Fall accidents are among the leading causes of serious injuries among senior citizens. For an elderly person or vulnerable person, a fall accident can be extremely serious. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 7 million older Americans are injured in falls every year — nearly 30,000 seniors are killed in falls.
A significant number of senior citizen fall accidents occur in nursing homes or in other assisted living facilities. Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN) reports that the average 100-bed nursing home reports somewhere between 100 and 200 fall accidents every year. Many of these fall accidents result in devastating injuries — or worse, fatalities.
If your vulnerable loved one was injured in a fall accident that occurred within a Washington nursing home, you need to take immediate action to protect their health, safety, and legal rights. Negligent nursing homes can often be held liable for the fall accidents that happen on their watch.
In this article, our top-rated Yakima nursing home injury attorneys explain the most important things that family members need to know about suing a nursing home for a fall.
Washington Nursing Homes Can Be Held Liable for Fall Accidents
Under federal and state regulations, nursing homes owe important duties to their residents. Some of the most notable laws include the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and Washington’s long-term care resident rights statute (Chapter 70.129 RCW).
If a nursing home fails to live up to its obligations and a fall accident occurs as a result, the facility can potentially be held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries.
To be clear, nursing homes are held to a heightened standard of care. They know that their residents are especially vulnerable. They are trusted to protect vulnerable people. To do this, they must take proactive steps to reduce the risk of fall accidents.
Some examples of nursing home negligence that can cause fall accidents includes:
- The understaffing of nursing homes;
- Inattentive or under trained staff members;
- Lack of an effective fall prevention plan;
- The failure to create a comprehensive care plan for the individual resident;
- The failure to follow the resident’s care plan;
- Deviations from the facility’s fall prevention protocols;
- Dangerous or other negligent conditions at the facility; and
- Inadequate maintenance.
Following a serious nursing home fall accident, immediate action is always required. The victim should receive professional medical attention — potentially including emergency room care. A full medical evaluation is a must.
In addition, the fall accident must be reported to the supervisors of the nursing home. From there, it is strongly recommended that the victim and their close family members consult with a skilled Washington nursing home abuse lawyer.
An attorney can conduct a review of the case and determine what steps need to be taken to protect the vulnerable nursing home resident and get them access to full and fair financial compensation. When advisable, this could include filing a fall accident claim against the negligent facility.
Compensation Available in Nursing Home Fall Accident Cases
Under Washington law, nursing home residents have a right to seek financial relief for the full value of their damages. Unfortunately, negligent nursing homes and their insurance providers tend to be highly aggressive when they are defending personal injury claims. Even when liability is clearly established, they will fight to reduce the value of a settlement offer.
Our Yakima nursing home neglect lawyers have the skills and legal experience needed to hold negligent assisted living facilities liable. We work tirelessly to get our clients maximum compensation so that they can pay their bills and support their loved ones. Depending on the nature of the fall accident, our Washington nursing home injury lawyers can help our clients seek financial compensation for:
- The cost of relocation to a new facility;
- Any incidental economic losses;
- Emergency room care;
- Other medical expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Permanent disability or impairment; and
- Wrongful death compensation.
Get Help From a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Yakima, WA
At Kapuza Lighty, PLLC, our Yakima nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys represent injured victims in the full range of fall accident cases. We know how to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their carelessness or recklessness. If your family member was injured in a fall accident that occurred in an assisted living facility, we are here to help. For a free, fully private initial consultation, please contact our law firm by calling (509) 866-4166.