Visitor Question

Mom fell and broke shoulder when left unattended in nursing home…

Submitted By: Rachel (Rochester, NY)

My mom, who has Alzheimer’s, had an accident in the nursing home. After the Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA) bathed my mom, she left her alone standing for a moment unattended. They know my mom has bad balance and can fall very easily. She lost balance and fell, causing her to brake her left shoulder.

They also didn’t call me after all this happened. I found this out later when I visited my mom the same day. This caused my mom to go to the ER for a day. Is the nursing home and/or the CNA liable for this? Can I file a lawsuit against the nursing home for the ER bills and their poor treatment of my mother? Can I file a complaint against them? 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 Rachel,

From the facts you present, the nursing home appears to have been wholly negligent. This type of claim is considered by most insurance companies and personal injury attorneys as a “Slip and Fall” claim.

Learn more about liability in slip and fall claims here.

As a result, your mother has a right to compensation for her damages. Damages can include her medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, your costs of travel to the hospital or wherever your mother is undergoing treatment for her injury), possibly your lost wages for the time you must spend taking her back and forth for treatment, and an additional amount for your mothers’ pain and suffering.

You may not have to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. Instead, the nursing home’s insurance company may offer compensation to settle the claim.

In most cases, soft tissue injuries do not require legal representation. Soft tissue injuries can include sprains and strains to muscles, ligaments or tendons, minor bumps and bruises, minor burns, and the like. Soft tissue injury settlements can often be negotiated without legal representation.

However, more serious “hard injuries” require legal representation. Hard injuries can include fractures, head trauma, 3rd degree burns, deep cuts requiring stitches and possible scaring, disfigurement, and the like.

You can file a complaint against the nursing home by going to the New York States’ Department of Health website.

Learn more here: Elder Abuse & Neglect Cases

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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