Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Even the most minor slip and fall incidents can result in serious physical injury and carry a significant risk of temporary or permanent physical disability. One such injury is a hip fracture, which is one of the most commonly known bone fractures in slip and fall accidents.
Although slip and fall accidents can cause hip fractures in individuals of any age group, they tend to occur more frequently in the elderly. Due to the old age and the precarious nature of these injuries, they are extremely dangerous and may lead to lifelong consequences for the victims of the accident.
United States Hip Fracture Statistics
According to the slip and fall attorneys at Salamati Law in Los Angeles, CA, hip fractures resulting from accidental slips and falls are more frequent in the elderly, particularly individuals older than 65 years. More than 90 percent of all hip fractures occur due to slip and fall incidents. Additionally, around 75 percent of such injuries occur in women.
In 2010, more than 250,000 elderly patients were admitted to the emergency department due to hip fractures alone. Each hip fracture in the elderly is associated with a 20 percent risk of death due to medical or surgical complications, and patients usually die within a year of the slip and fall accident. Out of those who survive, 33 percent end up in nursing homes for further medical care and surveillance.
Complications of Hip Fractures
As people get older, their bones lose their density and become weaker and lighter. This change in the structural strength of bones makes them brittle and prone to easy fractures. Although the hip bone is one of the stronger bones in the human skeleton, the pressure and angle of fall can cause it to fracture in one or more spots. The hip joint plays a key role in the normal movement of the legs. A fracture, if not treated properly, can lead to permanent physical disability and immobilization. Some of the key complications resulting from slip and fall hip fractures include:
Dependence on Nursing Care
Most individuals who suffer from a hip fracture during a slip and fall accident become dependent on nursing care for everyday tasks since they are no longer able to take care of themselves. Complicated fractures of the hip bone can limit an individual to the confines of a wheelchair temporarily or permanently.
Risk of Death
While some patients fully recover from hip fractures caused by slip and fall incidents, most patients require prolonged surgical or medical treatment and physical therapy to return to normal function. Despite their best efforts to recover from their injuries, most elderly patients tend to die within a year or less of their slip and fall injuries due to hip fracture complications. Furthermore, mental health disorders like anxiety and depression can also arise from prolonged hospitalization.
In some cases, hip fractures may not heal properly, causing long-term complications like blood clotting issues, nervous impairment, mobility issues, and more.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you or your loved one suffered a hip fracture as a result of a slip and fall accident at someone else’s property, you might be entitled to financial compensation. Consulting a good lawyer is the first step towards ensuring adequate compensation for your physical and financial damages.