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California Nursing Home Fall Case Valuation

One of the most frequent and serious threats that California nursing home residents face is falls. They can come about in all kinds of ways including the following: falls out of beds; falls from wheelchairs; falls in the bathroom; and falls in transit.

However, just because they are so ubiquitous doesn’t mean that they are not costly. Residents suffer a number of damages from fall accidents such as broken bones, medical bills, and decreased quality of life just to name a few.

Here are some California nursing home cases that involve falls.

$500,000 VERDICT:

San Diego, California nursing home fall case.

This dispute took place over several months. Upon being admitted to the nursing home in question, the plaintiff resident had already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

However, regardless of these serious medical issues and the specific instructions of her doctors, the defendant nursing home did not take proper precautions to protect her. Consequently, she wandered off the nursing home property and fell down causing her to break her hip.

She sought treatment at a local hospital and was returned to the nursing home soon thereafter. Unfortunately, her second stay was not much better than her first, and she suffered various injuries due to the negligence of the nursing facility.

Lawyers on her behalf brought an action to recover damages for the multiple injuries that she sustained while living there including her fall.

A jury awarded her $500,000 most likely because of the following:

  • The nursing home could not show that it followed the plaintiff’s doctor’s orders.
  • A nursing home resident wandering off the premises, falling down, and breaking her hip ordinarily does not happen without a certain amount of nursing home negligence.
  • The women suffered from a number of injuries or conditions, many of which started or worsened once she arrived at the nursing home.
  • The woman incurred thousands of dollars of medical bills due to the events described in the lawsuit.

$600,000 VERDICT:

Los Angeles, California nursing home fall case.

This accident was as severe as it was avoidable. The victim was a nursing home resident in his middle seventies. The facility he lived at was in the middle of Los Angeles. One day while he was staying there, he asked the nurse to help him go to the bathroom.

She assisted him in getting onto the toilet then she left the room. While she was away, he slipped off the toilet and fell down.

The incident was significant. He sustained a subdural hematoma. Over the next few days, his condition worsened substantially and he had to be taken to a nearby hospital. Eventually, with the aid of counsel, he brought a lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence to recover for the damages that he incurred due to the accident.

He claimed the defendant facility negligently supervised and cared for him and that these errors led to his injuries.

The defendant offered to settle for $500,000 but the plaintiff wouldn’t accept anything below $750,000 so they went to trial. A jury awarded him $600,000.

Here are some factors that might explain this verdict:

  • The plaintiff’s injury was so severe that it caused him substantial medical expenses.
  • There was really no excuse for the defendant staff to leave him once he asked for help.
  • The defendant offered to settle which was advantageous to the plaintiff’s case.

$1,250,000 Verdict:

Los Angeles, California nursing home fall case.

The victim in this lawsuit was an 80-year-old man who was moved to the nursing home after suffering two strokes. In court documents filed later, the plaintiff claimed that during his transfer into the nursing facility he was dropped two times.

Then, while living at the home, he fell another two times. He alleged that one of the falls at the nursing facility led to a spinal fracture as well as spinal canal retropulsion.

Also, he described various complications that resulted from the incidents including bed sores, loss of mobility, excruciating pain, bowel problems, and many other effects. The nursing home denied all charges so the case went to trial.

After both sides presented their cases, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $1,250,000.

Here are some notes to remember when reviewing this lawsuit:

  • The man was left in a state of extreme pain and suffering because of the events of this case.
  • The man undeniably experienced serious complications from the incident.
  • The man needed lots of medical care to treat the injuries he received from the accident.
  • The fact that the man fell while under the care of the nursing home suggests that it might have been negligent.

$1,844,000 SETTLEMENT:

San Mateo, California nursing home fall case.

This case apparently had as much to do with a cover up as an accident. The plaintiff was a nursing home resident in her mid-80’s. She decided to enter the facility after undergoing treatment on her hip.

While living at the nursing home, she claimed that she fell and that the home tried to cover up that it ever happened.

She also claims that she suffered a broken bone from the incident that left her unable to walk and in extreme pain. Her sister visited her not long after the alleged fall and appeared to confirm her story. Both sides settled out of court for a reported $1,844,000.

Here are some facts that might explain that agreement.

  • The woman’s condition changed dramatically after entering the nursing home and especially after the alleged fall.
  • The woman lost the ability to walk due to the alleged fall.
  • The nursing home exaggerated their mistake by trying to cover it up.

$350,000 SETTLEMENT:

Riverside, California nursing home fall case.

In this suit, a nursing home resident paged the staff for help going to the washroom. In fact, she paged them for hours but they never responded. Eventually, she got up and went by herself but in doing so fell down and broke her femur.

The accident left her crippled and with long-term pain and suffering. She sued the nursing home for these injuries. It denied all responsibility but agreed to settle for $350,000.

Here are some factors that might have convinced it to settle the matter:

  • The plaintiff could prove that her calls for help went unanswered.
  • She was a high risk for falls.
  • She and her lawyers carefully maintained the evidence of her fall and broken femur.
  • The nursing home struggled to justify why the incident took place at all or why they delayed contacting the woman’s doctors after it did.

$245,000 SETTLEMENT:

Los Angeles, California nursing home fall case.

Here, an elderly woman was admitted to a nursing home after suffering a fall at her house. She struggled from a number of health problems including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While living at the nursing home, she experienced another fall which left her severely injured.

She brought a cause of action against the nursing home for the incident and the injuries that resulted from it.

Before the jury could return a verdict, both sides decided to settle the matter for $250,000 possibly because of the following reasons:

  • Despite being a high risk for falls, the defendant nursing home did not create or implement a plan to prevent them for the plaintiff.
  • The incident permanently changed the plaintiff’s wife for the worse; she endured pain and suffering long after it occurred.
  • The plaintiff had to undergo extensive and expensive surgery to correct the damage that was done because of the fall.

$50,000 SETTLEMENT:

Ventura, California nursing home fall case.

This case involved a series of accidents that beset an elderly woman. She was 88 years old and had recently fractured her hip. While staying at the hospital during recovery, she fell a number of times as she tried to walk about the premises without any assistance. Eventually, she was transferred to a nearby nursing home.

Before being admitted, the staff was instructed that she was a high risk for falls and that she needed guardrails attached to her bed.

Despite these warnings, the nursing home staff didn’t do anything in particular and the woman fell one night while trying to get up. She sustained broken bones and significant medical expenses.

Both sides settled out of court for $50,000 most likely due to the following reasons:

  • The woman constantly ignored requests to wait for help.
  • The medical bills were not that significant compared to other nursing home fall cases.
  • The nursing home was specifically told what to do in order to prevent this from happening and they didn’t do it.

$57,000 SETTLEMENT:

Orange County, California nursing home fall case.

In this incident, nursing home staff accidentally dropped an elderly female resident as they were helping her out of bed. She broke her femur and required surgery and traction. She sued the facility for negligence.

Her complaint argued that nursing home staff were negligent in there care for her and should have used a more reasonable method of transporting her to avoid a fall.

Prior to trial, both sides decided to settle the matter for $57,000 possibly because of these points:

  • There was no dispute that the nursing home was responsible and that the plaintiff was blameless.
  • The plaintiff sustained thousands of dollars in medical bills due to the accident and a lot of pain and suffering.

CALIFORNIA NURSING HOME FALL CASE TAKEAWAYS

  1. After reviewing these California nursing home cases, there are some important takeaways that you should be aware of including the following:
    Plaintiff recoveries were higher when the state issued a citation for the underlying conduct.
  2. A critical focus of every fall lawsuit should be the risk assessment that was performed upon admittance, the plan that was designed to avoid falls due to that assessment, and the implementation of that plan.
  3. Lawsuits that combined wrongful death causes of action with negligence causes of action generally recovered more than single-claim suits.
  4. Falls from beds and during ordinary activities were more successful than those in transit and other infrequent situations.
  5. Compensation tended to double or triple when the fall accident required surgery or created a disability.

WAR YOUR LOVED ONE INJURED FROM A FALL IN A CALIFORNIA NURSING HOME?

If your loved one suffered a fall while living at a nursing home in California, then attorneys with Nursing Home Law News can help you. We will start by exhaustively reviewing your case. Then, we will use all of our experience and resources to pursue recovery in court.

Plus, since we work on contingency, you only have to pay for our work if you’re satisfied with the jury award or settlement amount. Just call us today! Your recovery is waiting for you!

If you are looking for information on the laws and regulations that apply to nursing homes in California, look here.

For information on nursing facilities in specific California cities and for local attorneys, look at pages below:

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