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For many people, slipping and falling isn’t a laughing matter. In fact, it can lead to devastating complications and long-term disability. In some cases, falls can even be life-threatening.
One of the biggest risks of a fall is a hip fracture. People who fall are at risk of breaking many different bones, from fingers and wrists to ankles and tailbones. But hip fractures are especially debilitating among all age groups. Here’s why.
Having healthy hips is essential for mobility, including walking, getting in and out of the bed, using the bathroom, and more. People who suffer hip fractures may be physically unable to walk without a walker, while others may need a wheelchair. Elderly people who suffer hip fractures may never regain their lost mobility and independence.
Broken hips don’t heal easily or well. Without surgical intervention, people who suffer broken hips may experience pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility for the rest of their lives. Surgical treatments for broken hips include inserting metal screws, plates, and rods into the bone to reattach areas that were broken. Some people even need full hip replacements after suffering hip fractures.
Hip fractures often cause internal bleeding. Anytime bleeding is a factor, infection is also a factor—especially in compound fractures where the skin is broken. People with hip fractures also spend a lot of time in bed recovering or adjusting to their lost mobility. This results in an increased risk of developing illnesses like pneumonia, blood clots, and urinary tract infections.
For many people, one hip fracture begets another. People who suffer hip fractures may lose significant muscle mass, making it more difficult to get around. They also may become dependent on their walkers, and they may develop an extreme fear of falling. The combination of these factors can make them more likely to fall again and re-fracture the same hip or fracture their other hip.
When people lose their mobility and independence after a fall, they may need frequent care and supervision. In many cases, they have nowhere to go that’s equipped for their needs. Their relatives’ homes may not be walker- or wheelchair-friendly, and their schedules may not allow them to provide the care they need. In these cases, slip and fall victims move into nursing homes.
One in three adults age 50 or older dies within one year of suffering a hip fracture, and senior citizens have a five to eight times higher risk of dying within the first three months after a hip fracture. The increased risk of death is due to a combination of all the factors listed above, as well as depression and reduced quality of life.
The consequences of slips and falls can be devastating not just for victims, but for their loved ones, too. At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we work hard to hold negligent property owners and nursing homes accountable when guests and residents fall because of hazardous conditions.
Contact our Ohio premises liability lawyers for a free consultation if you or your loved one fell on someone else’s property. We’ll work hard to get you fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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