Can I Sue for a Nursing Home Slip and Fall Accident?
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), falls are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for senior Americans. As we age and need more help with daily activities, many of us live a certain number of our years in a nursing home. Thousands of elderly nursing home residents are injured in slip and fall accidents each year. Nursing home staff/owners are tasked with caring for their elderly clients so when a slip and fall accident happens involving negligence, they can be held liable under premises liability laws and personal injury laws.
While it is true that seniors are more likely than other age groups to slip and fall during regular activities, there are legitimate slip and fall cases for nursing home residents. Understand that many nursing home residents become nervous to file a complaint against their caregivers and may be reluctant to come forward.
Can I sue for a nursing home slip and fall accident?
Like all personal injury cases, slip and fall attorneys must prove several elements in order to have a viable claim. The four elements of a valid slip and fall claim:
- A duty of care was owed to the injured party. A person being a resident at a nursing home is enough to establish the duty of care.
- The duty of care was breached through negligence. For example, a premises owner/controller is obligated to ensure that the premises are free of slip and fall hazards or that there are adequate warnings of existing hazards. If a slip and fall lawyer can prove that a premises owner knew about a hazard and failed to take steps to fix the hazard or to at least post warning signs, that can bolster a slip and fall accident claim.
- That the breach of care led to the injury.
- That the injury resulted in damages such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, rehabilitation and medical bills.
Negligence in nursing home slip and fall claims
Some examples of nursing home negligence that could be relevant in a preventable slip and fall accident include:
- Failure to properly train staff
- Failure to have appropriate staffing levels
- Failure to properly maintain premises or furniture
- Failure to rid premises of hazards in a timely manner or to mark them appropriately
- Failure to adequately secure room or facility
- Failure to install appropriate handrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of supervision
- Over or under medicating
- Inappropriate activities
- Misdiagnosis/failure to seek thorough medical evaluation after fall
Seek the help of a slip and fall lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!