Nov 132014

Is a Pennsylvania or New Jersey Nursing Home Liable for
a Resident’s Fall Accident?

Elderly individuals are susceptible to fall accidents. In fact, fall accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries for adults over the age of 65. Therefore, nursing home residents are often injured in fall accidents, including falls from beds and falls in wet areas (bathrooms, showers, etc.).

While some residents who suffer fall accidents will not sustain any major injuries, the reality is that many elderly individuals sustain serious injuries like broken bones, spinal injuries and head injuries.

Under the injury (tort) laws of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a business like a nursing home can be held liable for negligence which leads to a resident’s accident/injuries. There are 4 elements an injured plaintiff (i.e., injured nursing home resident) must prove:

  1. the defendant owed a duty to the resident,
  2. the defendant breached that duty (i.e., was negligent),
  3. the breach (negligence) caused the accident/injury, and
  4. resulting damages.

nursing home bedroomMost nursing home fall accident cases are fought over two issues: 1. whether the defendant (nursing home) was negligent, and 2. whether the alleged negligence actually caused the accident/injury.

Too often, nursing homes and their insurance companies defend a case by pointing the finger back at the injured resident. Time and time again, lawyers for big insurance companies argue that an injured nursing home resident is to blame for having caused an accident. For example, in a fall accident case, an insurance company may try to argue that the resident tripped over their own feet. In order to overcome these arguments, there must be solid evidence of negligence.

Evidence of the Nursing Home’s Negligence

In a fall accident case, such as a nursing home fall accident case, negligence will be defined as the failure to do something that should have been done, or taking action that should not have been taken. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, this is the basic standard for determining whether a party was negligent.

Obtaining sufficient evidence of negligence in a nursing home fall accident case requires intensive investigation during the litigation process. The right employees must be located and deposed, and the right documents must be uncovered. Nursing homes in the PA and NJ area are notorious for poor retention rates. This means that it will be important to locate key witnesses as soon as possible. In addition, nursing homes are often guilty of disorganization in terms of files, records and employee manuals. These are the types of documents that are often necessary to review in order to find evidence of negligence.

Related: Nursing Home Fall Accidents in Pennsylvania & New Jersey – Falls from a Bed or Wheelchair

Financial Compensation Recoverable in a Nursing Home Injury Case in PA or NJ

Injured residents and in the event of death, their surviving family members, may be able to receive financial compensation for the following types of damages:

  • medical expenses,
  • out of pocket economic expenses,
  • lost wages (if applicable), and
  • pain and suffering.

Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Injury Law Firm

Our lawyers specialize in nursing home injury cases. Please call for a free case review (215) 985-0777.

Disclaimer: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Read full disclaimer below.