Residents of Texas nursing homes should feel taken care of and safe during the time they live there. If you have a family member or family members that have become injured due to a slip and fall, they are entitled to compensation. Preventing falls and the injuries that come from those falls should be a top priority for all nurses at a care facility or assisted living nursing home.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
In 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) was established to protect nursing home residents who were experiencing neglect, injuries, or abuse. In the beginning, nursing homes were very unregulated so residents that were abused or injured often went undocumented. The NHRA creates universal standards that all nursing homes and nursing home staff must meet.
Within the NHRA there is a Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights that all facilities must meet:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect
- Freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
- Freedom from physical restraints
- The right to manage one’s finances or designate someone of their choice to do so
- The right to privacy
- The right to have personal belongings and property
- The right to be informed of one’s medical conditions and to consult a doctor of their choice
- The right to refuse medications and treatments
- The right to a choice as to schedule and activities
- The right to an environment that provides maximum comfort and independence
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, about 36 million falls are reported for older adults each year including over 32,000 deaths. A lot of injuries that come from these nursing home slip and falls are hip fractures. The standards of care outlined in the NHRA are there to reduce these risks.
42 U.S. Code 1395i-3 sets requirements for quality of care in nursing home facilities. This code identifies what it means to be a skilled nursing facility. Skilled nursing facilities should be providing residents with skilled care and services for residents who require medical or nursing care. The facility must have a transfer agreement with hospitals.
For a nursing home to be considered a skilled facility must maintain a quality assessment and assurance committee. This committee is to meet and discuss any issues with the quality assessment and assurance activities and develop appropriate plans of action to correct the issues.
Causes of Texas Slip and Falls in Nursing Homes
Even though the standards have been addressed for sufficient care, sometimes proper care can fall below these standards. In regards to slip and falls, below is a list of potential causes:
- Understaffing or lack of adequate staff
- Inattentive staff
- Lack of proper fall prevention training for staff
- Failure to conduct proper maintenance
- No fall prevention program in place
- Wet floors
- Poor lighting
- Incorrect bed height
- Lack of handrails in necessary areas
Elderly residents trust their nursing home staff members to know the potential risks of falling and the potential causes of these accidents. Nursing homes have a duty to protect all residents from injuries that can be prevented.
Other factors that can cause elderly residents to slip and fall are pre-existing medical conditions and other mobility issues. Things like loss of strength and balance, medications that can cause dizziness or drowsiness, dementia, impaired vision, and poor reaction time. Nursing home staff should be able to provide the equipment necessary to aid in these pre-existing conditions.
Texas Slip and Fall Injuries & Compensation
If you or a loved one experienced a slip and fall in a nursing home, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Potential injuries that result from a slip and fall are broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, hip fractures, back and spinal cord injuries, cuts, and neck injuries.
Seeking compensation for damages related to the slip and fall at the nursing home is a right that all nursing home residents have, especially when it’s due to the negligence of the nursing home. Our slip and fall attorneys can provide these victims with the legal help they need in order to collect a settlement to pay for all damages.
The first step in the process is to gather evidence to prove the nursing home was negligent, which would consist of photo evidence of the scene and injuries and a report made with the nursing home.
Damages that slip and fall victims can collect compensation for are all medical bills, pain and suffering, rehabilitation in regards to care and physical therapy, permanent disfigurement, physical impairments, and wrongful death. If your family member died as a result of a slip and fall in a Texas nursing home, you are able to claim compensation for other damages like funeral costs and the loss of a loved one.