$3,100,000Pressure sore death
$2,333,000Fall involving traumatic brain injury
$1,500,000Bedsore settlement
$1,499,000Dementia patient injury
$1,250,000Repeated fall injuries

Nursing Home Injuries

Injuries are not uncommon in nursing homes. Thousands of residents suffer all sorts of injuries yearly, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, and more. Unfortunately, most of these injuries are caused by nursing home abuse.

While many incidents that lead to nursing home injuries are purely accidental, a vast majority occur due to physical abuse and negligence. When nursing homes fail to prevent this mistreatment, residents’ health, lives, and well-being are at risk.

Did you or a loved one sustain an injury from nursing home abuse? If so, the lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you obtain justice against all liable parties, including the perpetrator and the nursing home itself.

Contact our nursing home lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) for a free case review.

What Is a Nursing Home Injury?

A nursing home injury is any physical harm a disabled or elderly person suffers while in a nursing home or long-term care facility. It can be caused by elder abuse, negligence, or nursing home neglect.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

The law defines nursing home abuse as any act that causes physical, emotional, or financial harm to a nursing home resident.

Common Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home residents suffer many kinds of injuries, including:


Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are skin damage caused by prolonged pressure. These common nursing home injuries typically affect patients who are entirely immobile or cannot move without assistance. When pressure builds up in some body regions for an extended period, circulation is cut off, causing the skin to die.

Failure to relieve pressure from these patients’ bodies is the leading cause of bedsores in long-term care facilities. This problem often stems from neglecting medical needs, particularly failing to reposition immobile patients to prevent pressure buildup.

According to a 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, about 2 to 28% of residents have pressure ulcers. These nursing home injuries have become more common with the rapidly aging population.

Bedsores are serious injuries that can cause infection, gangrene, and other potentially fatal complications.

Bedrail Injuries

Bedrails are useful for repositioning, mobility, comfort, security, and fall reduction. However, they also create a risk of falls when nursing home staff do not monitor patients or use bedrails properly.

A nursing home resident can sustain injuries when they get caught in bedrails or fall from the bed. Falls typically occur due to a lack of monitoring from staff members or improper positioning of patients or bedrails. Incorrect bed height can also increase the risk of falls.

Minor injuries include scrapes, bruises, and cuts. Severe injuries may include strangling, suffocation, or cardiac arrest, usually occurring when a patient falls off the bed or gets caught between the rails.

Broken Bones

Patients suffer broken bones or fractures in several ways, the most common being falls and nursing home abuse. Elderly nursing home patients are already prone to broken bones due to increased bone fragility, and a lack of care and attention increases that risk further.

Broken bones are particularly harmful to older nursing home patients. Due to the natural aging process, healing is slower and more difficult for older adults.

Furthermore, these injuries significantly limit the quality of life by causing pain, increasing frailty, and reducing independence even further.

Common bone injuries among elderly residents include broken limbs and hip fractures, usually caused by falls. Falls from a significant height is usually the most dangerous.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects brain function. It is often caused by a significant and sudden blow to the head, usually in falls. A mild head injury can cause a temporary change in how the brain works. A moderate to severe head injury, on the other hand, can cause permanent brain damage or even death.

Types of TBI include concussions, contusions, brain hemorrhages, intracranial hematomas, diffuse axonal injury, and more. These serious injuries can lead to severe complications, such as seizures, intellectual problems, coma, vegetative state, and brain death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs usually occur due to falls. However, some elder abuse cases can also lead to TBIs, especially those that involve assault.

Spinal Injuries

A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord or the tissue and bones (vertebrae) surrounding it, often causing permanent changes in strength, sensation, and bodily functions. People that sustain spinal cord injuries may experience temporary or permanent and partial or total paralysis.

Aside from the loss of mobility, spinal cord injuries can lead to the loss of or altered sensations and bowel control, muscle spasms, changes in sexual function, nerve pain, and respiratory issues (coughing, difficulty breathing). The risk of extreme complications and death is higher for elderly nursing home patients.

In nursing homes, the most common causes of spinal injuries are falls. Fall accidents typically occur when patients fall from great heights or on a hard object, damaging their spinal cord.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.3 million infections occur in nursing facilities yearly. Nursing home patients are at a greater risk of contracting infections because they interact with other people daily and often have compromised immune systems.

Common infections in nursing homes include urinary tract infections (UTIs), pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. These illnesses are caused by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens entering the body, multiplying, and causing a reaction.

Infections can lead to complications, including sepsis, cardiac arrest, organ failure, and death. Patients need immediate medical attention once an infection develops.

Nursing home infections can spread rapidly due to poor sanitation, overcrowding, and a lack of disease control and prevention protocols.

Malnutrition and Dehydration

A lack of food and water over a long period can lead to malnutrition and dehydration. Complications from these conditions include harmful weight loss, nutrient deficiencies, and increased risk of infection.

Furthermore, malnutrition and dehydration can limit nursing home patients’ ability to recover from other illnesses, reducing their quality of life. These conditions can also make patients more susceptible to fall accidents.

Abuse and neglect are the most common causes of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes, i.e., failing to provide adequate food and water. However, they can also be caused by medical negligence, such as not prescribing a proper diet to an ill resident or failing to make nutritional considerations for a patient taking certain medications.

Causes of Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home injuries are typically caused by:

  • Lack of Supervision : Most nursing home patients require a certain level of supervision throughout the day, while some need someone to watch them around the clock. Either way, inadequate care can lead to residents accidentally hurting themselves or others. For instance, nursing home patients left to their own devices can attempt to walk without assistance and suffer hip fractures in a fall.
  • Resident-to-Resident Altercations : Many nursing home abuse cases involve residents assaulting each other, leading to significant physical injuries. Usually, these incidents arise due to a lack of proper supervision and failure to isolate potentially violent residents.
  • Failure to Prevent Falls : Nursing homes must have procedures, policies, and equipment to prevent or minimize patient falls. A lack of prevention measures, such as equipment (handrails, barriers, toilet grabs) and training for nursing home staff members, increases the risk of fall-related injuries, such as fractures, spinal injuries, and head trauma.
  • Poor Medication Management : Some medications cause grogginess, lightheadedness, vertigo, and other symptoms that increase the risk of patient falls. When nursing home staff members fail to assess fall risk patients and provide medical attention, these patients become more prone to serious injuries.
  • Physical Abuse : Sometimes, nursing home residents suffer injuries from abusive staff members. Acts of physical violence, such as slapping, kicking, and punching, can easily cause bodily harm to frail, disabled, or elderly residents. This type of abuse can also lead to falls.
  • Poor Hygiene : Neglecting patients’ needs can lead to poor hygiene, increasing the risk of bedsores and infections. For instance, infrequent changing of a patient’s diaper can lead to bacteria from fecal matter entering the patient’s urinary tract and causing a UTI.
  • Lack of Immunizations : The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends specific vaccinations for older adults, including seasonal flu, pneumococcal, and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). These vaccines help nursing home patients fight preventable health issues and reduce mortality.
  • Inadequate Disease Control and Prevention Measures : Nursing facilities must implement disease control mitigations to avoid spreading infections and other contagious diseases among residents. Shortcomings, such as improper personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, poor sanitation, and incorrect handwashing, increase the risk of outbreaks, ultimately putting residents’ health at risk.

Causes of Abuse or Neglect Among Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home abuse or neglect has many possible root causes, such as:

  • Understaffing : When there are not enough staff members to care for all patients, some processes become deprioritized. For instance, immobile patients can develop bedsores because staff members forget to reposition them, or some residents suffer malnutrition because they do not get fed enough or on time.
  • Poor Hiring Practices : Nursing facilities must hire staff members with adequate experience, training, and education to meet the needs of disabled and elderly individuals. Hiring inexperienced people, not conducting background checks, and other negligent hiring practices can increase the risk of abuse or neglect and, in turn, nursing home injuries.
  • Inadequate Training : Staff members need continuous training to meet residents’ needs better. Aside from technical training, staff members should undergo nursing home abuse training to avoid abusive or neglectful behavior.
  • Underreporting : Nursing home staff members are legally requiredto report instances of abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of cases reach governing bodies, leaving many to remain unaddressed. As a result, the cycle of nursing home abuse continues, putting more residents at risk.
  • Poor Management : A poorly-performing management team can affect staff members’ integrity, productivity, and accountability. Issues like improper scheduling can easily lead to employee burnout, making it difficult for workers to avoid mistakes. Moreover, a lack of accountability among team members can lead to nursing home abuse incidences going unreported.

Warning Signs of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of abuse and neglect can help protect your loved one from nursing home injuries.

Be wary of the following physical signs in your loved one:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, and other skin damage
  • Arm, leg, wrist, or hip fractures
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Recurring or untreated infections and other health issues
  • Broken eyeglasses, torn clothing
  • Unkempt appearance

A nursing home resident who has suffered abuse may also exhibit emotional or psychological changes, such as:

  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
  • Extreme sadness or depression
  • Anxiety
  • Refusal to be alone with a specific staff member

Some signs of elder abuse mimic dementia, such as rocking, aggressiveness, and biting. Consult a professional if you are unsure whether your loved one is suffering from abuse or something else entirely.

Contact the police if you suspect your loved one or another nursing home resident suffers from abuse. It is also a good idea to seek legal help as soon as possible.

Taking Legal Action for Nursing Home Injuries

If you have suffered a nursing home injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to pursue damages. Long-term care facilities that fail to protect a residents from avoidable harm could be held responsible for victims’ losses under personal injury law.

The Burden of Proof

Before you can file a nursing home injury claim, you must prove the following:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care. All long-term care facilities are legally responsible for protecting residents from nursing home neglect and abuse.
  • The defendant breached this duty of care. The ‘breach’ can be an action or a lack of action, leading to your nursing home injury.
  • You or your loved one suffered an injury. You must prove that you suffered a nursing home injury, physical or otherwise.
  • The defendant’s negligence directly led to your losses. You must prove causation between the defendant’s actions (or inaction) and your damages.
Evidence of Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home abuse cases often require substantial evidence to prove the negligence of the parties at fault. The following forms of proof can be helpful in your nursing home injury claim:

  • Photos of injuries
  • Medical records
  • Prescriptions
  • Surveillance footage of nursing home abuse
  • Witness accounts from employees, visitors, or other residents
  • Expert testimony

You must also show the extent of your nursing home injuries and other losses. The following documents can help:

Your lawyer will tell you what documents you need during your free legal case review.

Statute of Limitations

Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, usually two to three years from the date of the underlying incident.

It is crucial to file your nursing home abuse lawsuit as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline. Otherwise, the court will refuse to accept your case, and you may be unable to recover compensation.

Financial Compensation for Nursing Home Injuries

Taking legal action against nursing home abuse can help you recover financial compensation for your family’s losses, including:

  • Medical Bills : Out-of-pocket expenses for treating nursing home injuries, such as hospitalization, surgery, medication, emergency transportation, etc.
  • Disability : Mobility aids, rehabilitation, medication, and other disability-related expenses if you or a loved one becomes disabled from nursing home abuse.
  • Pain and Suffering : Physical and emotional harm resulting from nursing home abuse, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental trauma, etc.
  • Loss of Quality of Life : Quality of life lost due to nursing home injuries, e.g., reduced independence, chronic pain, loss of enjoyment in daily activities, etc.
  • Lost Wages : Income, wages, and benefits lost while caring for your injured loved one.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement : Loss of quality of life, psychological therapy, and other related damages if you or your loved one sustains a permanent scar.
  • Wrongful Death : Funeral, cremation, burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, grief therapy, and other death-related damages if your loved one dies from their nursing home injury.
  • Punitive Damages : Compensation on top of compensatory damages to punish nursing facilities for gross negligence or egregious abuse.

The value of your settlement will depend on these damages and other applicable factors. Your lawyer will calculate your potential compensation during your free case review.

Out-of-Court Settlements

The best way to take legal action against a negligent nursing home is to file a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. The insurer may offer you a settlement to compensate you for your losses. Your lawyer will help you negotiate with the defendant’s party to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Nursing Home Injury Lawsuit

Many nursing home injury cases end in settlements, but that is not always the case. Your lawyer may have to take legal action in civil court if:

  • Negotiations have stalled
  • The defendant refuses to take responsibility for your injuries
  • The defendant’s insurer refuses to make a fair offer

The judge or jury will decide the verdict when you file a lawsuit. There is no guarantee that you will recover compensation as both sides have equal chances of winning the case. Hence, you need a skilled lawyer to build a strong lawsuit if you choose to go this route.

To avoid litigation, your lawyer can also help you explore other legal options, such as arbitration and mediation. These processes are less formal, less expensive, and take less time than a court trial.

Our team will discuss these legal options further during your free case review.

Why You Need a Nursing Home Lawyer

Nursing home lawyers are well-versed in common nursing home injuries, their causes, and the possible liability of staff members and the facility itself. A nursing home lawyer can help you:

  • Investigate how and why the abuse happened
  • Identify all liable parties
  • Determine the extent of your losses
  • Estimate the value of your claim
  • Collect evidence to support your claim
  • File your claim to the insurance company
  • Negotiate settlement values
  • File a lawsuit in civil court, if necessary

Seek Legal Help for Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nursing home injuries are often caused by abuse or neglect. Regardless of who is at fault, mistreatment violates a resident’s rights and may be punishable under personal injury law. Nursing homes that allow this harm to happen should be held responsible for victims’ injuries, trauma, and other losses.

Have you suffered abuse from nursing home staff, visitors, or residents? If so, the attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you seek justice against everyone at fault. Our lawyers defend the legal rights of abuse or neglect victims, including those who are physically, sexually, or financially abused.

Contact our experienced attorneys at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form for a free legal case review. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.

Our nursing home lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensure you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.


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Bed Rail Entrapment in Nursing Homes

Broken Bones in Nursing Homes

Fall in Nursing Home

Nursing Home Burn Injury

Hoyer Lift Accidents

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