While California has made a concerted effort to improve the care provided in assisted living facilities, slips and falls remain a staggering – yet preventable – problem. The repercussions of these incidents can be catastrophic for the victim and their loved ones. The nursing home slip and fall attorneys at Salamati Law are experienced in handling insurance claims and lawsuits in these heartbreaking situations.
A Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can help you understand your rights, and take appropriate steps to achieve justice and hold negligent parties accountable. Our legal team strives tirelessly to obtain the maximum monetary recovery for victims, and there are no fees unless a settlement or judgment is obtained.
How common are slip and fall accidents in nursing homes? Approximately 1.4 million people reside in American nursing homes, and with Baby Boomers coming of age, that number is expected to more than double – to 3 million – by 2030. Approximately 75% of nursing home residents will experience a fall in any given year. To put the matter into perspective, a 100-bed nursing home can expect to see 100-200 falls per year.
A slip and fall accident resulting in a hip fracture is one of the more commonly reported occurrences in nursing homes. Hip fractures are difficult to recover from even among the young and healthy. Older people have lower bone density and less muscle mass, making them more susceptible to these fractures, which are incredibly dangerous. According to recent statistics, one in three adults over the age of 50 dies within one year of sustaining a hip fracture. Prolonged recovery periods and extended bed rest can lead to further health complications like bedsores, blood clots, and infections, which increase the risk of death.
Nursing home residents can fall for many reasons, including their own infirmity, problems with facility layout, inadequate care plans, employee negligence, and a combination of these factors.
Some of the common causes of nursing home falls that we see include:
When facilities attempt to save money by reducing skilled nursing staff, it can lead to incidents such as:
Failures with the nursing home itself or its staff increase the risk of a slip and fall:
A failure to repair or clean up wet floors and other environmental hazards is a key factor in fall injuries in nursing homes, responsible for up to 27% of accidents among residents. According to the CDC, some of the biggest culprits include:
Seniors, especially those who require special nursing care, may be at increased risk of falling due to:
All nursing home centers should have fall prevention protocols in place, in conjunction with ongoing training for staff. When facilities fail in this basic duty, and an elderly loved one is injured in a fall, the care facility may be held liable.
Falls protocol in nursing homes should encompass these basic tenants:
The elderly are at greater risk of falling, as well as at greater risk of becoming injured in a fall. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in Americans over the age of 65, and between 10 and 20 percent of nursing home falls cause serious injury.
Some of the most common nursing home injuries include:
Nursing home falls also cause a decline in a resident’s ability to function, impair independence, and cause feelings of fear, helplessness, and isolation. Falling on the stairs, slipping on a wet bathroom floor – whatever the circumstances– it’s imperative to consult a nursing home injury attorney in Los Angeles who can begin investigating as quickly as possible.
Anyone – any person or organization, not just the resident or their family members – may file a complaint about neglect, abuse, or unsafe conditions, including under-staffing and poor care with the Licensing and Certification Division of the California Department of Public Health. For those looking to resolve a specific dispute, the California long-term care ombudsman can help try to reach a resolution with the facility.
Who is responsible for falls in nursing homes? There are many reasons nursing home residents fall. In some cases, no one is to blame. In others, the nursing home and/or its employees did something it should not have or failed to do something it should – this is called breaching a duty of care.
A nursing home may be liable for the fall if it breached a duty of care. In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the facility did not meet its duty.
Proving liability for a nursing home slip and fall accident requires in-depth knowledge of the industry and the rules it is required to follow. Salamati Law is intimately familiar with this process and works with experts who can prove if a facility or its staff failed to develop or adhere to a patient’s health care plan, particularly regarding fall risk. Investigations may also uncover that a resident fell because of lack of supervision, negligent premises maintenance, or a failure to provide assistive devices like wheelchairs, canes, or walkers.
You or your loved one may be entitled to damages including:
If elder abuse is suspected, special damages may include:
Generally, in California, if a claim alleges that an injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the time frame is two years from the date of the injury. If the claim involves a wrongful death or allegations of professional negligence, the deadline may be only one year.
It is crucial to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer to determine the statute of limitations for your claim. If a claim is not filed by the proper deadline, it will be barred.
If a loved one was injured in a nursing home slip and fall accident in Los Angeles, reach out to Salamati Law for sound legal guidance. We provide compassionate client-focused advocacy on behalf of personal injury victims throughout Southern California, and look forward to discussing your case during a free and confidential consultation.