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Falls in Nursing Homes May be a Sign of Negligence

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Falls in Nursing Homes May be a Sign of Negligence

Falls in nursing homes occur far more often than many people realize. When we are talking about frail, elderly people the effects can be devastating and even life-threatening.

Figures from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal up to 75 percent of elderly nursing home residents fall at least once a year.

Many residents have conditions that mean they are more likely to fall. These include:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Impaired hearing
  • Problems with peripheral vision
  • Diabetic neuropathy.

The CDC says as many as one in five falls in a nursing home can lead to a serious injury. The figures raise questions about nursing home liability.

Can a Nursing Home be Held Liable for a Fall?

Each year scores of nursing homes are held liable for falls. Often falls are an indicator that elderly people are not adequately supervised or there is a staffing or oversight problem at a nursing home.

The Nursing Home Abuse Center states on its website.

“A well-run and effective nursing home should be able to prevent the majority of these incidents. It’s imperative for nursing home staff members to be attentive at all times, especially to patients who suffer from physical disabilities and cognitive impairments such as dementia.”

A failure to provide residents with proper footwear or walking aids, can contribute to falls.

Some nursing homes and residential facilities fail to remove fall hazards. Wet floors, cluttered hallways, obstacles or a lack of safety equipment in a bathroom and poor lighting can lead to a fall.

Falls in nursing homes can be a symptom of patient neglect and failures. These can include:

  • A failure to properly evaluate patients for potential falling risks.
  • A failure to educate nursing staff in fall prevention programs.
  • The failure of a nursing home to modernize or create features that minimize the risk of falls.
  • A failure of a nursing home to ensure the safe mobility of patients who are at high risk for falling.
  • The failure to maintain clean, light and safe premises.

If your elderly relative is in a nursing home, you will want the best for them. Falls can be a red light. In the case of a serious injury, a home may be at fault. Contact us at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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