Wheelchair and Footrest Injuries

Michigan Nursing Home Wheelchair Accident Lawyer for Footrest Injuries 

Nursing Home Wheelchair Injuries caused by the Failure to use Footrests

Approximately 2.2 million Americans with mobility issues rely on wheelchairs, many of whom are elderly nursing home residents.[1]  Astoundingly, roughly 100,000 of these individuals end up in emergency rooms each year as a result of wheelchair-related injuries.[2]

While some wheelchair incidents are accidents, many are caused by the negligence of nursing home staff.  Trips and falls account for more than 65% of wheelchair-related injuries, many of which occur when personnel fail to utilize footrests during resident transport.  When the carelessness of nursing home staff causes injuries, the facility should be held liable for damages.

The Importance of Wheelchair Footrests

Many people wrongly assume that wheelchair footrests are simply a nice convenience for the person in the chair.  This is not correct.

Footrests serve valuable purposes.  They support the weight of the legs for those in the wheelchair, who often lack the strength to keep their legs from otherwise dragging.  They also serve a valuable safety purpose by keeping the person’s feet out of the way of the wheels, and from inadvertently getting caught under the wheelchair when it is pushed (which could cause the person from being thrown from the wheelchair).

At Olsman MacKenzie Peacock & Wallace, our nursing home injury lawyers are committed to helping protect the rights of elderly nursing home negligence, neglect, and abuse victims.  If your loved one was injured in a wheelchair accident, we can help investigate the incident and do everything in our power to ensure that your loved one is protected.

We do not want financial concerns to prevent elderly victims from getting the justice they deserve.  We advance all costs of litigation, and there is no fee unless a settlement or trial award is received.  Call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your loved one’s options for seeking a financial recovery from those responsible.

What Types of Injuries Do Footrest Accidents Cause?

Wheelchair footrests are a common and vital feature in wheelchair safety.  However, when footrests are not installed or improperly utilized, severe injuries can occur if a resident’s legs get caught under the chair.  When this happens, the resident can be propelled forward and out of the wheelchair, and the following injuries can result:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations and Contusions
  • Brain bleeds and traumatic brain injuries
  • Crushed Limbs
  • Amputations
  • Death 

Why Do Nursing Homes Choose Not to Use Wheelchair Footrests?

Over 95% of wheelchair accidents involving elderly individuals (over age 65) occur in nursing homes and care facilities.[3]  Frequently, residents with mobility issues are dependent on staff for transport.  Unfortunately, many times, personnel fail to administer proper care or follow safety protocols, resulting in tragic accidents.

Wheelchair accidents can result from:

  • Lack of staff training on how to safely use wheelchairs
  • Failure to follow treatment plans
  • Failure to install footrests
  • Failure to use wheel locks to stop a wheelchair from rolling over extremities
  • Failure to ensure that feet are correctly positioned on rests
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s feet to ensure they do not get caught in a wheel

Any one of these oversights can result in debilitating and severe injuries, potentially making the nursing home legally responsible for paying for any damages suffered. 

My Loved One Was Hurt Because a Nursing Home Chose Not to use Footrests.  What Can They Recover? 

If your loved one’s injury was caused when nursing home staff failed to utilize footrests properly, the facility might be responsible for paying damages.  These damages may include compensation for past and future expenses, including:

  • Medical Treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Pain
  • Emotional Suffering
  • Other damages 

In most cases, insurance companies handle injury claims on behalf of nursing homes.  Insurers are motivated to pay victims the least amount possible.  Consequently, they regularly attempt to take advantage of helpless elderly individuals by convincing or coercing them into accepting unfair settlements.

If your loved one was injured in a footrest accident, it is crucial that they have an experienced attorney by their side that can help deter unethical insurance practices and assist in seeking a fair and just settlement.  

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?

When wheelchair footrest accidents occur, injuries are often the result of negligence on the part of the nursing home staff.  It is critical that careless personnel and facilities not escape responsibility for their actions or inaction, as negligent behavior may happen again, placing the health and safety of other residents at risk.

If your loved one was injured in a nursing home accident, our experienced footrest accident lawyers can help in seeking justice and fight tenaciously to get every dollar to which they are entitled. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to get started.

[1] Wheelchair related injuries treated in US emergency departments, NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563507/.

[2] Wheelchair related injuries treated in US emergency departments, NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563507/.

[3] Wheelchair related injuries treated in US emergency departments, NCBI, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563507/.