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Chicago, IL Nursing Home Fall Attorneys

More than 1,800 elderly people die yearly from falls in nursing homes. Knowing the inherent risk that falls pose to elderly residents, nursing facilities must create and implement a fall prevention program for every patient.

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC know that when residents fall in a nursing home, serious injuries can result from broken bones, hip fractures, brain bleeds, and even death.

Each Chicago nursing home fall attorney in our law firm has experience evaluating each Illinois nursing home fall case where precautions should have been implemented before the incident occurred.

Get Help from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Hold the Facility Accountable for Your Loved One's Injuries

When a facility's negligent acts or failure to provide adequate fall precautions result in a patient injury, our nursing home abuse lawyers always hold the facility accountable. We know that not every nursing home fall could or should have been prevented.

Contact our experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation if your loved one has suffered injuries in a fall.

Fall Prevention for Older Adults in Nursing Homes

Effective fall nursing home fall prevention programs should identify the characteristics that put the patient at risk of falling and create a care plan to safely live in the facility. The patient's doctor and nursing home staff are to create a fall prevention program with necessary safeguards to prevent falls.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act requires every facility to conduct fall risk assessments for each patient upon admission to the nursing home and update them regularly. The care plans must balance each patient's legal right to be free with their own safety

Post-Fall Assessments to be Completed by Nursing Homes & Assisted Living Facilities

After a nursing home resident falls at a long-term care facility in Chicago, IL, state law requires that staff meet and reassess the patient's care plan, as required by the nursing home care act.

State law and federal regulations also require nursing home staff members to monitor nursing home residents who may require additional fall-related prevention.

When the fall results in death, the family member can file a wrongful death claim against the facility, this is based on the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.

Frequent Causes of Chicago Nursing Home Falls

Some of the common causes of fall injury and wrongful death claims involving nursing home residents include:

  • Hazards – Wet floors, poor lighting, improper bed heights, improperly maintained wheelchairs or equipment left out of place
  • Drugs – Certain medications that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety (or psychoactive) drugs can cause falls as can medication errors (nursing home neglect)
  • Improperly fitting shoes or incorrect walking aids
  • Frequent use of restraints
  • Failure to provide assistance or specialized bathing equipment, including chairs, stands, and grips
  • Transfer into and out of bed due to negligent staff members or the use of bed rails
  • Failing to engage locks on wheelchairs
  • Failure to maintain stairways and walkways which can lead to a dangerous situation
  • Physical abuse by nursing home employees, staff members, visitors, or other residents
Chicago Nursing Home Falls Lawyer

Unfortunately, in addition to the above, many nursing facilities are grossly understaffed and do not have sufficient staffing levels to care for patients and help them safely navigate their environments.

In these circumstances involving poor staffing levels, nursing homes may be held accountable when a patient is injured in a fall.

Injuries Related to Fall Accidents in Chicago Nursing Homes

Every fall poses a significant risk to fragile nursing home patients. Like other personal injury cases, nursing homes take their patients as they find them (the eggshell skull rule) and may be responsible for the consequences of a fall even when the incident itself seems drastic.

Elderly nursing home patients involved in fall accidents frequently receive serious injuries such as fractured bones (hips, femur, arms, and discs in the back), traumatic brain injuries or bleeds in the brain known as subdural hematoma, lacerations, and even death.

Injury attorney for nursing home falls in Chicago

Damages Available in Illinois Nursing Home Fall Lawsuits

Patients who suffer injuries in a Chicago nursing home fall accident are entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to fixed expenses the individual sustains due to serious injury. In fall cases, it primarily consists of medical bills for past and future care. This can entail hospitalization, surgical fees, physical therapy, and even in-patient rehabilitation.

Special Considerations in Assisted Living Fall Cases

Assisted living facilities (ALF) and nursing homes continue to emerge as supportive living arrangements for elderly people who require assistance with their daily living needs. While assisted living may be a viable alternative for some elderly people, these facilities are not medical facilities like nursing homes.

Regarding care levels, assistive living options do not have the same level of supervision that skilled nursing facilities offer. When it comes to caring for a patient who is susceptible to falls, an ALF may not be a viable option.

However, when an assisted living facility accepts a patient, they are responsible for ensuring their safety. Consequently, when a patient falls at an ALF, liability may ensue.

Chicago Nursing Home Fall lawyer

Medical Facility Liability for Patients Injured or Killed in Fall Accidents

When evaluating nursing home fall cases, the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC evaluate the circumstances surrounding the specific incident and the patient’s fall-related history at the facility.

Not all fall-related injuries involving nursing home patients will give rise to compensation.

However, we carefully examine each patient's medical chart and review the fall prevention protocols that were ordered versus what was applied by staff.

Patterns of Nursing Home Falls, Neglect, and Abuse

In many situations, there is a pattern of falls within a nursing home and a clear failure on the part of the nursing home staff to implement proper care, such as fall-prevention precautions.

As a patient's medical condition changes or deteriorates, nursing home facilities must modify the individual's medical care plan to adjust to their changing needs. When facilities fail to do so, they expose themselves to liability for abuse or neglect.

In these situations, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the facility under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to recover compensation for your loved one's injuries and related pain.

Contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC for more information about filing a lawsuit.

How To Reduce Falls in Nursing Homes

Nursing home residents fall due to numerous risk factors. Nursing home falls occur at an alarming rate due to staff negligence.

According to state and federal guidelines, the nursing facility should complete a comprehensive risk assessment on every resident, including any past falls or accidents, the drugs they take, and their overall physical health.

Every staff member should receive proper training and follow established fall prevention strategies.

The nursing staff should ensure no environmental hazards, including slippery floors, poor lighting, improper exit signs, exposed debris, and broken fixtures and furnishings. Every resident's bed height should be adjusted to the proper level, and faulty bed rails should be replaced.

Speak With a Nursing Home Fall Lawyer in Chicago

Our Illinois nursing home abuse law firm knows how vital it is to review the patient’s complete chart from a facility to evaluate liability in nursing home fall cases.

When liability is established, the facility may be responsible for the associated pain, the decline in the quality of life, and medical bills related to treatment.

Call our nursing home negligence attorneys now at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the on-page contact form to contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Nursing Home Patient Fall FAQs

Below are some questions families encounter when a loved one has suffered a fall at a nursing facility. We realize that these questions are only the beginning of a conversation.

Contact our legal team to talk with a nursing home abuse attorney about your options for moving forward.

Are Nursing Homes Required to Report Falls?

Every nursing home must report all falls in the facility within days of the occurrence if there are no injuries and hours if there are injuries.

An average of 200 falls in nursing homes with 100 beds or more are reported annually.

However, many falls in nursing facilities go unreported because the nursing staff failed to document or tell others what occurred.

How Can We Reduce Falls in Nursing Homes?

The nursing facility should complete a comprehensive risk assessment on every resident, including any past falls or accidents, the drugs they take, and their overall physical health.

Every staff member should receive proper training and follow established fall prevention strategies.

The nursing staff should ensure no environmental hazards, including slippery floors, poor lighting, improper exit signs, exposed debris, and broken fixtures and furnishings. Every resident's bed height should be adjusted to the proper level, and faulty bed rails should be replaced.

Do Dementia Patients Fall a Lot?

Many nursing home residents with dementia are at great risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries and tend to have recurrent falls. The abnormalities of dementia decreased reaction time, diminished executive function, decreased visuospatial skills, and cause inattentive cognitive function.

The impulsivity of nursing home residents with dementia often results in the taking of unnecessary risks. Their poor perception and lack of insight could be dangerous around environmental hazards, including slippery floors and cluttered hallways.

Consequently, nursing homes need to note each patient's medical condition and implement safeguards to prevent falls from occurring.

Is a Fall Injury Considered to be Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Do you suspect nursing home abuse? Older adults fall for various reasons and risk factors. Muscle weakness, being a specific age group and taking certain medications can lead to all nursing home residents falling.

Nursing homes must take immediate action in the moment after a fall happened and notify federal and state agencies that will investigate the incident. Failing to follow state and federal guidelines could lead to monetary fines and citations.

The terms ‘abuse’ and ‘neglect’ get thrown around in nursing home negligence cases. But many fall-related injuries should indeed be considered signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.

As attorneys who regularly investigate these matters, we find that facilities fail to implement the care plans designed to protect nursing home residents.

Falls Management Program

Typical nursing home falls result in reduced quality of life, even with the best medical treatment.

In many cases, we see episodes of prior falls where the incident was not properly recorded in the patient's medical chart, and no additional safety measures were implemented.

Certainly, the failure to report prior falls and implement physician-ordered fall prevention methods can be considered abuse or neglect.

How Do You Prevent Falls in the Elderly with Dementia?

Information released by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that individuals with dementia tend to have a heightened risk of falling at home, in a nursing facility, or hospital.

The CDC suggests taking certain steps to prevent falls in nursing homes, including arranging for adequate lighting, providing visual clues, clearing walkways, decreasing debris, and ensuring all the patient's needs are met.

Also, the nursing staff, family members, or visitors can lower noise levels, ensure additional assistance on hand, and have the patient use only the safest footwear when walking or standing. Poor foot care or improperly using walking aids compromise patient safety in nursing homes.

What Do You Do if a Patient Has a Fall in a Nursing Home?

Did you learn about a situation where a family member or loved one was injured (such as a fracture, subdural hematoma, or death) due to a fall in an Illinois skilled nursing facility?

If so, you are likely concerned about their medical condition. You likely also have questions about how the incident occurred in the nursing home.

Consequently, you should contact the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the governmental agency that oversees nursing homes in Illinois.

Once contacted, the IDPH has surveyors who can go to the facility and interview staff members about an incident. If the investigator determines that the nursing home facility failed to follow protocols, identifies risk factors, then IDPH can issue fines for poor care.

You can also request a copy of the investigative findings to help evaluate a potential nursing home injury case against the facility.

If you have questions regarding the fall reporting process or the role of IDPH, contact our Chicago nursing home abuse team as we can guide you through this process.

When a Resident Falls, What Should Nursing Home Staff Do?

Within the first seventy-two hours after the resident falls, the nursing staff, including the nursing assistant, should monitor the injured patient's condition continuously.

First, the nursing assistant should not pick the resident up after their fall but send others to retrieve the nurse on duty. Upon arrival, the nurse should immediately evaluate the resident, provide necessary care to stabilize their condition, call 911 if necessary, and describe the injuries in written form.

Only then should the resident be picked up from the floor to a more comfortable position unless a further evaluation is required. Moving the resident without a full assessment could cause additional harm, including broken bones, fractures, head injury, or organ damage.

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Experienced with Fall Injury Cases

As with all our nursing home negligence matters, our experienced Chicago, Illinois, nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, accept all personal injury cases, elder abuse, and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.

This agreement ensures you only pay our fees once our nursing home lawyers obtain financial compensation on your behalf. Contact our nursing home abuse lawyer at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form.

We also offer a free case evaluation for family members who have lost a loved one or was injured through nursing home abuse, neglect, or lack of medical care.


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