Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that they have certain safety measures in place, including fall-prevention practices and protocols. While an elderly nursing home resident’s underlying health issues may be the primary cause of a fall in a nursing home, it is important to know that nursing homes need to monitor such patients in order to prevent falls. Accordingly, when a nursing home resident suffers a fall, those fall-related injuries may be the result of nursing home negligence. The following are three things you should know about falls in nursing homes.
Falls are Common in Nursing Homes, and Facilities Have a Duty to Prevent Them
Falls happen with much frequency at nursing homes, but this fact alone does not mean that they are unavoidable. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), approximately 50% of nursing home residents will fall in a given year, and about one out of every three of those residents will fall two or more times in any given year. Just because these accidents and injuries are common does not mean that they are unavoidable accidents. Nursing homes have a duty to prevent falls. When nursing homes do not take steps to prevent falls, they can be held liable for injuries.
Falls are a Leading Cause of Disability and Death Among the Elderly
One of the reasons that nursing homes have a duty to prevent falls is that they are a leading cause of disability and death among the elderly. According to the National Council on Aging(NOCA), falls are currently the leading cause of fatal injury among adults aged 65 and older, and they are the most common reason for hospital admissions among seniors. In many falls, a person who previously had the ability to live entirely or somewhat independently must rely on a nursing home to provide assistance with activities of daily living.
Your Claim Will Need to be Filed Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
When you are assisting an elderly parent with recovery from a fall and dealing with the medical implications of his or her injury, it can be difficult to think about filing a lawsuit. You may have even spoken with a staff member at the nursing home who emphasized that the fall was accidental, and that staff member may have even expressed concern about your loved one and regret over the fall. You need to remember that many nursing home falls do result from nursing home negligence, and that the facility may be liable.
However, in order to effectively seek compensation and hold the nursing home accountable, a nursing home negligence claim will need to be filed before the statute of limitations runs out. For most nursing home negligence cases, New York law gives a three-year statute of limitations. What this means is that you will need to make certain that you file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the fall.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Assistance
If you or an elderly loved one suffered a fall in a New York nursing home, you should know that it may be possible to file a nursing home negligence claim. One of the experienced New York nursing home negligence attorneys at our firm can assess your case today. We can discuss your options with you for holding the facility accountable and for seeking financial compensation. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda, PLLC to learn more about how we help seniors and their families in New York.