Slip and Falls are an underestimated cause of serious personal injury. In fact, over 45% of all serious personal injuries suffered in the United States each year are caused by falls, a goodly portion due to the negligence of the property owner.
In Virgina, a jury awarded $6.5 million verdict to an 84-year-old woman who was injured in a fall in a nursing home. Five million dollars of the award was for punitive damages against the owner of the nursing home for a policy that discouraged the use of bed alarms to signal when a patient was getting out of bed.
The plaintiff had been receiving therapy to boost her mobility after a stroke. The fall broke her shoulder and hip and left her with permanent impairment. The plantiff’s care plan provided for the use of a bed alarm however, one had not been in use.
Evidence presented at trial found that the training manuals used to train staff discouraged the use of bed alarms throughout the chain of 31 Virginia nursing homes.
This case illustrates the need for family and friends to become familiar with the care plan for their loved one. Nursing homes cannot be counted upon to follow these plans and it is incumbent upon family and friends to advocate for their loved ones to help assure appropriate and attentive care is administered.
Prevention of falls is always the safest option, but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.