Las Vegas Injury Lawyers Discuss Fractures from Falls Resulting in Lack of Nursing Home Supervision
Older individuals are at a higher risk of falling due to instability and balance issues becoming more common as people age. Bone fractures due to falling are often more common in older individuals due to the increased fragility of bones. While many falls in nursing homes are accidents that were due to honest mistakes, some are the result of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of the resident. If you or a loved one has fallen and suffered a fracture because of it, speak to experienced Las Vegas injury lawyers immediately.
No matter the circumstances surrounding a resident’s fall, the nursing home and its staff should have been able to prevent it. With the demand for nursing homes surging in recent years, quality of staff training and nursing home facilities seems to have decreased. It is not acceptable for nursing homes to cut corners when it endangers their residents.
Causes for Falls
Nursing homes should have layouts that eliminate any unnecessary dangers for individuals who are unstable and prone to losing their balance, as many residents are. It is their responsibility to take any and all steps possible to prevent their residents from falling, especially since the potential consequences may be much higher than for the average individual. The most common preventable causes of nursing home falls include the following:
- Lack of proper supervision – All residents should be assessed for their specific needs at the nursing home. While some individuals may be quite competent or “with it,” balance and the risk of falling is a separate issue and should be treated seriously. There is no reason a resident who is at risk for falling should not have assistance on hand while moving about the home.
- Physical hazards – As mentioned above, it is imperative that the facility is organized in a way that limits the dangers a resident may come across. Such dangers include wet or slippery floors, including worn carpet with limited traction or tripping hazards such as loose cords, bunched carpet, furniture or clutter
- Inadequate assistance when transitioning locations – Entering and exiting chairs, beds, or vehicles can be difficult for many nursing home residents. When staff isn’t on hand or is incapable of properly assisting a resident, falls are more likely. It is important for nursing home personnel to be trained in the proper protocols during these periods, such as the locking of wheelchairs and the best way to assist a resident in these movements.
If a nursing home fails to have the proper layout for safety, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to your local Las Vegas injury lawyers for legal guidance.
Possible Injuries from Falling
The most common injuries due to falls include:
- Fractures and shattered bones – As people age, their bones become thinner, making nursing home residents an especially fragile population to falls. Even a seemingly gentle and minor fall can result in severe, painful fractures. The most common bones that are broken include the wrists, arms, hips, legs and knees. Elderly individuals are also more difficult to treat since they often suffer from other medical conditions that may complicate recovery. Unlike with younger groups, an older individual with a broken bone is more likely to require surgery to allow the bone to heal or to replace a damaged joint.
- Internal Damage – Organ trauma or internal bleeding may result from a fall. It is important for these to be recognized quickly and for medical help to be sought as quickly as possible. Since many older individuals take medications that thin their blood, they are more likely to have severe reactions to internal damage. If these injuries are not treated in time, they may result in death.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – If an individual were to fall and hit their head, it is possible for there to be brain damage. Whenever the brain endures physical trauma, fluid may build up within the small tears that occur. These tears are impossible to detect without the use of an MRI or PET scan. Traumatic brain injury can result in brain damage that limits the individual’s thinking capability and may affect their memory, motor function, and communication skills. This injury can be extremely life-altering or even result in death.
Taking Legal Action
Leaving a loved one in the care of others is one of the hardest things adults often have to do as their parents and loved ones age. To discover there may be neglect that results in a fall and other injuries can be heart-wrenching on several levels. Any fall that occurs in a nursing home should be investigated closely and almost always indicates some level of neglect. Seeking legal advice from experienced Las Vegas injury lawyers as soon as the injured loved one is seen to can help you get the justice you and your loved one deserve.
Call Our Las Vegas Injury Lawyers if A Loved One Has Been Neglected in a Nursing Home
With over 15 years of experience handling personal injury cases of all sorts, you can trust the Las Vegas injury lawyers at Harris & Harris to fight hard for your case. Give us a call at (702) 384-1414 for a free consultation.