From brain injuries to ankle sprains, trip and fall accident injuries run the full spectrum of severity. One common injury—especially among older adults—is a hip fracture.
Many people land on their hip following a fall. While this is preferable to landing your head or neck, the impact to the hip can lead to a variety of fractures. If you have suffered a hip fracture in a fall, an experienced New York City slip and fall lawyer might be able to help you receive full and fair compensation for your medical bills, time missed from work, diminished quality of life, and more.
Common Hip Injuries After a Slip and Fall Accident
In a slip and fall accident, your hips are often the part of the body that absorbs most of the force. It can result in serious injuries which are hard to recover from, and people over 65 may no longer be able to live on their own. The CDC reports that over 95% of all hip fractures are caused by falling.
Common hip injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents:
- Hip Fracture: A hip fracture–a broken femur at the hip joint–is one of the most severe injuries from a fall. The risk is high for older adults: each year, over 300,000 people 65 years old or older are hospitalized for hip fractures, with the majority of the injuries associated with a fall. In addition, people who suffer from fall-related hip fractures usually need corrective surgery and rehabilitation.
- Hip Sprain, Strain, or Tear: As a ball-and-socket joint, there are several important ligaments and tendons in the hip–including the ligamentum teres and the iliotibial band–that can be damaged in a fall. If you fall and land awkwardly, these tendons and ligaments can be overstretched or torn, leading to a sprain, strain, or tear. These injuries can lead to severe pain, swelling, and instability and often require long periods of recuperation.
- Dislocation: The femur is connected to the pelvis with a ball-and-socket joint in the hip. During a fall, the top portion of the femur can be removed from its socket or misaligned. This type of injury is called a dislocation and typically requires immediate medical intervention. Dislocations are associated with intense pain, nerve damage, and a loss of mobility.
- Bruised Hip Pointer: The outside edge of the pelvis, called the iliac crest, can also be injured, especially with direct impact from a fall. This can cause the bone to be bruised; an injury called a hip pointer. It often heals on its own but may cause pain, inflammation, spasms, and a decreased range of motion.
Hip Fractures During a Fall
While hip fractures are more common among elderly adults, anyone could suffer this injury after a serious fall. For example, falling from a substantial height or down a flight of stairs could result in trauma significant enough to fracture your hip.
Hip fractures are especially painful. Often, the pain can spread across a person’s hip and groin. Most people with hip fractures find themselves unable to walk. While setting these bones right away can limit the likelihood of long-term complications, many deal with the fallout from a hip fracture for the rest of their life.
Some of the major complications that come with these injuries can include:
- Reduced mobility. Some hip fractures have lingering effects even after they heal. One of those potential effects is the loss of mobility. Pain from a previous hip fracture could make walking difficult or even impossible.
- Diminished quality of life. Constant pain, reduced mobility, and a lack of independence can understandably dampen a person’s enjoyment of their own life. For many, these injuries could lead to depression.
- Weakened bone structure. As these bones heal, they remain weaker than normal. This could result in an increased likelihood of additional fractures.
A personal injury lawyer could help you seek compensation for a fractured hip injury. If successful, you could recover compensation to ease the challenges that come with this injury.
Liability for Hip Fracture
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident due to another person’s negligence, they could face civil liability for your injuries. Usually, these claims are directed at the owner or occupier of the property where the fall occurred.
Consider the following example. You enter a grocery store to buy milk. As you walk through the dairy aisle, you slip on a stick of butter that was dropped by another customer. If you break your hip in the fall, you could hold the store responsible for your damages, depending on the circumstances.
Not every fall will lead to a successful injury claim. For instance, the property owner is only responsible for your injury if they failed to act reasonably in protecting you from the fall. Whether or not they acted reasonably can depend on how much time they had to respond. If the butter you slipped on was on the floor for a matter of seconds, the store could have a strong defense. However, if they failed to address the spilled butter for several hours, you could have a strong case that they were negligent. An experienced personal injury attorney at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green can review your accident and advise you on the strength of your case.
Compensation for a Hip Fracture Injury Claim
The cost of addressing a hip fracture can be substantial. First and foremost, the medical bills could not only be extensive, but they could also continue to grow over time. If your claim is successful, you could recoup the cost of this care.
Other compensation related to a hip fracture could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning power
- Loss of consortium
Speak With an Attorney About Your Fractured Hip
If you have suffered a fractured hip in a fall, let an attorney review your case and advise you if you have a viable claim. The team at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. have handled numerous slip and fall claims and have a long track record of exceptional results achieved for our clients. To discuss your case in detail, schedule a free consultation today.