The Unwitnessed Fall
The law firm of Miraldi and Barrett has handled a number of cases like this, both in the nursing home and the hospital setting. In each case, we start by carefully reviewing the hospital or nursing home records and request that the institution give us a copy of the protocols (internal rules) that they have developed to prevent falls. We then take detailed statements from all of the people who cared for the patient and then analyze those statements. Are the statements consistent? did the nursing staff adequately assess the patient's risk for falls? Is there evidence that some of the fall prevention rules were not followed?
Recently, Miraldi and Barrett concluded a case against a hospital where the elderly patient had and unwitnessed fall around 5 a.m. when she apparently got up to go to the bathroom. The patient suffered a brain injury from the fall and was unable to remember what happened. David Miraldi of the firm argued that the hospital failed to follow its own rules when it did not take the patient to the bathroom as often as its rules required. The parties later reached a settlement, the terms of which are confidential.