We trust that the nursing homes where our loved ones receive care are going to keep them safe. In fact, that may be the reason you chose nursing home care for your parent or other loved one in the first place. In most cases, care facilities and their employees work hard to ensure patients are safe and well-cared for.
But, injuries can happen anywhere on nursing home grounds, including on slippery or damaged flooring, icy walkways, loose or curled rugs, sidewalks that haven’t been maintained properly, in parking lots, or on stairways. Seniors can also be injured as a result of falling when getting in or out of bed or when using the toilet or shower. When an elderly person slips and falls, serious injuries or death can occur.
When a parent or other loved one is injured or dies after slipping and falling in a nursing home because conditions were unsafe, it is important to hold the care facility and its staff accountable. You or your loved one may also be entitled to compensation for their injuries under Wisconsin law.
Liability of Nursing Home Facility and Its Workers
Nursing homes owe a duty of care to residents, and their employees have a duty to monitor residents who may be unsteady on their feet, and to take steps to prevent falls.
In general, in order to prove that the nursing home or staff should be held at fault for injuries sustained during a slip and fall incident in a nursing home, the injured party must prove that the fall happened because of a hazardous condition or employee misconduct. If the case is based on a fall caused by a hazardous condition, the injured party would also need to show that the property owner, manager, or staff knew about the condition, or should have known about the danger, but didn’t take action to prevent accidents or to warn about the potential hazard.
Even if nursing home management or staff didn’t actually know about a hazard or risk that led to a fall, they may still be liable if they had “constructive knowledge” of the risk, meaning they should have reasonably known that it existed and that it could lead to a fall.
When a nursing home injury occurs because nursing home staff or management failed to maintain or neglected the premises, or didn’t take actions that could have prevented the senior’s injuries, such as installing bed rails or grab bars, filing a personal injury lawsuit can send a powerful message, make nursing homes safer, and protect other nursing home residents from suffering the same injuries.
If an elderly family member or other loved one was injured after falling in a nursing home, the experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Gingras, Cates & Wachs may be able to help. With offices in Madison, Milwaukee and Eau Claire, we help people across the state pursue justice for injuries or deaths resulting from nursing home negligence. To schedule a free consultation and review of your case, contact us today.