Our Bend/Portland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain Wheelchair Accidents


Our Bend/Portland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain Wheelchair Accidents


A wheelchair is one of the most common mobility-assistance devices in a nursing home.  This is because difficulty walking and getting around is the most common disability amongst adults.  According to the CDC, 13.7% of the 61 million adults with disabilities have a mobility disability.  This translates into 8.3 million adults, which is a staggering number.  Many of these individuals are older, as the CDC also reports that 40 percent of adults age 65 or older have a disability.  This is why nursing homes heavily rely on the use of wheelchairs to help residents maintain their independence in getting around but still being safe.  However, wheelchair accidents are a serious concern in Oregon nursing homes.  Our Bend/Portland nursing home abuse lawyers know that wheelchair accidents are dangerous and even deadly. Learn about the common causes of wheelchair accidents and how they could be due to reckless, careless, and downright negligent nursing home conduct.


Causes of Wheelchair Accidents Due to Oregon Nursing Home Abuse


There are many possible causes of wheelchair accidents.  After a wheelchair accident, a nursing home may even blame the primary cause as the resident’s fault.  Indeed, sometimes it may seem like a wheelchair accident is the fault of the resident.  But that is not usually the real cause.  This is because nursing homes have certain protocol that must be followed with wheelchairs.  Even when a resident may fall trying to stand up in a wheelchair and it appears to be the sole fault of the resident, that is not the whole truth.  That is also not correct.


The most common causes of wheelchair accidents which may be the fault of a nursing home and not the fault of just the resident include the following:


  • Failure to Use Wheelchair Brakes – wheelchairs have brakes for placing a resident in or for a resident to stand up or sit down.  The purpose of the brake is to prevent the wheelchair from rolling backwards and causing the resident to fall to the ground.  Wheelchair brakes create a stable platform for a resident to sit down on or to stand up.  Thus, the failure of a nursing home staff member to engage the wheelchair brakes when loading or unloading a resident, or when residents are stationary and likely to try to stand up, it could be nursing home negligence.  This means that the resident may not be at fault.
  • Defective or Worn Wheelchairs – wheelchairs are equipment that, once purchased, a nursing home facility wants to get as much use of out of as possible.  This reduces capital expenditure, which means more money in the pocket of the nursing home staff.  But when old or damaged wheelchairs continue to be used, it could result in a defective and dangerous piece of equipment.  Thus, broken edges, worn brakes, flat wheels, sharp corners, or exposed screws could all cause serious injury to a resident.  This is particularly true of an elderly resident.  Defective and worn wheelchairs that cause injuries could be due to nursing home malpractice.
  • Improper Loading and Unloading from Vehicles – one of the more dangerous uses of a wheelchair is during the loading and unloading from vehicles.  This is necessary because many residents may need specialist care and treatment at doctor offices.  When nursing homes fail to properly load and unload residents from vehicles, serious wheelchair accidents could result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death.
  • Lack of Supervision in Wheelchairs – Residents at a nursing home need to be supervised, especially when they are using a wheelchair.  When residents are not monitored, they may elope or wander.  In a wheelchair this could result in injuries to themselves or to other.  This includes when residents go out to smoke, as wheelchairs can be flammable and serious wheelchair fires could result in the wrongful death of residents.


Ask Our Bend/Portland, Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for Help


Almost every type of wheelchair accidents could be preventable if there was proper supervision, care, and training of nursing home staff.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  


Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.


We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  


Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

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