Nursing home falls are frequently a violation of the mandate to provide reasonable care and are evidence of nursing home abuse. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) sets out the minimal standard of care for nursing homes. A quick way to learn about this statute and its regulations is to obtain a copy of the Health Care Financing Administration’s state operation manual.
Nursing Home Injury Liability
The theories of liability that may be asserted may range from negligence to breach of contract to res ipsa loquitur. The negligence may be based on the home’s failure to properly staff the facility, failure to properly assess the resident, failure to implement a care plan to prevent falls, failure to use safety devices such as bed alarms to notify the staff when a person gets out bed, failure to implement and follow an appropriate toileting program.
The breach of contract theory may be based upon the nursing home’s agreement to provide safe and reasonable care.
A res ipsa loquitur theory may be based on the fact that the home had exclusive care and control of the patient.
In addition, it is important to look at any applicable adult protection statutes that may buttress liability.
Some basic things that need to be obtained in the course of any such claim are:
- A copy of the annual survey conducted by state officials of the nursing home along with the complaint survey. These are all available to the public.
- A complete copy of the chart which, under federal regulations, must be provided within two days of the request. A colored copy of the chart should be requested as any irregularities in the use of pens will be more evident with a colored copy.
- A complete copy of the care plan of the patient.
- All documents that show what the nursing home has done to provide proper assistive devices to protect the patient from harm as required by law.
It is probably also important to retain the services of a nursing home expert who can determine whether or not the care plan was adequate to protect this patient and whether or not the care plan was complied with.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a nursing home fall, contact us. Our law firm has over three decades of experience in helping the needs of nursing home fall litigation in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.
For more information on nursing home neglect cases and nursing home falls see the other page within this site dealing with that subject matter.
See nursing home warning signs for more information.