When your loved one is in a hospital, you expect the staff to help them heal and to provide a safe environment where they can recover. Hospitals owe their patients a duty of care and when they don’t meet those standards, patients are at risk of getting injured from a fall. But you can stand up for your loved one’s rights with the help of a Baltimore hospital fall injury lawyer from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC.
We’ll check if your loved one was assessed for fall risk when they were admitted, if they used the call button and it was ignored, nurses didn’t regularly check on them, accidents weren’t reported, or the patient wasn’t given a timely examination for injury. You can rest assured that professionals are fighting to get your loved one the compensation they deserve.
Hospital Fall Statistics
Older people can suffer major injuries from falls in hospitals. Those who have fallen before have a greater risk of falling again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the reality of fall injuries and how they affect older people.
- Fall death rates have increased 30% from 2007-2016.
- About 3 million people go to emergency departments for fall injuries annually.
- One out of five falls can cause a serious head injury, traumatic brain injury or a broken bone.
- Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year due to serious injuries from a fall.
- Hip fractures are usually caused by falling, about 95 percent of the time.
Unfortunately, the effects of falls in hospitals can last a long time. Serious physical falling injuries take a lot of time, physical therapy, or surgery to be fixed, but those with compromised health may not be able to undergo that kind of regimen.
Those who have experienced a fall injury may have fear about falling again in the future. This could prevent them from participating in activities that they love and decline in their physical exercise, which makes them weaker and will increase the chances of a fall happening again.
How Do Falls Happen in Maryland Hospitals?
Falls can occur in hospitals and nursing homes that don’t have the appropriate measures in place to keep patients safe. For some older adults, it may be common to have a surgical procedure and have post-acute care at a nursing home before they’re ready to return home. Any oversight that leads to a fall accident can be fatal or cause serious injury. There’s never an excuse for patient falls at a hospital.
- Lack of Support in Patient Areas. Hallways, patient rooms, beds, and bathrooms should be equipped with handrails that can help patients safely walk or transition from a sitting position to a standing one.
- Lack of Supervision. Staff should be supervising patients to offer help if anyone needs it and to prevent patients from wandering. This ensures those who are at risk of falling and prevents patients from leaving the facility.
- Physical Therapist Error. Recovering can often include physical therapy, but a physical therapist could lose control or not be able to support their weight.
- Transferring Error. Staff may have to transfer patients from a wheelchair to a hospital bed and vice versa. If they’re not prepared and don’t do it properly, they could drop their patient.
- Medication Errors. When medical malpractice occurs, patients are given the wrong medication or the incorrect dose. The drugs could make them groggy or weak, affecting their balance and increasing their chances of falling.
- Inadequate Lighting. Something as simple as a well-lit room can be the difference between moving safely and falling.
While the above are facility mistakes, there are other factors that put seniors at risk of falling. If staff aren’t aware or don’t take these factors seriously, there’s a chance it could lead to a fall risk.
- Body Weakness
- Balance Issues
- Vision Impairment
- Foot Pain
It’s common for fall risk patients to have more than one of the factors, which increases fall risk. Hospitals should know your loved one’s specific fall risks and take precautions to make sure they’re safe. What works for your loved one may not work for another patient.
Get Help from a Baltimore Hospital Falling Injury Lawyer
The lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC will not let your loved one’s mistreatment be ignored. We’ll investigate the case which includes looking into the hospital protocols, patient’s medical records, and speak to eyewitnesses to get the facts if the hospital failed to provide a duty of care. Compensation can help cover the costs of complications caused by the fall, including medical expenses, lost wages, catastrophic injuries, and pain and suffering.
Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz is a trusted firm dedicated to the people of Maryland. We’ll do everything we can to get you a favorable settlement but are prepared to go to court. Get in touch with us today at (800) 895-5333 to schedule a free consultation where you and one of our hospital fall injury attorneys in Baltimore will discuss your case and your options.