Learn More About Your Legal Rights After a Loved One Suffers a Fall from the Toilet in a Nursing Home
Recently, a nursing home plaintiff was awarded over $300,000 for a fall off of a toilet in a nursing home. Our nursing home abuse attorneys explain the case facts, and how falls off the toilet can be prevented in skilled nursing facilities.
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If your loved one suffered a fall off of the toilet in a nursing home and was seriously injured, contact Senior Justice Law Firm. Our firm focuses on nursing home negligence litigation and we routinely sue nursing homes for allowing residents to fall. This is what we do.
Call us at 888-375-9998 or live chat with our office now for a completely free case consultation.
Bakeberg vs. The Homestead at Anoka — Nursing Home Toilet Fall Lawsuit Facts
Ms. Bakeberg was a resident at The Homestead and required assistance with activities of daily living due to her pre-admission diagnosis of a stroke. She suffered a catastrophic fall off of the toilet which resulted in a brain bleed.
The Bakeberg family claimed the nursing home failed to adequately supervise a fall-risk resident, failed to timely equip the plaintiff with a doctor-required protective helmet, failed to ensure employees appreciated her known high fall risk, and failed to provide required assistance while she used the commode.
The defendant nursing home denied liability. Instead, the defense attorneys argued that the plaintiff had a complex medical history that included strokes both before and after the subject fall and that this was the cause of her brain bleed. The defense also pointed out that Ms. Bakeberg was the unfortunate victim of an assault by a resident at a different care facility after her fall from the toilet, and that she suffered a second fall after the subject fall from the commode. The defendant argued the plaintiff did not suffer any new neurological deficits due to the subject fall off the toilet while a resident at The Homestead.
Plaintiff Verdict in Nursing Home Toilet Fall Lawsuit
Despite the above defenses, the jury ruled in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded the Bakeberg family $303,414.
These damages were broken down into past medical expenses ($48,414) and pain and suffering damages ($255,000).
Important Questions to Ask when Investigating a Fall From a Toilet in a Nursing Home
Falls from a toilet inside a nursing home are more common than you would think. However, this does not excuse a nursing home toilet fall, especially if the fall results in serious injury, broken bones, head trauma or death.
If your loved one suffered a fall from a toilet inside a long term care facility, the below questions are relevant when investigating whether the fall should have been prevented.
How did the resident get to the bathroom by themselves?
Many at-risk fall residents should not be permitted to toilet themselves. This means facilities can utilize bed alarms, bed rails and pad sensors to keep a resident from getting out of bed without assistance.
Was the resident allowed to sit on the toilet alone? Or did they need assistance with toileting?
If a resident’s care plan require that they receive assistance with toileting, it is the legal duty of the nursing home staff to help them in the bathroom. This should trigger increased monitoring of the resident so that they do not try to get up and use the toilet themselves.
Was a toileting schedule in place? Was it followed?
Older, confused residents get out of bed because they have to go to the bathroom. Nursing homes are aware of this and develop toileting schedules in order to reduce the urge to get up and urinate or defecate. High risk patients should be assisted with toileting every two hours in order to prevent the patient from getting up by themselves.
Was the nursing home using a special raised or scooped toilet seat to prevent falling off the toilet?
Safety rail bars, a raised toilet seat and a scooped toilet seat all help keep an at-risk resident safe while physically on the toilet. A raised toilet seat reduces the distance from standing to sitting when using the toilet, thereby reducing the fall risk. A scooped toilet seat keeps an unstable individual safely on the seat until a staff member can come assist them off.
For individuals with poor balance, a special toilet seat can be the difference between stabilizing on the commode and falling face first into the tile floor.
Was there any protective padding to cushion a potential fall from the toilet?
Floor mats and cushion pads do not prevent falls off of the toilet, but they do cushion the impact which greatly reduces the chance of a fracture or brain injury.
What kind of flooring was used in the bathroom to prevent falls getting on and off the toilet?
Many nursing homes utilize special non-skid strips on the floor in bathrooms. Since most nursing home residents use a cane, walker or wheelchair, it can be awkward to walk into a bathroom, secure your assistive device and then sit on the toilet. This is why nursing homes can, and should, have special non-skid flooring to reduce slip and falls while getting on and off the toilet.
Free Nursing Home Toilet Fall Lawsuit Evaluation
The above are just some of the toilet fall preventative measures nursing homes can use to minimize risk. Failing to use the above may be nursing home negligence.
At Senior Justice Law Firm, our attorneys narrowly focus on nursing home negligence lawsuits. About half of our caseload involves falls in nursing homes.
Let our vast experience in this niche sub-specialty guide you and your family to justice. If your parent suffered a fall from a toilet inside a nursing home, call us at 888-375-9998 or live chat with our office now for a completely free case consultation.
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*Each case is different. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome or indicate an expected outcome on your particular case. The above prior lawsuit information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney. This individual case information above is publicly filed information gathered from the publicly filed complaint. This information and these cases are not the work of this law firm. The contents of this website should not be construed as legal advice on any specific fact or circumstance. Your receipt of such information does not create an attorney-client relationship with this law firm or any of its lawyers. You should not act or rely on any of the information contained herein without seeking professional legal advice. Speak with an attorney immediately if you believe you have a viable case against a nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or medical facility.