Visitor Question

My mother fell and broke her neck when left alone in a nursing home…

Submitted By: Skip (Littleton, Colorado)

My elderly mother was staying at a nursing home. This past Tuesday night my mother fell and broke her neck while being left alone on the toilet. While she was left unattended she tried to get back into her wheel chair from the toilet and fell.

Question: Is there anything I can do so this kind of thing won’t ever happen to anyone else in the future? Is there any way I can prove negligence? 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 Skip,

From the facts you present it appears you may have a substantial case against the nursing home. There are several issues to be considered before concluding negligence occurred…

Most nursing homes are held by law to a high “Standard of Care” for each of its patients. The standard of care is quite high because of the frailty of nursing home patients, many of whom are unable to fully care for themselves.

A “standard of care” is difficult to define. It is a subjective, rather than objective measure of care. You can be confident though when a patient becomes hurt or injured while living in a nursing home there is a high probability the nursing home will be held to have breached that standard of care.

A breach of the standard of care results in negligence. Negligence is what lawsuits are based upon.

Do not sign any releases, nor should your mother be allowed to sign any either.

This is the type of case which really calls for the intervention of a personal injury attorney. Most do not charge for an initial office consultation.

Contact one and sit and discuss the issues of the case.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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: October 29, 2011

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