Taking Action After a Slip and Fall in a Nursing Home

A slip and fall accident in a nursing home can be a frightening and stressful experience.  Beyond the immediate concern for your loved one's well-being, there are steps you can take to ensure they receive proper care and hold the facility accountable if negligence plays a role. Here's a guide on what to do after a nursing home slip and fall accident:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

This is considered to be the most crucial step by the slip and fall attorneys at Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers. Even if your loved one seems uninjured, adrenaline can mask symptoms. A thorough medical evaluation by a doctor can identify potential injuries like fractures, internal bleeding, or head trauma.  Request a copy of the medical report for your records.

Report the Accident

Notify nursing home staff immediately, documenting the date, time, and location of the fall.  Insist on a written accident report detailing the resident's condition before and after the fall, the reported cause, and any witnesses.  If the staff is hesitant,  politely request a copy for your records and mention you'll be following up with the resident's doctor.

Gather Evidence

While your loved one receives care, try to gather as much information as possible about the incident.  If possible, talk to any witnesses,  including staff or other residents.  Take pictures of the fall site,  focusing on any potential hazards like wet floors, loose railings, or poor lighting.  Note down details like the resident's footwear and whether they received assistance when walking.

Advocate for Your Loved One's Care

Ensure the nursing home adheres to the doctor's prescribed treatment plan.  If you have concerns about the care provided, discuss them with the staff or facility director.  It's your right to request a care plan meeting to discuss your loved one's needs and ensure they receive appropriate assistance with mobility and daily activities.

Consider Legal Options

Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for residents.  If the fall resulted from negligence, such as inadequate staffing, improper supervision, or failure to address safety hazards,  you may have grounds for a legal claim.  Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home neglect can help determine if you have a case and navigate the legal process.  An attorney can investigate the incident, gather evidence,  and negotiate with the nursing home on your loved one's behalf to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Here are some additional points to consider:

Review the Resident's Admission Agreement: This document outlines the nursing home's responsibilities and your rights as a resident's representative. Familiarize yourself with the terms to understand expected care standards.

Contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman: Ombudsmen are government-appointed advocates investigating complaints regarding nursing home care. They can provide guidance and mediate disputes with the facility.

Report Abuse or Neglect: If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused, report it immediately to local adult protective services and consider relocating them to a safer facility.

Maintain Detailed Records: Keep a record of all dates, times, communications, and documents related to the fall. This will be essential if you pursue legal action.

Advocate for Change: Consider contacting the state licensing agency responsible for overseeing nursing homes. Reporting the incident can help ensure the facility takes steps to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Ultimately, your priority is your loved one's well-being. By taking proactive steps, seeking medical attention, and advocating for their care, you can help them recover physically and emotionally from the fall.  Pursuing legal action can hold the nursing home accountable and deter future incidents if negligence plays a role.

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