O'Brien Batten & Kirtley Personal Injury Blog

What causes nursing home patients to fall?

A previous post on this blog talked about how important it is for a nursing home's staff to do what it can to prevent its patients from falling. Because many of these patients are older and frail, what might have caused harmless bruising in a younger, healthier person can be devastating for the victim of a nursing home fall.

According to statistics still cited by state that borders Kentucky, each year, around 1,800 nursing home patients die in connection with a fall. Many others wind up with broken hips or other injuries that leave them unable to walk for the rest of their lives. Such injuries can, indirectly, hasten a patient's death just because their ability to move about and enjoy their lives is greatly diminished.

Victims of falls at nursing homes can get compensation

One could argue that just about any business in Kentucky has some obligation to keep their guests safe and prevent them from slipping and falling. However, this is especially true for nursing homes, which are facilities that Kentucky families have specifically trusted with the care of their sick or elderly loved ones.

Unfortunately, patients at nursing homes can and do fall for a variety of reasons. In some cases, this is simply an accident. However, in many other cases, a slick floor, bad lighting or an improperly adjusted bed can cause a fall. In still other cases, a patient may be feeling the effects of his or her medication and cannot hold his or her balance; or, the patient may not be able to move as well simply because he or she has not gotten enough exercise.

Comparative fault in premises liability cases

As this blog has discussed before, Kentucky homeowners and business owners have an obligation to keep their property safe and secure for their guests and visitors. When they do not do so, and when someone gets hurt as a result, then the property owner may owe the injured victim compensation. This legal concept is called premises liability.

Like several other states, Kentucky is what is called a comparative fault state. Speaking very generally, what this means is that a victim can be partially at fault for his or her own injuries yet still be allowed to sue for compensation. However, the amount of compensation the victim ultimately gets will be reduced in order to account for the fact that the victim bears some of the responsibility for the loss.

What are punitive damages?

Most of the time, an accident means exactly that – the incident was purely accidental, and although a judge or jury may have found someone at fault, usually that person had no intention of hurting anyone. However, in some cases, an accident resulted from willful or knowledgeable negligence. You and other Kentucky residents who have suffered an injury may find it useful to understand the differences between civil and punitive damages.

If you receive compensation from the responsible party after an accident, such as a car crash, this is usually a civil matter, as long as there was no criminal action – such as drunk driving – involved. However, the court may award punitive damages for the following unusual circumstances:

  • The responsible party’s behavior was especially negligent or harmful, such as a person who was purposefully driving erratically and caused an accident.
  • There was clear evidence that the negligent person or company showed a wanton or reckless disregard for others’ safety or personal property.
  • The judge believed that awarding punitive damages to the injured party would serve as a punishment to the wrongdoer and a lesson to others.

Alleged electric shock death occurs at Kentucky plant

As this blog has discussed previously, many Kentucky residents quite literally put their lives at risk every time they get up and go to work, usually for no other reason than to make sure that they and their families have what they need to live.

These workers, particularly if they work in industry, often face lots of different types of dangers at their factories or work sites, and many of these dangerous conditions can be fatal.

Trusted attorneys when tragedies strike

When a Kentucky resident thinks about it, one can see how it is miraculous that people go through their days without even realizing how fortunate they are. Tragic accidents can, after all, happen in so many ways.

There is, after all, a risk that while one is going to and from work or otherwise traveling, another driver will cause a fatal accident, taking that person's life and leaving his or her loved ones picking up the pieces.

Kentucky lawmakers continue malpractice revisions

The Kentucky Legislature is considering a measure that critics say will further erode Kentucky's protections for victims of medical malpractice.

Recently, the Kentucky Legislature passed a law requiring malpractice claims to be reviewed by a panel of experts for an opinion on whether there was medical negligence before a victim can file suit. That law is currently pending judicial review.

It is a trucker's responsibility to account for stopping time

The residents of Kentucky have to share the road with truckers who are responsible for hauling a large volume of this country's products and equipment from one place to another.

They should of course follow traffic laws, drive carefully, and, generally speaking, take account of the special challenges truck drivers face when operating such large vehicles.

Food bullying is more than just a harmless prank

The chances are that your child has been on the receiving end of teasing or bullying at least once in school. Sadly, most children endure some type of bullying during these difficult years, regardless of how popular they are. However, you and your children should understand that bullying can easily go too far, especially when it puts someone's health or safety at risk. Food bullying is a good example of a joke that some Kentucky students might think is harmless but can be extremely dangerous.

Recently, three girls between the ages of 13 and 14 played a joke on a classmate who was severely allergic to pineapples, and the results were anything but funny.

Assisting families after devastating accidents

As a recent story discussed on this blog revealed, serious accidents do not just happen in vehicles.

There are sadly a lot of ways that Kentucky residents can find themselves seriously hurt because of a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury or other permanent and debilitating injuries that will stay with a person for the rest of his or her life.

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