Visitor Question

Mother was pushed by a resident in her Assisted Living Facility…

Submitted By: Mary (VA)

My mother was pushed by a resident at her Assisted Living Facility in Virginia. She fell, broke her hip, spent a week in the hospital, a month in a rehab facility, had a UTI while at the rehab facility, and now spends her days sitting in a chair because she is declared a “fall risk.”

She is 83 years old and walked without any assistance prior to the accident. She appears to have had a TIA sometime during all of this and no longer speaks correctly. She stutters and cannot communicate in a way that anyone can understand. Prior to the accident she spoke clearly with words that made sense and she was free to walk throughout the building whenever she chose to.

She does have dementia which is why we needed to take her out of her home less than a year ago and place her in Assisted Living. Her facility has offered to pay all out of pocket expenses. Clearly, there are more than medical expenses incurred by my mother. How do I calculate a life change of this magnitude? What can I do to pursue compensation from the ALF? Thank you.

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.


Dear Mary,

The ALF (Assisted Living Facility) may be liable for a portion of your mother’s infirmities. Because of her age, defining which aspect of her most recent medical problems was caused by the accident will be a difficult task.

The agreement of the ALF to pay your mother’s out of pocket expenses may be considered an “admission against interest.” The reason for their agreement to pay expenses must be seriously considered. Are they agreeing to pay because they admit to having some degree of negligent behavior, which ultimately resulted in your mother’s most recent medical problems? Or have they agreed to pay because of some sense of empathy for her plight?

Before moving forward you will need one or more expert medical opinions supporting your claim the ALF is responsible for part, or all of your mother’s recent health problems. If you can elicit one or more expert medical opinions supporting your position, your next step will be to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.

One step at time. In the interim, you have a duty to mitigate your mother’s medical problems. This means you can’t wait to seek additional medical care while attempting to determine if the ALF is responsible for part, or all of her recent problems. You must provide whatever medical care your mother presently needs.

Gather your mother’s medical records and take her to see a neurologist. See if you can get an opinion on the direct cause of her present status. If the neurologist can help support your position, finding an attorney to pursue your mother’s case will be the next step.

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: January 20, 2014

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