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One of the most common signs of nursing home abuse or neglect is a fractured or broken bone. These injuries may be from physical abuse or related to a fall; studies show that 90% of fractures in people 65 years of age or older are caused by falls. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm in Chicago, Illinois, we provide skilled and compassionate legal counsel to individuals in all 50 states who suspect their loved ones are suffering from some form of abuse or neglect.
Different Types of Fractures
The three most common types of bone fractures are:
- Closed Fractures – Also known as a simple fracture, this occurs when the skin remains intact.
- Open Fractures – Also known as a compound fracture, this can involve additional injuries, such as a fracture hematoma (mass of clotted blood) that can expose the bone to infection or contamination.
- Compression Fractures – This is the most common fracture sustained in nursing homes and refers to a separation or slippage of discs in the back. This is worsened by conditions affecting bone density, like osteoporosis.
Do Broken Bones Mean Abuse Occurred?
While broken and fractured bones do not always mean that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is a major warning sign. Most often, fractures are a sign of staff negligence. Nursing homes are responsible for the safety and well-being of its residents – which includes monitoring them carefully. Nursing homes are chronically understaffed and often do not have enough employees to properly supervise and assist all residents, leading to falls and fractures.
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Fractured and Broken Bones Nursing Home Lawyer
For people at or over the age of 60, a fractured bone does not constitute a minor injury since it can result in serious medical conditions and death, according to Best Practices & Research, Clinical Rheumatology. Unfortunately, elderly people may suffer fractured bones in nursing homes due to falls that result from negligent care. One of the worst fractures an elderly adult can sustain, according to the journal’s research, involves their hips. These types of breaks may come with severe medical complications and a decline in their general health, or even death.
While the nursing home has a duty of care to its patients, caretakers may fail to supervise each individual patient effectively. A fractured and broken bones nursing home lawyer can help you pursue legal action on behalf of your loved one and file a claim to receive compensation for the losses associated with the fall.
Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation: (800) 201-3999.
Broken Bones and Healing
A fractured bone and a broken bone refer to the same medical condition occurring after the internal or external elements break the continuity of a bone. A significant number of these cases stem from external factors, such as falls and other personal injury accidents. While bones can heal, a study titled “Wound Healing and Aging” found that elderly adults heal more slowly. Doctors can only create an optimum environment to support the process.
Overview of Bone Fractures
There are several types of fractures, including:
- Comminuted fracture: refers to a bone that shatters into three or more pieces.
- Stable fracture: a bone fracture but the pieces of bone still line up.
- Transverse fracture: consists of a broken bone featuring horizontal fracture lines.
- Oblique fracture: involves a broken bone with angled patterns.
- Open, or compound, fracture: occurs when a fractured bone pierces the skin.
Causes of Bone Fractures
Although healthy bones can withstand powerful impacts, frail bones may not. For elderly adults, the outcome can prove devastating, if not fatal. Some causes of a fractured bone include:
- Trauma: automobile accidents, personal injuries, assault, and sports injuries are common causes of fractures.
- Overuse: consistent stress and repetitive motion can put excessive pressure on the bone.
- Osteoporosis: a medical condition that weakens bones and increases their likelihood to break.
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What to Do If You Suspect a Fractured or Broken Bone
When visiting your loved one in their nursing home, make sure to ask how they feel physically and look for signs of obvious symptoms. Generally, the signs of a fractured bone depend on the patient’s age, general health, and the severity of the injury. Symptoms may include:
- Affected area appearing angulated, discolored, or deformed
- Pain resulting from an attempt to move the body part
Seeking Medical Attention
If you confirm that your loved one’s condition involves a fractured bone, seek medical attention immediately. The doctor may perform a physical examination and ask about their symptoms and how the injury happened. Additionally, they may use an X-ray to verify the current state of the bone. If the fracture proves small, they may opt for an MRI. By taking this step, your loved one’s updated health records may help connect their injuries to the negligent actions of the liable parties.
If you believe the fracture was the result of abuse or neglect, you may want to enlist the help of a fractured and broken bones nursing home lawyer.
When Your Loved One Suffers a Fracture Due to Someone Else’s Actions
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we believe that nursing homes need to take responsibility for the abuse and neglect they inflict on the sick and elderly. If your loved one sustained a bone fracture while in their care, you may have a right to take legal action.
Our fractured and broken bones nursing home lawyers may take on your case, represent you in the negotiation room, and even represent you at trial if necessary.
We believe that financial constraints should not become a roadblock on the path to seeking justice and recovery. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you never have to pay up-front or out-of-pocket fees for our services. Call us as soon as possible to ensure that you abide by any possible statute of limitations or deadlines that may apply to your case.
Call us at (800) 201-3999 to discuss your case for free.