How can nursing homes be liable for slip and fall accidents?
There are some instances in which nursing homes can be held liable for slip and fall accidents of their residents. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to evaluate the health and needs of each resident at the time of intake, to develop and adhere to a care plan tailored to each resident, and to sufficiently protect the health and safety of each resident. If the nursing home or assisted living facility neglects to establish such a care plan that takes into account all hazards that could potentially cause a resident to suffer a fall, then the home or facility could be liable for negligence.
Among the health hazards that could contribute to a fall are loss of balance and strength, difficulty walking, chronic health conditions and medications taken to treat such conditions. The medications may cause one to become dizzy or react slowly. Other possible causes of falls are dementia, impaired vision, foot ailments and dehydration.
The nursing home or assisted living facility may also be liable due to faulty equipment, including wheelchairs that are improperly fitted or maintained, defective walkers or canes, incorrect height of beds or chairs, or lack of access to beds, chairs or bedrails. There may also be environmental hazards, such as clutter, wet floors and dim lighting. If any of these perils are present, and a resident suffered a fall and was injured, the nursing home or assisted living facility could be held liable.
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