Visitor Question

Death from Subdural Hematoma After Falling at a Skilled Nursing Facility…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My grandfather fell while trying to get out of bed at a skilled nursing facility. He seemed fine on Saturday and Sunday, but took a turn for the worse early on Monday morning and was dead by 7pm that night. The cause of death was listed as “subdural hematoma”.

Is the skilled nursing facility where he was responsible for his fall and resulting death? Shouldn’t they have been monitoring him to make sure he didn’t fall? This seems like negligence to me? Thanks for any information you can give on liability in this situation.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

The underlying circumstances of your grandfather’s slip and fall will have to be examined. If it is determined the nursing home staff was negligent in not using safety restraints to keep your grandfather in his bed, or by not monitoring him to determine if he needed to get up to use the restroom or walk around, the owners of the nursing home may be liable for his “wrongful death.”

The autopsy will be very important. It should verify that the subdural hematoma was the direct result of your grandfather falling and the proximate cause of his death.

Be sure to get copies of all your grandfather’s records created during his stay at the nursing home. Additionally, ask to speak with management. You have a right to know why he wasn’t monitored and assisted. Try and speak with staff members as well. See if they will speak to you plainly and not just repeat the “company line.”

Most importantly, contact several licensed personal injury attorneys with experience in nursing home or elder abuse law. You can be confident non of them will charge you a fee for an initial office consultation. There are some personal injury cases which can be handled without an attorney. A wrongful death case is definitely not one of them.

Bring with you to the attorney appointments your grandfather’s nursing home records and a copy of the autopsy. Attorneys can take depositions of nursing staff (forcing them to tell the truth under penalty of perjury), subpoena nursing home records, and view the nursing home records which may be related to their treatment of your grandfather or other patients.

In short, leave it up to a skilled attorney. You’ll be glad you did.

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

Best of luck,

Published: April 19, 2013

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One thought on “Death from Subdural Hematoma After Falling at a Skilled Nursing Facility…

  1. Nursing homes do not use physical restraints or chemical restraints. They have fall risk tools in place…they will use a lower bed for the patient or mats on the floor to cushion a fall.

    My mom has had several falls including hospitalization from falls, and it’s a risk we take placing her in the nursing home. They don’t use restraints to maintain a patient’s dignity, which is very important in the elderly population.

    Sorry for your loss.

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