My mom died after falling and breaking her hip at her nursing home...

by Jason
(Ithaca, New York)

My mother was living in a nursing home and was in a situation where she was not supposed to be bearing weight on her own and not walking on her own. They had alarms on her that they would use to notify anyone if she started to get out of a chair, bed, or wheelchair.

She was unable to walk because she had a slightly fractured right pelvis and hairline fracture in her right femur.

One night, late at night, she was able to get herself out of bed and she fell and fractured her left hip. She went to the hospital and we were told by the hospital staff that we had two options. One, we don't operate and she never walks again, and lives in pain for the rest of her life. Two, we operate and give her a chance to walk again.

My mother did have numerous health problems and we've never denied that. The surgery was risky, but it was a decision about quality of life. We chose to operate. She did not end up surviving the operation.

I am writing to you to ask, isn't the nursing home liable? If she never got out of bed that night, she wouldn't have fallen and broken her hip and would still be alive today.

My blame is not on the surgeon or hospital, but the nursing home, as it seems to me they neglected her care, which led to her fall, which ultimately led to her death. Is this true in the eyes of the law? Is there any basis for a lawsuit here? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My mom died after falling and breaking her hip at her nursing home...":

Jason (Ithaca, New York):

The nursing home may be liable for your mother's injuries, and possibly her death. However, for the nursing home to be liable will require showing of negligence. The burden of proof will be yours.

It appears there was an alarm which was to sound when your mother attempted to get out of bed. If the alarm went off and the nursing home staff ignored the alarm, then their liability may be clear. However, if the alarm went off and the nursing staff moved as quickly as was reasonably possible, then liability may not attach.

Because of the seriousness of your mother's injury, and the possible link to her untimely and wrongful death, you must seek the advice and counsel of a local attorney. Without legal representation, it is very likely the nursing home won't admit to negligence or liability. Once that occurs, only an experienced personal injury attorney can help.

Attorneys can issue subpoenas to potential witnesses, nursing home staff, owners, and others with information about the injury. An experienced attorney can also take depositions, request production of nursing home documents, video evidence, and more. And in the event your attorney can't settle the case, he or she can file a lawsuit.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge potential clients for initial office consultations. Gather your mother's nursing home records and medical records and make appointments with several local injury attorneys.

The attorneys will review the records, ask pertinent questions, and will then be able to give you a sense of the viability of your claim, the possibility of success, and the approximate amount of any settlement or court award.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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