Are Falls Evidence of Florida Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Nursing home residents suffer from a variety of age-related ailments and medical conditions, and individuals tend to lose strength and muscle mass as they grow older. These factors and more contribute to the risk of falls in assisted living facilities, which is higher than you might expect. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are the top cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for Americans 65 years and older. More than 14 million people in this age group report falling every year. 

Unfortunately, residents of nursing homes account for 1 in 5 of all fatalities from falls in the 65+ age group. These incidents typically happen because the facility did not take proper precautions to safeguard residents, so it is possible to seek remedies for nursing home abuse and neglect in Miami. Some information about falls and evidence of negligence will help you understand your options.

Defining Nursing Home Neglect

Assisted living facilities in Florida have duties that come from statutory law, administrative regulations, and common law. When pursuing legal options after a fall, the theory of liability is negligence, as developed through common law. Nursing home neglect is defined as misconduct that breaches the legal duty to provide adequate care and a safe environment for residents.

The exact duty may vary because of the different levels of care offered in assisted living centers, from mostly independent living to memory care to skilled nursing. Examples of nursing home neglect include:

  • Failure to clean spills or debris;
  • Not making repairs to loose flooring and carpet; and,
  • Overstaffing, which leads to falls when residents cannot get responses for help.

Injuries From Falls

Residents can suffer many different types of injuries when taking a fall because of nursing home neglect. Worse, many times, residents will require care at the ER or hospitalization, which adds to the risks of harm because of transporting those in frail or compromised conditions. Some of the most common injuries from falls are: 

  • Concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other head injuries;
  • Bone fractures;
  • Hip dislocation and displacement; and,
  • Shoulder injuries.

Seeking Damages for Neglect

Besides reporting instances to proper authorities, you can also take legal action for nursing home abuse and neglect. Initially, you may file a claim with the facility, which will typically lead to settlement negotiations. Many cases are resolved by agreement, but you must take your case to court if you do not settle. In these cases, it may be possible to recover damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Contact a Miami Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today

If someone close to you suffered injuries after a fall in an assisted living facility, it is important to reach out for legal help right away. To learn more about your options, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, at (305) 371-6000 or via our websiteWe can schedule a free consultation to discuss details at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.

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