The expectations that we have of nursing homes are completely reasonable— tend to the needs of our loved ones and make sure that they are safe. Falls on debris in nursing homes continue to be an issue of concern because they usually result in more serious injuries and the elderly heal much slower than those who are in the prime of their health. Demanding to know the reason for a fall is important because it often reveals the fact that the incident could have been avoided entirely if not for the negligent actions or policies of the nursing facility.
When a Chicago nursing home patient falls and is injured due to a cluttered or poorly maintained facility, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help. While some nursing home negligence cases involve complex medicine, most nursing home trip and falls cases are simply due to a poorly maintained facility. Despite their straightforward appearance, a trip and fall incident can have severe consequences for the patient. Our Illinois nursing home law firm is committed to holding facilities fully responsible when a patient suffers a trip and fall injury. Contact us for a free case review.
Fall Prevention is not the Primary Concern of Nursing Homes
If your loved one experiences a fall, he or she is at risk of suffering from serious injuries that threaten his or her mobility and long term health. Hip fractures, for example, often result in a poor prognosis and victims may be permanently immobile less than a year after such injuries. Others are not so lucky and pass away due to complications brought on by their injuries. Logic would dictate that fall prevention would be a priority for nursing facilities, but homes are often more concerned with reducing costs or finding ways to increase their margins.
Preventing falls on debris in nursing homes may require more attentive care and this requires time that overworked staff members often cannot provide. This is the direct result of understaffing and inadequate training, which are both symptoms of policies that neglect the needs of patients in favor of greater profit margins.
Ways that Patients’ Environments Contribute to Fall Accidents
There are numerous contributing factors to fall accidents and the unfortunate reality is that most of those factors are easy to notice and address appropriately. Regardless of any excuse you receive from a nursing facility following a fall, there are few excuses for allowing patients to become injured by the elements of their environment. Staff members need to be aware of these environmental hazards and react to them in an expedient manner to make sure that your loved one doesn’t get hurt.
- Clutter in the patient’s room or in hallways. It is the responsibility of nursing home faculty to make sure that patients’ rooms are orderly and that there are no objects on floors that they can trip over.
- Inadequate lighting. Chances of falling are increased when your loved one is unable to see where he or she is walking. Nursing facilities need to repair lighting fixtures that are not working and change bulbs in an orderly fashion so that the lack of light does not become a hazard.
- Improper placement of furniture. Chairs and other furniture can become hazards when your loved one must walk around them. It is important that whenever they are not in use that they are placed out of the path your loved one must walk to reach areas such as the restroom or the hall.
- Debris in rooms or hallways. There should never be any garbage or debris laying around in a nursing facility for a multitude of reasons. One of those reasons is that it becomes a tripping hazard.
- Wet floors due to spills or cleaning. Signage needs to be placed to warn residents when a floor is slick but staff members should also supervise patients so they do not attempt to walk on wet floors.
Telling the Difference between an Accident and Negligence
It is not entirely out of the ordinary for our loved ones to be at risk of falling when they are continuing the age. Accidents occur and in the majority of cases, nursing home staff members are making their best efforts to protect your loved ones. However, the owners of for-profit nursing homes have the tendency to neglect safety in favor of profit so you should evaluate the nursing home’s history and policies following any fall on debris to determine whether negligence played a factor.
- Does the nursing facility have a high fall accident rate? How many of those accidents occurred due to environmental hazards?
- What type of fall prevention plan was created for your loved one when he or she was admitted to the home?
- If a plan was created, how well was it executed?
- Did anyone witness the fall that could provide information on the cause of the accident and whether debris or environmental hazards contributed?
- Has the nursing home been cooperative and offered restitution?
Get Help For a Trip and Fall Incident at an Illinois Nursing Home
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can look over the details of your Chicago nursing home trip and fall case to determine whether it would be in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit. Our attorneys can answer any questions that you have about Illinois nursing home law during a risk free consultation including how the law applies to your nursing home fall case. Our firm has successfully recovered compensation for hundreds of clients harmed due to falls on debris in nursing homes and we are confident that we can represent your interests if your loved one suffered a serious injury. If we are unsuccessful to this end and fail to recover compensation on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.