Nursing Home And Elderly Slip-And-Fall Accidents
Nursing homes know about the risk of patients falling. The elderly have a tendency to fall down more frequently because of weakened muscles and bones. They are also prone to suffering devastating injuries that do not heal quickly or completely. It is common for the elderly to suffer bone fractures and head injuries in slip-and-fall accidents. These injuries reduce their quality of life and impair their ability to live independently. It’s crucial for Seattle nursing homes that house vulnerable seniors take every step necessary to prevent slip and fall accidents. A fall-risk assessment should be completed and that plan must be followed by the nursing assistants and employees in the skilled nursing facility.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home slip and fall accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Seattle slip-and-fall injury lawyer who has handled similar cases and can help hold the facility’s operator accountable.
Dangerous Conditions In Washington Nursing Homes
Under the law, Seattle nursing homes are required to provide reasonably safe conditions for residents who are often vulnerable and unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are also required to provide adequate supervision and assistive devices to help prevent slip and fall incidents. It is also important for nursing home administrators to evaluate residents and to create specific care plans that fit their needs. Some patients may need more supervision and assistance with mobility compared to others.
Here are just a few examples of dangerous conditions that can lead to devastating nursing home slip and fall accidents:
- Wet floors
- Clutter in the walkways
- Slippery bathroom floors
- Tripping hazards such as torn carpets
- Lack of railings
- Inadequate lighting
- Poorly trained staff
- Failure to follow fall-risk protocol
- Insufficient number of staff to monitor residents
Types Of Nursing Home Injuries
Nursing home falls can result in serious or even fatal injuries. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,800 people living in nursing homes die from falls each year. About 10 to 20 percent of nursing home falls lead to serious injuries, while 2 to 6 percent cause fractures. Falls in nursing homes result in disabilities, functional decline, and reduced quality of life for elderly residents. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, as well as psychological problems such as depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation. The CDC also reports that a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls a year. But, many falls go unreported. Patients often fall more than once. In fact, the average is 2.6 falls per resident each year. About 35 percent of fall-related injuries happen to residents unable to walk or in need of mobility assistance.
Preventing Nursing Home Falls
Here are some of the steps nursing homes should take to prevent fall-related injuries:
- Assess patients to determine and address potential risk factors.
- Educate and train nursing home staff about fall risk factors and strategies to prevent them.
- Review medications patients are taking and the potential risks or side effects.
- Make the nursing home’s environment safer for residents by installing grab bars, adding raised toilet seats, lowering bed heights, and putting in handrails in hallways.
- Provide patients with hip pads that may help prevent a hip fracture if a fall occurs.
- Provide adequate staffing for single or two-person assists when transfer of patient is necessary.
Compensation For Nursing Home Fall Injury Victims In Seattle
Nursing home falls happen because of negligence on the part of the nursing home or its staff members. Injured victims of nursing home slip and fall accidents can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation costs, expenses relating to medication, medical equipment, and pain and suffering.
The experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys at Pendergast Law can help injured victims and their families seek fair compensation for their significant losses.
Call us at 888-539-9211 to schedule a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.