Broken Hips in Nursing Homes
A nursing home should be a safe and pleasant place for senior citizens to live out the rest of their lives. It should not be a dangerous or dirty setting that puts residents at risk of serious injuries, such as broken hips. Unfortunately, many nursing homes do not take proper care of their residents. If you or a loved one broke a hip while staying in a nursing home or long-term care facility in California, learn your legal rights and what to do, with assistance from a Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorney.
Complications Associated With Hip Fractures in the Elderly
A broken hip is a crack, fracture or break of the upper part of the thighbone (femur). Hip fractures can be caused by trauma, such as an impact on the hip. Broken hips are serious and painful injuries for victims. Due to the location of this type of fracture, most patients require long periods of immobility or bed rest to heal. This can lead to life-threatening health complications for senior citizens, such as bedsores, infections and blood clots. This is why, sadly, many hip fractures are associated with nursing home resident deaths.
Common Causes of Broken Hips in Nursing Homes
Senior citizens over the age of 65 are the population most at risk of hip fractures, due to medical conditions such as osteoporosis and an overall decrease in bone density that comes with aging. Broken hip injuries can occur in the elderly in many circumstances, but the most common cause is falling. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls send about eight million people to emergency rooms each year. Hip fractures are the most serious type of broken bone related to fall accidents.
Another common cause of broken hips in nursing homes is resident transfer incidents. Nursing home employees and medical providers must use approved and appropriate methods to transfer immobile and disabled residents from one place to another, such as from a bed to a wheelchair. Carelessness in transferring a nursing home resident could result in the resident being dropped and an injury such as a broken hip. Physical abuse can also cause hip fractures in nursing home residents, such as if an employee pushes down an elderly resident.
Lawsuits for Nursing Home Injuries in California
Although the elderly are susceptible to hip fractures by nature, there are certain things that nursing homes can do to reduce the risk of injury. For example, they can keep their premises safe and free from trip and fall hazards, properly supervise residents, and keep them as healthy as possible. If a nursing home or employee does something that a reasonable and prudent party would not do in the same circumstances, and this results in a broken hip, the nursing home can be held legally responsible (liable) in California.
You or your family may be able to file a lawsuit against a nursing home in California for negligence, depending on the circumstances. Negligence is the failure to act with proper care. A personal injury case can hold the facility accountable for causing or failing to prevent a hip fracture. To prove negligence, you must have evidence that the nursing home or one of its staff members violated or breached a duty of care that was owed. A duty of care is a legal and ethical responsibility associated with caring for a nursing home resident.
If you or your lawyer can prove that the nursing home was negligent and that this caused or contributed to the bone fracture, you may recover financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses, including pain and suffering. You may also have grounds to base a claim on nursing home abuse or neglect, depending on the circumstances. An attorney from Rose, Klein & Marias LLP can listen to your story and investigate the cause of you or a loved one’s hip fracture. Then, we can help you explore your options for monetary recovery. Request a free consultation with our nursing home injury attorneys today.