Who Can Be Sued for a Bed Rail Accident?

The Dangers of Bed Rails

Victims of bed rail entrapments and their loved ones often wonder who is at fault for the entrapment accident. The consequences of bed rail entrapments can be extreme. Since 1995, several hundred people have died from bed rail entrapments and several hundred more have suffered significant injuries. With consequences that severe, it is natural that victims and their relatives want to hold the people who were responsible for the bed rail injury responsible.

Often, more than one person is responsible for the accident. If a person decides to file a lawsuit for the injuries or fatality caused by a bed rail entrapment then he or she will want to consider the following possible defendants:

  1. The bed rail manufacturer;
  2. The bed rail supplier;
  3. The hospital or nursing home facility;
  4. The ordering personnel and;
  5. The facility personnel.

It might be helpful to consider the following factors when trying to determine who was responsible for the bed rail accident. Did the bed rail manufacturer make a product where the bed rails and the bed formed an unsafe gap as a result of a design or manufacturing defect? Did the bed rail supplier fail to provide the facility with appropriate instructions or warnings? Did the hospital or nursing home facility fail to instruct their personnel on how to set up and monitor beds with side rails? Did they fail to have appropriate staff available to help patients in and out of bed or to check on patients periodically? Did the ordering personnel make sure that all components of the bed including the side rails, mattress and head and foot boards, work together as a cohesive unit? Did they research any warnings put out by the FDA or other agencies regarding the type and style of bed that they bought? Did the facility personnel use the directions provided to them when they set up the bed? Did they do their job, as instructed, in terms of helping the patient in and out of bed and regularly checking in on the patient to monitor safety?

Fatalities and injuries that are caused by bed rails are preventable. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services include bed rail accidents as "never events" or things that should never happen to patients because they are completely preventable. Therefore, if you or your loved one has suffered from a bed rail entrapment it is important to determine who was at fault for the bed rail injury and to hold that person or persons responsible so that bed rail accidents do not happen again.


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