Representing Elderly Victims of Falls in Long Term Care
Nursing homes must take measures to protect their residents from avoidable injuries, including falls. The Albuquerque elder abuse lawyers at Parnall Law Firm, LLC provide injured nursing home residents with the legal representation they need to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their injuries. Our seasoned attorneys have years of experience representing individuals and families in nursing home abuse and negligence cases. We can provide you with the advocacy you need to seek the appropriate compensation for your injuries. Call our office today to see how we can help you.
Nursing Home Falls
Falls are a leading cause of injury for older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in three adults over the age of 65 suffers a fall each year. Falls in nursing homes are particularly disconcerting. The CDC estimates that 1,800 nursing home residents die each year from injuries related to a fall. Up to thirty percent of individuals who suffer a fall incur moderate to severe injuries, which can increase the risk of death in older individuals. Those that suffer non-fatal injuries are often left with hip fractures, severe head trauma, and other disabilities. Many nursing home residents are already in a frail physical state, and injuries from a fall can further diminish their quality of life.
Accountability For Nursing Home Falls and Fall Risk Patients
Pursuant to New Mexico law, a nursing home resident may hold the nursing home liable for their fall-related injuries by filing a tort suit. A defendant can be held liable under various theories of liability, including negligence and negligence per se.
Under a claim based on negligence, the victim of a fall may be able to hold the nursing home liable if it can show that the nursing home owed the victim a duty of care (usually a duty to act reasonably under the circumstances); breached that duty of care; and caused the victim’s injuries as a result of the breach.
In some cases, a resident may be able to hold a nursing home liable if it violated a specific statute. This is known as negligence per se. There are several state and federal laws in place that require nursing homes to provide residents with the care they need and to guard against avoidable injuries. New Mexico specifically protects nursing home residents from physical abuse at the hands of a nursing staff member. Some examples of federal and state regulations in place to protect residents include those that require:
- Regular, comprehensive assessments of a resident’s functional capacities.
- Providing a safe, secure environment by outfitting corridors with handrails and prohibiting scatter rugs or highly-polished floors in the facility.
- Adequate nursing staff to ensure residents are properly supervised and assisted.
To succeed under a theory of negligence per se, a victim would first have to point to a statute that requires certain actions by the defendant or defines a standard of conduct. He or she must then demonstrate that the defendant violated the statute; that the statute was meant to protect individuals like the victim; and that the resultant injury was the type that the statute was intended to prevent.
Falls can cause very serious and long-term injuries to a nursing home resident. New Mexico has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Timely filing of a claim is essential to preserving a victim’s rights and recovering damages for any injuries.
Persuing a Fall in Nursing Home Lawsuit
If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home and suffered a fall at the facility, he or she may be able to seek compensation for their fall-related injuries. By filing a personal injury claim, he or she may be able to recover for their medical bills, rehabilitative care, and pain and suffering. Falls can also be fatal to the elderly. If your relative died as a result of a nursing home fall, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf.
Fighting Against Nursing Home Falls and Negligence
The Albuquerque nursing home abuse attorneys at Parnall Law Firm, LLC are committed to helping you hold negligent nursing homes and their staff accountable for your injuries. Our lawyers are seasoned trial attorneys who have handled a number of nursing home negligence and other personal injury cases since 1997. We offer comprehensive legal counseling in personal injury matters, and are dedicated to exceptional client service. Call us at 505-268-6500 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation today.