Falls in Chattanooga Nursing Homes

Falls are common as they are everywhere, and, in many cases, they are a routine part of life. However, when an older or medically fragile patient falls in a Chattanooga nursing home, the consequences can be far more serious than average.

Nursing homes have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent falls. If a fall occurs because a facility failed to live up to its legal responsibilities, the nursing home could held liable for the consequences.

Falls in Chattanooga nursing homes may be due to a number of different causes and the responsibility may rest with various parties.

If you suspect that a serious nursing home fall could have been prevented, it is advisable to consult a personal injury attorney for more information about filing a claim or other potential actions.

Factors That Enable Nursing Home Falls to Occur

Families move their loved ones into nursing homes because they need extra care. In most cases, residents suffer from physical or mental ailments or a combination of conditions that require monitoring and assistance that most families are not equipped to provide at home.

Some elderly residents refuse to accept their own physical limitations, and try to move around without assistance, which places them at risk for dangerous falls. Other residents understand their risk of falling, but suffer falls because of dangerous conditions. In some cases, falls occur because staff mishandles patients while caring for their needs. If a fall stems from poor conditions or negligent/inattentive staff, victims or families of victims should consider working with an experienced attorney who could help them make a recovery.

A Nursing Home’s Duty to Prevent Falls

Nursing homes are legally obligated to take measures to prevent falls and when they fail to do so, they may be held liable for injuries that result. Measures that may prevent falls include:

  • Bed rails
  • Rails along walls
  • Implementation of staff policies to reduce the risk of falls
  • Training of staff
  • Monitoring of patients at risk for falls

The needs of each individual patient vary, so the measures needed to prevent a reasonable risk of falls will vary as well. In most cases, a nursing home is expected to provide the reasonable and ordinary standard of care expected of other nursing homes in similar situations.

Severity of Injuries Can Also Be Based on a Variety of Factors

Injuries suffered in nursing home falls may be emotional and mental as well as physical. This is particularly true when a patient who falls does not receive attention for some time after the fall and remains helpless and in pain. Nursing homes may be liable for not only allowing a fall to occur, but also for injuries due to the delay in responding to the patient’s needs.

Physical injuries from falls often include broken bones, lacerations, severe bruising, head injuries and internal organ damage. In addition, the traumatic impact of a fall can lead to heart and respiratory failure and leave long-lasting mental and emotional scars.

Get More Information About Nursing Home Falls in Chattanooga

The causes of nursing home falls may be difficult to determine. If it is suspected that a fall could have been prevented if proper procedures had been followed, it is preferable to conduct an investigation sooner rather than later. The availability of evidence may decrease rapidly over time.

It is often helpful to take photos of an accident scene as close to the time of the fall as possible, and to interview potential witnesses soon after the incident.

Further information about the causes of falls in Chattanooga nursing homes, potential liability, and investigating causation may be available by consulting an attorney experienced in handling nursing home fall cases. Many nursing home falls could have been prevented, so taking action against a nursing home after a fall can serve as a catalyst to promote actions to prevent falls in the future.