When Are Nursing Homes Liable For Wheelchair Injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatalities and injuries among individuals over the age of 65. To prevent a dangerous fall from occurring, many nursing home residents rely on wheelchairs to get around the facility. Some residents are confined to a wheelchair any time they are not in their bed, while others use a wheelchair at least occasionally.
Unfortunately, nursing home residents are sometimes hurt by the very devices meant to keep them safe, including wheelchairs. Nursing home staff members, on the other hand, do not always take the reasonable care required when transporting residents in wheelchairs. Below, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer outlines how wheelchair accidents happen, and when you can hold a long-term facility liable.
How Do Wheelchair Accidents Occur?
Most of the time, wheelchair accidents occur when a resident is being transferred into or out of the chair. For example, a patient may fall when being transferred from their bed into a wheelchair if they had negligent supervision. Or, a resident could experience a very dangerous fall when getting out of a wheelchair and into a shower.
When staff members are not careful while pushing a wheelchair, an accident can also occur. For example, something could become stuck in one of the wheel’s front chairs. The wheelchair will stop but if the staff member continues pushing, it could tip the chair forward and cause the resident to fall out of it.
How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Wheelchair Accidents
Nursing home staff members must understand the risks of negligently using a wheelchair, and take steps to prevent an accident from happening. These steps include:
- Using alarms on wheelchairs that will alert a staff member when a patient attempts to get up from a chair
- Offering physical therapy to patients so they can become stronger, making it easier for them to stand up on their own
- Monitoring wheelchair residents carefully during transfers to ensure an accident does not occur
- Inspecting motorized scooters or wheelchairs for maintenance issues that could cause the device to stop functioning, or the resident to lose control
- Activating the wheel lock so the resident cannot operate the chair on their own
- Parking on level ground so the chair does not move or roll while uncontrolled
- Installing leg braces that can keep a patient’s legs or clothing from catching on objects
When nursing home staff members fail to take the above steps to keep nursing home residents safe, they can be held liable for any injuries resulting from a wheelchair accident. A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family obtain the full settlement you are entitled to.
Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Tampa to Discuss Your Loved One’s Injury
If you believe your loved one has been hurt by negligent long-term care staff members, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can help. At Kohn Law, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home residents and we will put our passion and experience to work for you. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.