The Centers for Disease and Control reports that nearly 300,000 people over the age of 65 are hospitalized every year from hip fractures. A vast majority of hip fractures will be the result of falling accidents. A hip fracture may be an indication that a nursing home resident has been the victim of abuse or neglect.
Florida statutes establish certain minimum standards for nursing homes, which as set forth in Chapter 59A-4 require nursing home staff to conduct evaluations of residents to determine their likelihood of falling, as well as set standards for facilities to reduce the risk of falls and potentially hip fractures.
A West Palm Beach nursing home hip fracture lawyer can help explain the complicated laws governing nursing home standards and may be able to determine if a nursing home should be held liable for your loved one’s accident and injury.
It is important for family members to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect before they occur and cause a serious injury such as a hip fracture. However, if your loved one has suffered a hip fracture, a compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer is prepared to help, and could aggressively pursue compensation on your loved one’s behalf.
Hip Fractures and Complications
The hip is what is known as a ball-and-socket joint. This anatomical structure allows the upper leg to be able to bend and rotate and is essential to movement. A hip fracture is characterized as a break in the upper quarter of the femur bone. Some of the major types of hip fractures include:
- Intracapsular fracture – A femoral neck fracture occurs when the ball of the ball-and-socket joint is fractured off the femur
- Intertrochanteric fracture – These fractures occur at the part of the hip where the bone juts outward
- Subtrochanteric fracture – these fractures occur further down the femur bone and often result in multiple breaks
A hip fracture can have a drastic impact on a person’s ability to function, and can negatively impact an individual’s quality of life. A hip fracture can impact a nursing home resident in the following ways:
- A decreased ability to care for themselves – Nursing home residents who suffer a hip fracture often are no longer able to properly care for themselves and become increasingly dependent on staff and family members to meet their basic needs.
- Limited mobility – In addition to lengthy healing times associated with hip fractures, many individuals who suffer a hip fracture experience a permanent decrease in mobility.
- Increased risk of death – A hip fracture itself may not cause death, however, the complicated medical procedures that are necessary after a hip fracture may increase the chance a nursing home resident dies as a result of their injury.
When is it Time to File a Lawsuit?
Nursing homes are often filled with wonderful caretakers who are genuinely concerned for the health and well-being of their residents. However, nursing homes are chronically understaffed and often are not properly equipped to handle residents with limited mobility.
In addition, because nursing homes are chronically understaffed it is possible that staff will not conduct an adequate assessment of each resident and will, therefore, miss signs that a nursing home resident is at risk of falling.
However, if your loved one has suffered a hip fracture it is important to understand that they only have a limited amount of time to file a claim against a nursing home.
Florida has certain time limits on filing personal injury lawsuits known as statutes of limitations. Under Florida’s statute of limitation a person or their representative only has four years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the costs associated with a hip fracture including medical costs and expenses, pain and suffering, and in some tragic cases death.
How a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Hip Fracture Attorney Can Help
If a loved one has suffered a hip fracture while under the care of a nursing home they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. It is important to contact an experienced West Palm Beach hip fracture lawyer to discuss your loved one’s rights and how a lawyer can help guide your loved one through this difficult time.