Hip fractures are debilitating, and they greatly restrict one’s ability to live a fulfilling life. The elderly are already vulnerable to physical and mental deterioration, and the effects of a fractured hip often prove fatal.
A Fractured Hip Could Be Fatal for the Elderly
If you have an elderly loved one, it is likely that their balance is not as strong as it once was. This condition increases the risk of falling. When the elderly fall, the result is often a broken hip—and the risk of a broken hip can increase their risk of death.
A fractured hip creates immediate medical concerns, as the elderly generally have a reduced capacity to survive surgery and fight off any infections due to the fracture. The effects of a broken hip and the long recovery period are even more harmful than the immediate medical ramifications.
When measured in a period of zero to nine years, the risk of death after a hip fracture may be three times higher than the normal rate. This risk is due in part to a hip fracture limiting one’s mobility.
If your loved one breaks their hip, they will likely be bed-ridden for months on end. This condition means less socialization, stimulation, and quality of life. These circumstances directly increase an elderly person’s risk of death after a hip fracture.
For these reasons, it is important that you know the signs of a hip fracture and take the circumstances seriously if your loved one broke their hip while living in a nursing home.
Know the Signs of a Broken Hip
If your loved one is living in a nursing home, check up on them regularly. If they are exhibiting the signs of an undiagnosed hip fracture, it is important that you help them seek medical attention. Some signs of a broken hip include:
- Severe pain in the groin and hip areas
- Bruising and swelling in the groin and hip areas
- Stiffness in the groin and hip areas
- An abnormally shortened leg
- Extremely restricted movement
- One leg turning outward, typically the shortened leg
If your loved one has suffered a broken hip, it is important that you find out from your loved one and nursing home staff the circumstances that led to the broken hip, and why you were not alerted sooner.
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Broken Hips May Be the Result of Nursing Home Negligence
The potentially fatal nature of a fractured hip reinforces how important it is for nursing homes to provide constant care to residents. If your loved one broke their hip, it may have resulted from insufficient quality of care, and the nursing home could be liable for the consequences of the injury.
Some ways that nursing homes fail to provide adequate care, which could potentially cause an elderly person to die after a hip fracture, include:
- Not providing adequate supervision of residents.
- Failing to provide care so that a resident does not have to go to the bathroom on their own, get out of bed to retrieve a meal or drink, or do anything else that typically requires caregiver assistance.
- Allowing residents to wear footwear or clothing that could increase the risk of falling.
- Failing to diagnose a broken hip in a timely fashion or alert a resident’s loved ones to the injury.
- Failing to provide restraints for residents who are likely to injure themselves during sleep or when otherwise unsupervised.
Not all hip fractures are preventable, but many are, and when a nursing home creates conditions that increase your loved one’s risk of suffering a fractured hip, they may be liable for the consequences of the injury.
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How a Lawyer Can Help If Your Loved One Breaks Their Hip
If your loved one has broken their hip and you suspect negligence, it is important to contact law enforcement. You should then contact a lawyer, who can assist you by:
- Meeting with you and your loved one to document your accounts of the accident.
- Initiating legal action immediately to ensure that you abide by any relevant statutes of limitation.
- Alerting the nursing home to your impending case and requesting cooperation from staff members and other residents.
- Gathering available evidence of the accident, such as security footage.
- Handling all legal responsibilities necessary to pursue awards.
- Protecting your loved one’s rights throughout the legal process.
If your loved one’s claim is successful, they could be entitled to awards covering:
- Their stay in the nursing home
- Medical expenses from the fractured hip
- Pain and suffering
- And possibly more
Your loved one could be eligible for additional financial compensation based on the circumstances of their case.
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Do Not Wait to Call a Lawyer
Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm aims to ensure that your loved one suffers no additional harm, and we do not shy away from tough cases, including those in which elderly people die after a hip fracture. Call our team today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing up front, nothing out of pocket, and we only take a fee if you win a judgment or collect a settlement.