Woman awarded $843,000 for severe injuries from nursing home fall

Falls are common in nursing homes. Residents of nursing homes are usually more frail than older adults who live independently. They may have more chronic health conditions, more difficulty walking and other factors that make them more likely to fall. Often, these conditions are the reason that older adults move into nursing homes in the first place. Nursing homes are supposed to provide residents with the care they need in a safe environment.

These falls can be a sign of nursing home neglect, and in some cases victims and their families may be able to hold the nursing home accountable. In one recent case, a jury awarded nearly $843,000 to a woman who fell and broke her hip at a nursing home. The woman had previously fallen several times, but the nursing home did not develop a good enough plan to address her risk of falling, according to the lawsuit.

The woman’s lawyers say she suffered serious injuries, including a broken hip that seriously limits her mobility. She sustained about $53,000 in medical bills. Most of the compensation the jury awarded the woman was for other damages.

Although the nursing home was held accountable in this case, that doesn’t always happen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a nursing home with 100 beds may report 100 to 200 falls per year, but many falls go unreported. The agency says that about 1,800 older adults die every year from injuries they sustained in falls at nursing homes. Survivors such as the woman in this case may have hip fractures or head injuries that cause permanent limitations.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Associated Press, “Jury awards $843,000 for senior’s hip fracture,” March 22, 2013