Holding Florida Nursing Homes Accountable For Fall Injuries
Unintentional falls are the number one reason people aged 65 and older visit emergency rooms for medical treatment, and they are also the top cause of fatalities in this age group. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 25 percent of older Americans experience a fall every year; 1 in 5 of these victims will sustain a head injury, bone fracture, or another serious injury. These statistics motivate many families to turn to nurse facilities to reduce the risk of falls, but the CDC reports that these incidents still happen frequently in assisted living centers.
Florida nursing homes may not be able to prevent all ailments that come with age, but they most certainly can protect against falls. At times, the failure to protect against falls are enterprise-wide and are the result of negligence at the institutional level. Your family may have legal remedies if your loved one has suffered a fall at nursing home, and a Miami nursing home injury attorney can explain them in more detail. An overview of legal process may also be helpful.
Vicarious Liability for Nursing Homes
Most falls in assisted living facilities occur because of neglect rather than intentional acts. To prove negligence, you partly need to show that a provider failed to deliver care by legal or contractual requirements. When a resident suffers a fall, caretakers and employees in the immediate vicinity did not meet this standard.
However, liability can extend to the employer under the theory of vicarious liability. Employers are accountable for the negligent acts of employees if:
- There was a true employee-employer relationship
- The employee committed a negligent act by breaching the duty of care
- The breach of the duty of care occurred while the employee was performing job-related tasks in the course of his or her employment
Nursing homes can also be held accountable for negligence in their hiring and employment practices, which is separate from vicarious liability. When a facility fails to verify credentials or conduct background checks for criminal activity, they may be directly liable for negligence.
Compensation in Nursing Home Neglect Cases
Assisted living facilities carry insurance to protect against claims of negligence, whether it is the facility or an employee who engaged in careless acts. Therefore, filing an insurance claim is typically the first step in seeking monetary damages after a resident suffers injuries from a fall. Some claims settle, but many nursing home neglect cases will go to court. Due to the vulnerabilities and medical conditions of some residents, family members are often in the best position to take legal action.
Compensation in a nursing home neglect case may include:
- Medical costs to treat fall injuries
- Fees paid to the assisted living center
- Pain and suffering
Get Legal Help from a Florida Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
To learn more about vicarious liability and legal remedies for nursing home injuries, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. at 866-511-3321 or visit our website. We can schedule a complimentary case review at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers.