What do I do if my loved one dies after falling in a nursing home?

Last updated on: February 3, 2023


Injuries in nursing homes can occur in many different ways; for instance, a resident may fall due to hazards, such as wet floors or equipment left out of place. These falls may result in serious injury, or even death, to the nursing home resident. Although there are many preventative measures a nursing home may put into place, falls can still occur.

If your loved one suffered an injury or died by falling while in a nursing home, call one of our nursing home fall lawyers at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible. We have the experience and resources necessary to investigate your case, determine fault, and answer any questions you may have regarding your nursing home injury case. Contact Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyers today at (800) 863-5312; your initial consultation is 100% free and you will not pay us a thing unless we win your case.

causes of falls in nursing homes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 15,600 nursing homes in the United States; within these homes, there are an estimated 1.3 million residents. With these large numbers, it may not be surprising to hear that accidents leading to injury or death sometimes occur. In fact, falls are a serious concern within nursing homes.

When a resident falls, it may lead to considerable injury, or even death; the CDC reports that one out of every five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or head injuries. It is important, therefore, to understand common causes of falls in an effort to prevent them. Below are examples of common causes of falls in nursing homes:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking and poor balance
  • Environmental hazards, such as uneven steps or equipment in the hallways
  • Poor lighting
  • Certain medications, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants
  • Poorly fitted footwear or improper use of walking aids

If your loved one has fallen in a nursing home and sustained an injury, he or she may be entitled to compensation. After seeking medical attention, contact one of Zinda Law Group’s nursing home injury lawyers as soon as possible. Our experienced team can help investigate the matter after answering all of your nursing home fall FAQs.

nursing home fall prevention methods

Because nursing home injuries may result in significant injury or even death, they should be taken seriously by every long-term care facility nationwide. Indeed, nursing homes have a specific duty to keep their senior residents safe. If you believe a nursing home has been negligent in preventing injuries, you may need to contact a nursing home injury attorney as soon as possible.

Although falls cannot always be avoided, there are certain things nursing homes can do to help prevent these injuries. Using the preventative measures listed below may help nursing homes to save their residents from serous injury or death.

Properly Train Staff Members

One important step a nursing home should take to prevent injury is to properly train all staff members, as they are typically tasked with the direct care of the residents. For instance, nursing home team members may help residents get in and out of bed, get dressed, and help to prevent slips in the shower. Staff members should implement safety procedures and prevention programs and should always assess new patients for falling risks and mobility issues.

Staff should also be trained on what to do immediately following a falling accident. An experienced nursing home injury attorney can help determine whether a nursing home staff member’s negligence was the cause of you or your loved one’s fall and accompanying injuries.

Provide Residents the Correct Walking Aids

Walking aids are crucial for individuals with mobility issues. Residents of nursing homes may also gain a higher sense of independence when given the correct walking aid, such as a cane or walker. Moreover, staff members should periodically check all walking aids to keep the assistant devices in good condition.

Providing the right walking aids also includes ensuring the patient’s shoes are properly fitted. Patients should be discouraged from wearing socks or going barefoot, as it may increase the risk of a slip and fall accident. If you or your loved one was denied a walking aid, you should consider contacting one of Zinda Law Group’s nursing home injury lawyers today.

Review Medications

Several medications may cause an older individual to fall, which may result in the loss of their independence or mobility. To reduce the risk of a fall, nursing home staff should review their residents’ medications on a regular basis, as certain medications are more likely to affect brain function and cause drowsiness. Examples of these medications include:

  • Benzodiazepines. These medications are typically prescribed to help patients sleep or reduce anxiety. Common drugs include Valium or Xanax.
  • Opioids are prescribed as pain relievers and include common drugs such as Codeine and Morphine.
  • Antidepressants. These medications are given to patients to treat depression or anxiety. Examples include Zoloft and Prozac.

If you believe that the nursing home staff failed to properly review the medications that residents in the facility are taking, resulting in injury to yourself or your loved one, call one of our experienced nursing home injury lawyers as soon as possible. Be prepared—if you are able—to give your lawyer a list containing the names and dosages of the medications you are concerned about; this will help speed up your lawyer’s investigation.

Remove Hazards

Nursing home staff members should consistently be looking for potential hazards in the residents’ rooms as well as in common areas, such as in the dining room. Any objects that a resident may trip over should be immediately removed, and staff members should be careful to not leave equipment in hallways. Railings should also be installed on stairs, tubs, and showers to decrease the chance of slips and falls.

Unfortunately, some nursing homes and staff members fail to adequately implement these prevention methods, leading to dangerous living conditions and injury to their residents. If your loved one was injured in a facility that was potentially unsafe, contact a nursing home injury attorney right away. The right personal injury attorney at Zinda Law Group will be able to guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you may have regarding your loved one’s rights.

what kind of compensation may i be entitled to?

There are two main types of compensation that you may be entitled to if you or your loved one died or fell in a nursing home. These compensation types, or damages, are referred to as “economic” and “non-economic” and will vary depending on a number of factors, including the extent of the injuries. These damages are described in more detail, below:

Economic Damages

The first type of compensation that you may receive are economic, or “specific,” damages. These types of damages are meant to compensate the injury victim for their out-of-pocket and measurable losses. Economic damages are objectively verifiable and may be calculated by combining receipts, bills, and invoices. Examples of economic damages include, but are not limited to:

  • Lost earnings
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost business opportunities
  • Property damage

Non-economic Damages

The second type of damages are non-economic, or “general,” damages. Non-economic damages are not as easily calculated as economic damages and are typically subjectively determined by a jury; unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not meant to compensate the victim for measurable losses. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If you have been injured due to a fall at a nursing home, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Zinda Law Group today. Our team has the resources and experience necessary to answer any questions you may have and to fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional injuries. If you fell due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person or entity, you may be eligible for punitive damages, as well, so call one of our nursing home injury lawyers as soon as possible.

Contact a zinda law group NURSING HOME FALL lawyer TODAY to discuss your POTENTIAL case

It is an unfortunate fact that countless nursing home residents are injured due to falls each year in the United States. These falls may happen for a number of reasons, such as hazards left in the hallways, poorly trained staff members, or wet floors. If you or your loved one was injured due to the negligence or intentional actions of a nursing home RN, attendant, manager, or other entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, emotional distress, and more.

Zinda Law Group fall lawyers are here to help you and your family through this difficult time. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your unique case, so call at your convenience, but the sooner the better because your attorney will need time to thoroughly investigate the incident and interview witnesses.

We recommend that you contact us as soon as possible at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your 100% free initial consultation. We want to know what happened and are eager to discuss your nursing home case. As always, you will not pay us anything unless we are successful in winning your unique case; that is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.”

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.