The Chicago nursing home lawyers at our firm know that nursing home falls present some of the most serious risks to elderly community members at area facilities. Of course these elders are often in frail condition, and their bodies are no longer capable of withstanding the trauma that falls can inflict. Certain bumps and bruises that younger people could jump right back from might be fatal a seniors in a weakened condition. Nursing home employees and administrators are aware of this risk and are required to take reasonable steps to prevent vulnerable seniors from falling.
In our state, it is Illinois nursing home neglect for a facility not to create and follow a fall risk plan upon a new resident’s admission. Yet many facilities across the country continue to fail in this basic obligation to take all reasonable steps to prevent these dangerous falls. For example, the Kentucky Trial Court Record, recently shared information about the end of a nursing home neglect trial initiated by a suit filed by a nursing home resident who suffered serious injury after falling at her facility.
According to the report the accident struck two years ago and involved an eighty eight year old nursing home resident who had lived at the home for about eight months. The victim suffered from Alzheimer’s disease among a variety of other mental issues, necessitating close observation. After all, the very reason that seniors-particularly those with mental deterioration issues-enter these facilities is so they have trained individuals nearby at all times to provide close care and observation. The senior’s age and medical condition made her a fall risk, but she was allowed to move up and down the facility’s hallways using a merri-walker. These are popular walking devices that have two handles and a sturdy base to provide support to disabled walkers. They have now been converted into chairs with wheels. While the walking device helps the resident, it was still important for nursing home staff members to keep a close eye on her.
However, on the date when the accident occurred, nursing home staff members failed to pay as close attention to the woman as she needed. While using the merri-walker, the victim went missing. It was not until later that she was eventually found by nursing home staff members in an unlocked storage room. She had wandered into the room unknowingly and fallen from the merri-walker onto her face. As a result of the fall, the women sustained serious head trauma and facial injuries. The victim was forced to spend three weeks in the hospital after the fall to allow her multiple fractures and cuts to heal. Besides the facial wounds, clear evidence was also presented which showed that the fall had lead to a significant advancement in her Alzheimer’s condition. Before the fall she could recognize family members, share stories, and joke with those around her. Unfortunately, her ability to do those things disappeared after the fall. Fortunately, the family visited with a legal professional following the fall, shared their story, and the case was eventually brought to trial where a jury found in favor of the plaintiff for well over $1 million.
In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.
Please Follow This Link To Vote: Vote for Our Blog. Thanks for your support!
See Our Related Blog Posts: