Can I hold a rehab facility legally responsible for a fall and injuries that my father sustained as a result of this fall?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can I hold a rehab facility legally responsible for a fall and injuries that my father sustained as a result of this fall?

My father had a stroke and ended up in the rehab facility, he was non-ambulatory and could not move. Yesterday he fell down and was diagnosed with a second stroke.

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Malpractice Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can hold them responsible if they were at fault in causing his fall, such as, for example, if a staff member was trying to move him to change his bed and carelessly rolled him off the bed or lost his/her grip on him while helping him sit up, or if they were trying to help him practice standing or walking and didn't support him properly, or if, given his condition, he should have had bed rails or the like to make sure he didn't roll off the bed but they failed to have them. In any case where their negligence, or unreasonable or unprofessional carelessness, caused or contributed to his fall, they may be liable for injuries caused by the fall.

But if they were not at fault, then they are not liable. So if, for example, there was no reasonable need for bed rails or restaints, and while your father was alone in the room, he tried to sit up or move on his own and that is why he fell, that is no the facility's fault and they are not liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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