Visitor Question

Nursing Home Fall Causes Fractured Shoulder…

Submitted By: Sandra (Burlington, CT)

My mom fell twice while at a nursing home. I was not told about the first fall until after the second fall. They recently changed her wheelchair and the brakes are too low.

According to the nurse my mom was on the toilet when the incident occurred. When she went to get up she put her hands on the arm rests, but because the brakes were not on, the chair moved away from my mom when she put her hands on it. This caused her to fall and break her shoulder.

She also can no longer move her leg, but they are still running tests to determine why.

I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do against the nursing home? It seems they were negligent in giving my mom the wheelchair when she couldn’t operate the brakes. 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 Sandra,

The facts you present seem to provide a clear basis for negligence against the nursing home.

Nursing homes have a “duty of care” to their patients. That duty of care is quite high for the elderly, especially when they are not well and not entirely ambulatory. If the nursing home actually provided the wheelchair they are going to have some serious legal problems.

You should immediately compile copies of your mother’s medical bills. You don’t have to rush. The State of Connecticut has a 2 years Statute of Limitations, or “time period” within which an injured person can either settle a personal injury case or file a lawsuit.

Be sure to have your mother’s health status stabilized and confirm the new injuries she sustained. Keep records of your mother’s medical bills, any of her out of pocket expenses such as prescribed medications, over the counter medications, slings, crutches, and even a new wheelchair if necessary for her physical well-being.

Because lawsuits against nursing homes are very technical and extremely difficult to effectively convey to a jury, your mother will be best served by consulting with a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation.

While visiting with several personal injury attorneys try to find one or more who have substantial experience in nursing home abuse, or abuse of the elderly. Those personal injury attorneys usually have substantial experience in trial work and as a result will best serve your mother’s interests.

Learn more here: Elder Abuse & Neglect

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!


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