Nursing home residents have more risk of injury than those who reside in an assisted living facility. After all, nursing homes provide skilled care, and residents are often more vulnerable to injury due to age-related health and mobility issues.
Perhaps surprisingly, though, according to an insurance carrier that provides liability insurance to both nursing home and assisted living facilities, the settlements listed for injury claims have been typically higher for injuries occurring in ALFs.
Top causes of injury claims
In nursing homes and ALFs, the top causes of claims during the period reviewed were as follows:
- Resident falls: 42.7%
- Pressure ulcers: 18.6%
- Improper care: 14.7%
The injuries caused directly by improper care did not include those involving falls.
The majority of fall-related claims (76%) came from residents of nursing homes and averaged $188,009. Although the number of ALF fall claims was much lower, the average payout was $196,571.
Only 6% of these claims came from ALFs, but the average payout, $236,562, exceeded the average bedsore-related claim from nursing homes by almost $5,000.
The company does not provide amounts specific to other claims, but does list the various sources of liability claim allegations:
- Failing to seek prompt medical treatment
- Failing to diagnose
- Failing to treat
- Failing to follow doctors’ orders
- Failing to move a resident to the level of care needed
- Making medication errors
- Violating resident rights
One of the ways nursing homes and ALFs can reduce serious injuries to residents is through proven prevention methods. Assessing risks on an individual basis and creating resident care plans specific to personal needs can prevent falls and pressure sores. These steps may also ensure that residents receive the medical care to prevent harm from health care concerns.
When insurance settlement offers for personal injuries are not enough to compensate for the damages a nursing home or ALF resident suffers, many people decide to take a case to court.