Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Breaking Down a Burien Nursing Home Fall Claim

Posted Friday, February 10, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Falls send many older people to nursing homes and force them to stay there longer than expected. Falls account for about 40% of nursing home admissions. 60% of nursing home residents sustain a serious fall every year. Our world moves so fast that people with visual or mobility impairments usually get left behind. Furthermore, many nursing homes are so understaffed that there’s no one to keep residents safe at all times.

Society and nursing home owners may not give older people proper respect, but a Burien personal injury attorney treats everyone with equal respect. This treatment includes fighting hard to obtain maximum compensation, regardless of the odds or circumstances. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Ol*der Adult Injuries*Falls happen inside and outside of nursing homes. Falls also cause physical and emotional injuries.

Broken bones may be the most common and severe fall injuries. Many older adults have pre-existing physical conditions, like arthritis. Furthermore, these pre-existing conditions make these victims more vulnerable to serious complications. Therefore, what would be a few weeks in a cast for a younger person could mean a few weeks in the hospital for an older person.

A Burien personal injury attorney can usually obtain maximum compensation in these situations. People should not treat other people differently because they are physically vulnerable. Legally, insurance companies cannot treat vulnerable people differently than anyone else.

Broken bones usually heal, at least for the most part, given enough time and proper treatment. Emotional fall injuries, on the other hand, usually never heal.

These two injuries feed off each other. Broken bones are extremely painful. Therefore, many older adults are so afraid of falling again that they become sedentary. This lifestyle increases the risk of another fall, and the downward spiral continues.

This spiral usually ends with permanent full-time care. Most older adult fall victims cannot ever live independently again.

*Liability Issues*Nursing home owners are liable for fall damages if they had a duty of care to keep the victim safe, and they knew, or should have known, about the injury-causing hazard.

Washington law divides victims into categories to determine the duty of care. Nursing home residents are invitees, which is the highest category. Invitees have permission to be on the land, and their presence benefits the owners. So, nursing home owners must remove or otherwise address injury hazards.

Direct evidence of actual knowledge includes a prior fall related to that hazard and a cleaning report. Circumstantial evidence of constructive knowledge (should have known) follows the time-notice rule.

Several effective defenses are available in fall injury claims. These defenses are less effective if the victim is over 65.

Assumption of the risk is a good example. As a temporary remedy, owners can deploy warning signs, like “Caution Wet Floor.” Frequently, older adults cannot see these signs very well, especially if the lights are low.

On a related note, many older adults have gait disorders. They shuffle their feet when they walk. So, when these individuals trip, they cannot regain their balance and usually fall, even if the hazard is not severe.

*Count on a Tough-Minded King County Attorney*Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Burien, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.