Nursing Home Fall Lawyer in Colorado

Nursing homes must take precautions to ensure residents are as safe as possible. That includes protecting those in their care from unnecessary falls. If facilities and staff breach their duty to prevent this danger, then victims should reach out to a nursing home fall lawyer.

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Nursing Home Justice Protects Victims of Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home fall cases can be complicated. You should work with a knowledgeable attorney who understands Colorado law to improve your chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Nursing Home Justice has worked with countless fall victims to help them stand up against nursing homes and their insurance companies.

With over 35 years of legal experience, founding attorney Mac Hester knows how to address the needs of nursing home fall victims and their families. Every case is unique, and we will compassionately guide you to a full recovery.

Contact attorney Mac Hester with Nursing Home Justice Today – (303) 775-8128

How Common Are Falls in Nursing Homes?

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, falls are among the most common injuries in nursing homes. There are approximately 1.6 million people in nursing facilities in the United States, and nearly half of those people fall every year.

In fact, one-third of the people in nursing homes fall two or more times every year.

Why Are Falls So Common in Nursing Homes?

Falls occur in nursing homes for several reasons. Some involve risk factors inherent to the patients, and others are related to the environment itself.

It’s important to note that while some risk factors such as age-related body function and chronic disease symptoms cannot be eliminated, there are still ways to reduce the risks of falling.

Factors That Increase the Risk for Falls

Risk factors and common causes of nursing home falls include, but are not limited to:

  • Age-related body changes (gait, balance, strength)
  • Acute medical conditions
  • Chronic diseases
  • Medication side effects
  • Muscular deconditioning from inactivity
  • Unsafe behaviors of residents
  • Environmental hazards
  • Unsafe equipment
  • Unsafe personal care items
  • Poor lighting
  • Cluttered living space
  • Uneven or wet floors
  • Unstable furniture and bed wheels
  • Ineffective wheelchair brakes
  • Missing equipment parts
  • Improper footwear

A nursing home facility must take a multifaceted approach to address these risk factors and causes to reduce the incidents of falling among residents.

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Does My Injury Qualify for Compensation?

Question 1/5

Have you or someone you know been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect?

Our firm reaches success through our attention to detail, genuine care for our clients, and relentless desire to make you whole.

What Types of Injuries Result from Nursing Home Falls?

Falls typically have devastating consequences, especially for elderly residents. These injuries seriously decrease the quality of life and functional ability of fall victims. Many of these people develop a fear of falling that can limit interaction with others and everyday activities.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that one in 10 nursing facility residents who fall are seriously injured. Typical injuries that are the result of nursing home falls include, but are not limited to:

Hip Fractures

Approximately 65,000 residents suffer hip fractures each year. This type of injury is expected because when a patient falls, they often turn and hit the ground with their side. They may also hit furniture or nearby objects with their hips on the way to the ground.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Traumatic brain injuries like concussions may be mild, moderate, or severe. They often occur when a resident’s head hits the ground or another object as they are falling. In some cases, a head bump may cause a fall.

Broken Bones

Many nursing home patients have weakened bones due to age, medication, or chronic illness. The impact of a fall can easily put enough pressure on bones to cause a fracture. Legs, arms, and ribs are common bones that break in falls in nursing homes.

Death

Catastrophic injuries may initially be invisible, and nursing home staff may fail to contact emergency medical services. Those injuries can quickly become fatal without proper treatment.

Who’s Liable for Falls in Nursing Homes?

A nursing home might be liable for a fall if the accident occurred because of the actions or inaction of staff or administration. You must show that the nursing facility or staff was negligent.

Examples of Nursing Home Negligence

Some actions that might indicate the nursing home is liable for a fall include:

  • They failed to assess a resident’s fall risk
  • They did not provide mobility assistance to the resident
  • They did not supervise the resident during a time the resident should not have been left alone
  • The nursing home hired unqualified employees
  • The nursing home failed to train employees properly
  • The nursing home did not develop or modify a care plan based on a resident’s needs

Possible Liable Parties

Some parties that may be liable for a fall in a nursing home include:

  • Facility Staff – Individual staff members may have failed to follow protocols established by the nursing home facility. In most cases, the nursing home would be liable for the actions of staff members.
  • Nursing Home – The nursing facility can be liable for actions like understaffing, failure to train employees properly, and hiring unqualified workers. All of these situations can lead to fall risks.
  • Nursing Home Management Company – Many nursing homes have a management company that handles hiring, training, and staff supervision. If the management company fails to maintain safety standards, they may be liable.
  • Nursing Home Chain Entities – Many nursing homes are parts of larger chain organizations. Those larger entities may be liable along with the nursing home or management company.

Fall Prevention in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes should prevent falls by implementing a comprehensive program that includes educating staff, maintaining facilities, and assessing risks.

Staff Education

Staff at a nursing home should be highly qualified. That means they have been educated in ways to care for people who may be residents at a nursing facility. Many nursing home employees have formal educations, but they should also go through routine training to refresh information about topics like fall prevention.

Facility Maintenance

Nursing home facilities require specialty medical equipment that can be difficult to maintain and repair. However, it is important that staff regularly inspect the nursing home premises, furniture, and all equipment to ensure it is safe for residents.

Risk Assessment

Federal regulations require nursing homes to assess patients when they enter a facility. This assessment should include evaluation for fall risks. Residents should be regularly assessed thereafter, especially if mobility level changes or medications are adjusted.

Specific Protocols Nursing Homes Must Abide By To Prevent Falls

Some specific protocols that nursing homes should have to reduce fall risks include:

  • Ensuring a staff member walks with or supports residents who are at risk
  • Keeping a close watch over residents who are known fall risks
  • Providing residents with walkers and wheelchairs
  • Reviewing medications for side effects like dizziness
  • Providing residents with hip pads to prevent hip fractures
  • Assessing patients who suffer a fall to identify the cause and treat their injuries

Nursing homes that do not have fall protocols or fail to adhere to them may be negligent and liable for injuries suffered by residents who fall.

Can Bed Restraints Prevent Falls?

While many nursing homes use bed restraints to keep patients in their beds, many studies have found that physical restraints may be ineffective in reducing falls in nursing homes. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, bed restraints can actually lead to complications like functional loss, immobility, delirium, pressure sores, and falls and other injuries.

Bed restraints may be used by a nursing facility if they cannot constantly monitor an individual who frequently attempts to get out of bed. However, they should be used cautiously.

What Compensation Can You Recover in Fall Claims?

When a nursing home or its staff member causes injuries to a resident, they are responsible for any damages that result. Nursing Home Justice considers all aspects of your fall to determine the value of your claim and help you get compensation for the following damages:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Permanent impairment
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Long-term care expenses
  • Costs of medical equipment

Damages for Wrongful Death

If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in a nursing home fall, then the surviving spouse and heirs can pursue a wrongful death claim to recover the following:

  • Loss of financial support that the decedent would have provided to the surviving spouse, heirs or designated beneficiary (e.g., decedent was a rehab patient who was going to return to work)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Non-economic damages for grief, sorrow, and loss of companionship

The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may also be able to recover medical expenses that were incurred by the victim before their death.

Your nursing home fall lawyer can help you understand all your options.

Punitive Damages

There are some situations where punitive damages may be appropriate in nursing home fall claims. Punitive damages do not compensate you for your losses but rather punish a party for particularly wrongful or reckless behavior.

How We Obtain Justice for Injured Victims

Nursing Home Justice evaluates every case individually. Every client receives one-on-one attention and compassion from our nursing home fall attorneys. Lead attorney Mac Hester and his team will work for you in the following ways:

  • Personal Attention & Compassion – Your lawyer will personally meet with you and listen to your story. We want to know what is important to you. Then, we will help you decide your next steps.
  • Thorough Investigation – It can be challenging to obtain evidence in a nursing home fall case. Your knowledgeable attorney will gather information and use it to support your claims.
  • Recover Maximum Compensation – Every case is different, so it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’re owed. However, your nursing home fall lawyer will evaluate your case and pursue maximum recovery for you.

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