Falls and Fractures

South Carolina Nursing Home Fall Injury Lawyers

Elder Law Attorneys for Seniors Injured in Charleston, Summerville and Goose Creek

According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, one in three adults over 65 will experience a fall each year. Annually, fall accidents result in nearly 25,000 emergency room visits and 7,000 hospital admissions.

The 2021 America’s Health Rankings reveal that one in five falls among seniors will result in serious injuries. In South Carolina, women aged 65 or more sustained the most falls at 29.2%, and men aged 65 or more had a fall rate of 23.8%. As nursing home quality continues to decline in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand what steps you can take in filing a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our South Carolina elder care abuse and neglect lawyers have extensive experience investigating the causes of these accidents, negotiating with insurance companies for fair settlement offers and litigating personal injury cases in front of judges and juries. Over the past ten years, the Steinberg Law Firm has recovered more than $800 million for accident victims and their families.

Fractures: The Most Common Fall-Related Injury

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC) found that 3,143,535 unintentional falls occurred in 2019 across the country. The most common factors include poor balance, impaired vision, physical activity, medications, and osteoporosis.

After a severe fall, the most common type of injury sustained is a bone fracture. Bone fractures can occur in the limbs, hips, ribs, spine, face, or head. After a series of X-rays, a doctor will determine if the injury resulted from a crack or break to the bone. Depending on the severity of the injury, The doctor may require a patient to wear a cast, splint, or have surgery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 95 percent of hip fractures are due to a fall, and more than one out of every five fall victims suffer either a broken bone or a head injury. Fractures damage the bone and the surrounding blood vessels, joints, and nerves. It takes time to recover from a fracture depending on age and medical conditions.

How Long Does It Take to Heal A Broken Bone Injury?

First, you may need to go to the emergency room after breaking a bone. The medical staff may tell you to see an orthopedic. The orthopedic will then determine if you need surgery so the bone heals appropriately or if a cast or other treatment is the best course of treatment.

The healing process can take longer than expected, and it’s crucial to establish a proper treatment plan. Once the inflammation pain subsides after a few days or weeks, the new bone, or callus, will slowly form. Depending on a person’s condition, the recovery time can take several weeks or months.

Calcium deposits begin to form and strengthen the new bone as the bone rebuilds. A final follow-up with a doctor will help determine whether additional procedures are needed or if the injury is not fully healed.

How to Prevent Serious Falls and Fractures

Although unintentional falls can occur, there are ways to prevent an injury. Wearing appropriate footwear, standing up slowly, and using assistive devices such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs can help reduce the possibility of a fall. To avoid a serious fall, people must consider the following: it feels like there should be bullet points here or some way to set off what comes next.

Developing an Exercise Plan
Having an exercise regimen is important for a person’s overall health. Exercise routines, such as walking, tai chi, and yoga can help strengthen the leg muscles and bones. By improving one’s overall balance, people who are 65 or older can also reduce their chances of a serious fall.

Checking Your Medications
Prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs can cause specific side effects, including light-headedness and dizziness. It is essential to be aware of any new side effects. If medications affect a person’s physical abilities, it is best to consult with a doctor. Doctors can reevaluate a patient, determine proper vitamin and medication intake, and implement the best exercise plan.

Checking Your Vision
The CDC found that vision impairment and blindness ranked in the top 10 disabilities in recent studies. 9 Common eye impairments include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and blindness. It is recommended that people routinely visit an eye doctor to establish the best treatment plan.

How Can Nursing Homes Cause Falls and Fractures?

In many cases, nursing home facilities fail to maintain their property and run their operations in unsafe conditions. If a nursing home has any hazards, staff members must report them. Types of hazardous conditions include:

  • Cracked Pavement or Curbs
  • Defective Stairs
  • Missing Handrails
  • Poor Lighting
  • Potholes
  • Scattered Debris
  • Spilled Liquids
  • Uneven Flooring

In these cases, a fall accident victim may bring a South Carolina nursing home neglect lawsuit against the facility. Under §483.5, neglect is considered a direct failure on the nursing home facility and its staff members. There was neglect if a nursing home staff member failed to assist the patient adequately. Common types of negligence include:

  • Failure to answer resident calls
  • Staff shortage
  • Absence of staff
  • Improper handling of the senior
  • Failure to regulate medications
  • Failure to properly administer medications

Staff members must look out for potential physical harm, pain, mental anguish, or emotional distress. If a nursing home patient has a complaint, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control advises contacting the Bureau of Certification Complaint Hot Line at 1-800-922-6735. They will ask for the facility name, details of the concern and then visit the facility. To protect your rights, it is important to contact one of our experienced Charleston nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers.

What is a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit?

Nursing home facilities owe their senior residents the highest duty of care. Nursing home companies must monitor the facility for any known hazards on the property and conduct regular inspections to discover latent hazards. The facility must also warn guests of all known dangers that are currently known and are being addressed through ongoing repairs.

Under South Carolina law §43-35-85, a staff member who neglects a vulnerable adult who sustains bodily injury can be found guilty of a felony and may face up to fifteen years in prison.11

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our South Carolina nursing home neglect attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the full extent of your injuries.

Call Our South Carolina Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers

If you or a loved one recently fell at a nursing home facility and was injured, the dedicated South Carolina nursing home neglect lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm are here to help. We’ve represented injury victims for almost a century. Over this time, we’ve learned how to effectively pursue the compensation our clients need and deserve while minimizing their burdens.

Once you bring our elder care abuse and neglect attorneys onto your case, we will handle everything so you can focus on what’s important—your recovery and spending time with your family.

To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer, call the Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800. Calling is free, and because we accept cases on a contingency basis, we will never ask you to pay for our legal services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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