Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Assisting Victims of Broken Hips and their Families
Breaking a hip (hip fractures) can be debilitating in an elderly nursing home patient, even causing wrongful death. Unfortunately, when nursing home residents fall, a hip fracture is a common injury. Just because breaking a hip is a common occurrence in nursing home fall victims, this does not minimize the life changing implications this injury causes. Breaking a hip in a nursing home fall is not a routine injury. A broken hip can serve as a death sentence for this vulnerable patient population. At the very least, falling and breaking a hip robs the fall victim of their independence and ability to walk, which usually increases confusion, dementia and depression. A hip fracture injury inside a nursing home can ruin a patient’s life, and for this reason, the facility must do everything it can to minimize hip fracture fall injuries. Following a broken hip injury inside a nursing home, it is imperative that the family conduct an investigation as to whether the fall could have been prevented by nurses.
Hip Fractures in Nursing Homes: How They Occur
Broken hips in long term care facilities typically happen in one of three ways.
- The nursing home resident falls on their own;
- The nursing home resident is dropped by nurses; or,
- The hip fracture is non-traumatic, usually due to osteoporosis or brittle bones.
Not surprisingly, when family members learn that their love one suffered a hip fracture inside a nursing home, they ask what happened. Nursing home staff may feed the family a story; ‘well, Mom had weak bones…’ or ‘that hip was fractured due to osteoporosis.’ Rarely will a nursing home admit to its own negligence and attribute the broken hip to something its staff did wrong. However, WebMD confirms that the overwhelming majority of fractured hips in patients 65 years or older are due to falls or dropping incidents, not due to the natural aging process. If your loved one suffered a broken hip in a nursing home or assisted living facility, be sure to investigate the true cause of the fracture. If you would like to look into what really caused your family member’s broken hip, contact our nursing home abuse law firm today for your free hip fracture case consultation at 1-844-253-8919.
Treatment Options for a Broken Hip
Hip fractures can be treated in a number of ways. If the patient is healthy enough, hip surgery may be an option. The hip is a ball and socket joint, which allows the leg bone to fit snugly into the pelvis. The type of hip fracture and location of the break will dictate what kind of surgery is indicated. The various surgical options include:
- Intracapsular fracture of the hip: the surgeon may place screws that slide within a plate to stabilize the head of the femur bone.
- Intertrochanteric fracture of the hip: these kinds of fractures are remedied with the implant of a compression hip screw or intramedullary nail. These implants are screwed into the outer bone, affixed through a plate into the neck and head of the hip.
- Subtrochanteric fracture of the hip: this type of break in the hip can be controlled with placement of a intramedullary nail and a screw into the neck and head of the femur. Multiple support screws may be placed around the main nail to prevent the anatomy from moving around. Your surgeon may also place a locking plate to control movement of the area.
Hip Fracture Surgery Recovery
Typically, an elderly nursing home resident who suffers a broken hip will face a lengthy recovery period after surgery. This usually includes 2-7 days post-op in the hospital, and then discharge to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. The patient will likely undergo in-house and out-patient physical therapy, which is quite painful. CMS estimates the cost of a generalized hip surgery and the corresponding rehabilitation post-operatively is more than $50,000. This figure does not account for the largest damage to the patient; their pain and suffering associated with the preventable injury.
Broken Hip in a Nursing Home: Should I File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Hip fractures in nursing homes are not supposed to occur. If you know that the broken hip was due to a patient fall, investigate how your family member fell. Look into what (if anything) the nursing home was doing to prevent falls in your loved one. Speak with one of our nursing home fall attorneys on how best to determine the cause of the fall and how it could have been prevented. Our broken hip lawyers will investigate the circumstances surrounding the broken hip for no upfront fees or costs. If the hip fracture could have been prevented, we will advise you of the process on bringing a broken hip lawsuit against the negligent nursing home, if you are interested in being compensated for the injury.
Unexplained Broken Hips in Nursing Homes
If the hip fracture is unexplained, make sure to get to the bottom of what really happened. Nursing homes and ALF’s are hesitant to report fractures as trauma-induced. If possible, it benefits the facility to chalk a broken hip up to osteoporosis or the aging process. Do not accept the facility’s word on the cause of the broken hip. Always investigate what happened.
What is a Broken Hip Case Against a Nursing Home Worth in Terms of Settlement?
Each case is different, so there is no magic formula to determine what your potential hip fracture settlement may be worth. However, our nursing home abuse law firm regularly settles broken hip fall claims against nursing homes in the six figure range, meaning the gross settlement is in excess of $100,000 but under $1,000,000. The dollar amount of your broken hip settlement will depend on the damages of your specific case. Your damages will be determined by the victim’s age, the medical bills associated with the hip fracture, whether the hip fracture caused an ongoing injury or wrongful death, etc.
Questions on Nursing Home Broken Hip Cases? We Are Here to Help
Our nursing home neglect law firm is happy to discuss your options with you, in a free consultation. Call us now at 1-844-253-8919 or fill out the free case evaluator below.