, such as hip fractures.
Not all falls will result in visible injuries, so it is important to look out for other signs. If you notice any unexplained marks or injuries on your loved one, it may indicate that they have experienced a fall and did not tell you.
Another sign to watch for is changes in behavior or mood. Falls can be traumatic experiences for residents, and they may exhibit emotional or behavioral changes as a result. They may become more withdrawn, anxious, or agitated.
They may also show signs of depression or have difficulty sleeping. If you notice any sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior or mood, it is important to investigate further and consider the possibility of an unwitnessed fall.
Inconsistent or contradicting statements from the nursing home staff can also be a sign of an unwitnessed fall. If you ask the staff about the incident and receive different or conflicting accounts of what happened, they may be trying to cover up an unwitnessed fall.
Always ask for a thorough explanation and clarification if you have any doubts or concerns about the circumstances surrounding the fall. Remember, it is your right as a family member to have access to accurate and transparent information about your loved one’s well-being.
If you suspect that your loved one has experienced an unwitnessed fall in a nursing home, never ignore the matter – always take further action. Contacting a lawyer who handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases can help you navigate the complex legal process and seek justice for your loved one if the nursing home is at fault.
Investigation Process after an Unwitnessed Fall
When a fall occurs in a nursing home with no witnesses, an experienced nursing home injury attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the truth and ensure that you take the necessary steps for justice and accountability.
The investigation begins by interviewing the staff members on duty at the time of the fall. They may have valuable information about the events leading up to the incident or any potential hazards that may have contributed to the fall. Your attorney can ask detailed questions and gather as much information as possible to create a clear picture of the circumstances surrounding the fall.
Additionally, collecting medical records can help the investigation process. These records can provide valuable insights into the resident’s medical history, pre-existing conditions, and medications that may have increased the risk of falling.
By reviewing these records, your attorney can identify potential factors that contributed to the fall and determine if appropriate measures were taken to mitigate these risks.
Furthermore, reviewing surveillance footage can be an invaluable tool in investigating unwitnessed falls. Most nursing homes have cameras installed in common areas and hallways, providing a visual record of the events leading up to a fall.
By carefully reviewing this footage, your lawyer can identify potential hazards, observe the resident’s behaviors before the fall, and identify staff members who may have been present – or should have been present but were not – during the incident.
In some cases, expert medical opinions may help further understand the circumstances surrounding an unwitnessed fall. These experts can provide insights into the resident’s physical condition, any underlying medical issues, and the potential impact of those factors on the fall. Their opinions can help determine if the fall was a result of negligence or if it was an unavoidable accident.
Investigating an unwitnessed fall in a nursing home is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to uncovering the truth. If you or a loved one has experienced an unwitnessed fall in a nursing home, consult a nursing home attorney who can handle this process before evidence fades or disappears.
Duty of Care of Nursing Homes
When a loved one enters a nursing home, we trust they will receive the highest care and attention. Part of this responsibility falls on the nursing home itself, which has a duty of care towards its residents.
This duty of care encompasses a range of responsibilities, including ensuring a safe environment, monitoring residents, and implementing fall prevention measures.
Ensuring a safe environment is a fundamental duty of nursing homes. This includes complying with safety regulations, conducting regular safety inspections, repairing any hazards or defects, and maintaining a clean and well-maintained facility. By doing so, nursing homes minimize the risk of falls and other accidents. They should also provide adequate lighting, secure handrails, and clear walkways to reduce the likelihood of tripping or slipping incidents.
Monitoring residents is another crucial aspect of the duty of care in nursing homes. This involves regularly assessing residents’ physical and cognitive abilities, identifying potential risks, and implementing appropriate preventive measures.
For example, residents at risk of falling may require assistance with mobility and regular check-ins to ensure their well-being. Nursing homes should also ensure that staff members are trained in recognizing signs of deteriorating health or increased fall risk.
In addition to ensuring a safe environment and monitoring residents, nursing homes must also implement measures to prevent falls. This may include providing residents with appropriate mobility aids like walkers or canes and training staff members in proper transfer techniques.
Nursing homes should also educate residents and their families about fall risks and prevention strategies, empowering them to actively reduce the likelihood of falls.
Nursing homes have a duty of care towards their residents, which includes ensuring a safe environment, monitoring residents, and implementing fall prevention measures. By fulfilling these responsibilities, nursing homes can create an environment that promotes the well-being and safety of their residents.
If a fall in a nursing home is unwitnessed, family members must understand their rights and seek legal guidance to hold the facility accountable for any negligence or breach of duty.
If you believe that a loved one has experienced a fall in a nursing home due to negligence or inadequate safety measures, contact a nursing home injury attorney. They are here to explain your legal options and pursue justice for your loved one.
Negligence and Liability of Nursing Homes for Falls
One common cause of unwitnessed falls is the failure to provide proper care and supervision. Nursing homes have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their residents.
This includes implementing fall prevention strategies, conducting regular assessments of residents’ mobility and cognitive abilities, and providing adequate staff to assist residents with their daily activities. When a fall occurs without any witnesses, it may indicate a lack of proper care and supervision.
Another factor that can contribute to unwitnessed falls is inadequate staffing levels. Nursing homes must have enough staff on duty to meet the needs of their residents. Insufficient staffing can lead to delays in response times and a lack of supervision, increasing the risk of falls. If the nursing home fails to maintain appropriate staffing levels, it may be liable for any injuries resulting from unwitnessed falls.
Lack of training is another issue that can contribute to unwitnessed falls. Staff members need to be properly trained in fall prevention techniques, proper transfer and lifting techniques, and recognizing signs of risk factors for falls. Without adequate training, staff members may not be equipped to prevent falls or respond appropriately when they occur.
Potential Legal Options
If a nursing home was to blame for an unwitnessed fall, you might be wondering what legal options are available to you or your loved one. Filing a personal injury lawsuit is one avenue to seek justice and compensation.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you claim that the nursing home was negligent and violated its duty of care, leading to the fall and subsequent injuries. Negligence can include inadequate supervision, failure to provide assistive devices, or failure to maintain a safe environment.
Seeking compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering is a critical aspect of any personal injury case. Medical bills can add up quickly, and the emotional and physical pain caused by the fall can have long-lasting effects on the victim.
An experienced attorney will work diligently to ensure that your loved one receives the compensation they deserve to cover their medical costs, as well as provide some measure of compensation for the pain and suffering they endured.
Consulting with a skilled attorney who can guide you through the legal process and advocate for your loved one’s rights is necessary to receive the justice and compensation your family deserves. Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging situation alone. Act now and protect your rights by seeking legal assistance.
Importance of Legal Representation
Navigating complex legal processes can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with your loved one’s injuries from a fall in a nursing home. This is why having a skilled attorney by your side is essential. They can guide you through the legal maze, helping you build a strong case.
When a fall in a nursing home goes unwitnessed, it can be challenging to gather evidence and prove negligence. However, an experienced attorney knows the ins and outs of these cases and can maximize your chances of success. They will thoroughly investigate the incident, collect all available evidence, and consult expert witnesses if needed.
Building a strong case is necessary for obtaining the compensation your family deserves. Your attorney will gather medical records, interview staff members and witnesses, and analyze the nursing home’s policies and procedures. They will work tirelessly to establish liability and demonstrate how the fall could have been prevented.
Maximizing your chances of success is the ultimate goal of legal representation. An attorney will negotiate with insurance companies on your family’s behalf and advocate for your rights. They will use their experience to navigate the legal system, ensuring your loved one receives fair compensation for their injuries.
Consult a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Immediately
Don’t face the complexities of a fall in a nursing home alone. Consult a nursing home neglect attorney who will guide you through this challenging process. Their knowledge and experience will help build a strong case and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Get your free consultation with a trusted nursing home injury law firm near you.
Nathan Hughey, an attorney and fourth-generation South Carolinian, founded Hughey Law Firm in 2007. Before that, he spent five years defending nursing homes and insurance companies. Leveraging his experience, he now advocates for those injured or wronged by such entities, securing over $220 million in verdicts and settlements.