Can a Nursing Home be Held Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?
There are a number of reasons that a slip and fall accident could occur in a nursing home, and many of them are preventable. Surfaces that are damaged or uneven, floors that are wet or slippery or even just the age and physical ability of the nursing home resident can cause a person to lose their footing and fall. Many of the causes of slip and fall accidents are the result of a careless nursing home attendant, which means the nursing home could be held responsible for injuries caused by these accidents. Injuries can range in severity from bruising to broken bones, brain injuries or even death in some cases. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a slip and fall nursing home accident, an Illinois nursing home negligence lawyer can help you determine if the responsible party acted in a negligent manner.Property Owners Have a Duty to Occupants
The Illinois Premises Liability Act states that a property owner must make sure that their property is reasonably safe for occupants and visitors, known as the “duty of reasonable care.” According to the duty of reasonable care principle, all property owners are responsible for keeping their property safe and free of dangerous items or situations that a “reasonable person” would know to be dangerous.
When it comes to a nursing home, the situation can get a little more complex. Most nursing homes exist because residents need a little more help in their daily lives performing basic activities and getting from place to place. Nursing homes are required to meet certain state and federal standards to keep their residents safe. If you can prove that any of those standards were not met, you may have a case.What is Negligence?
There are many definitions of negligence, though there is a specific definition that pertains to legal matters. In the Illinois Civil Pattern Jury Instructions, negligence can occur when a person fails to do something that a “reasonably careful” person would do in similar circumstances or when a person does something that a “reasonably careful” person would not do in similar circumstances.Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
Most personal injury cases involve the idea of negligence. In Illinois, contributory negligence is used, meaning the plaintiff (you) is not always 100 percent innocent when it comes to responsibility for the accident. As long as your portion of responsibility for the accident is less than 50 percent, you can still receive damages from the defendant (the nursing home.)
In personal injury cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, meaning you have to prove that the property owner acted negligently. To prove the negligence of the property owner, you have to prove the following:
- There was a dangerous situation present on the property that the nursing home staff should have known about, or the nursing home violated a state or federal standard;
- The danger that was present or standard that was violated on the property is the reason why you slipped or fell;
- You suffered some sort of injury because of that slip or fall; and
- The injury caused you to sustain damages, such as medical bills or pain and suffering.
If you believe that you have suffered a slip and fall injury because of the negligence of another person, you should get in touch with an Orland Park, IL, nursing home negligence attorney right away. Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents can become serious and can result in expensive medical bills. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we will make sure you understand all of your rights and determine which option would be best for seeking compensation. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.
General Cautionary Instructions