Are Nursing Homes Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can occur in nursing homes—and because residents are more vulnerable than the average adult, they are more likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities. Just like any other property owner, nursing homes are liable for a resident’s slip and fall on their property under the legal concept of premises liability.
Proving negligence in a nursing home slip-and-fall
In a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care, which means the property owner had a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for visitors. They must also show the defendant breached this duty by either creating a hazardous condition or failing to address a known hazard, the hazard caused the accident and the plaintiff suffered actual harm.
When a resident falls in a nursing home, the following information may help support the claim:
- Fall prevention protocol: Were there adequate protocols in place to prevent falls within the facility?
- Staffing requirements: Did the nursing home have sufficient staff to monitor at-risk patients?
- Medical chart notations: Was there a special notation in the resident’s medical chart indicating a need for fall precautions?
- Cause: Was the fall a result of medical malpractice (e.g., prescription mistakes or failure to recognize a fall risk) or negligence (failure to provide safe accommodations and supervision)?
- Reports: Nursing homes are typically required to report falls, especially if they result in significant injury or death. Reporting obligations vary by state, type of home (public or private) and Medicaid status.
If your loved one suffered a fall at a nursing home, document their injuries with photos and video. Ask them to describe what led to the fall, what actions the nursing home took and how the staff has addressed the issue since the accident. Then call a personal injury and nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact the qualified personal injury attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP to learn more about your legal options.