Broken Hips After Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Suffering a broken hip in a slip-and-fall accident, whether a workplace incident or on a poorly maintained property, can leave you with a debilitating and life-long injury.
People 55 and over are more likely to suffer severe injuries like a broken hip after a slip-and-fall, and these accidents are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in the U.S. Overall, slip-and-fall accidents account for 12% of total falls and over one million emergency room visits nationwide.
You may be entitled to compensation if your slip-and-fall accident results in a broken hip or other serious injuries due to another’s negligence. Our personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can review your case, help you prove negligence, and pursue a fair settlement for damages associated with your broken hip in a slip-and-fall accident.
Common Causes of Broken Hip Injuries in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of broken hip injuries, an issue that primarily affects the elderly but can have severe implications for individuals of any age. When an individual lands hard on their hip, the force of the impact can result in a fracture that is not only painful but can also lead to serious health complications.
The following are common causes of broken hip injuries due to a slip-and-fall:
- Wet or slippery surfaces. Examples include leaky refrigeration in stores, freshly mopped floors without signs, spills in office kitchens, and industrial liquid leaks.
- Uneven flooring or surfaces. These can be due to cracked sidewalks, parking lot potholes, torn office carpeting, or uneven factory flooring.
- Cluttered floors. Such injuries can arise from obstructions in store aisles or debris in workplace walkways.
- Poor lighting. Dimly lit stairwells or inadequate lighting in warehouse areas can lead to falls.
- Loose or missing handrails. The absence of handrails on staircases or broken railings in workplaces can be hazardous.
- Weather-related hazards. Icy sidewalks in front of businesses or wet entranceways from rain or snow can cause slips.
- Inadequate footwear for the environment. Injuries can result from the lack of slip-resistant shoes in kitchens or improper footwear on construction sites due to poor training or employer regulations.
The Serious Nature of Hip Fractures Due to Slip-and-Fall Accidents
The hip is an essential joint where the round top of the femur connects with a socket in the pelvis called the acetabulum. It bears much of our weight and facilitates movements like walking, bending, and twisting.
Due to its essential role and complex structure, injuries to the hip, particularly fractures, can be debilitating and complex to treat. In a slip-and-fall accident, the sudden and uncontrolled fall causes the hip to absorb much of the impact, which is particularly dangerous for older adults or those with weakened bones.
Fracturing the hip often requires surgical interventions, followed by extensive physical therapy. Recovery periods can be long, during which mobility is severely limited, and there’s an increased risk of complications, including blood clots or infections.
Hip fractures have a mortality rate between 18% and 31% within a year of sustaining the injury. Only 40% to 60% of people regain baseline mobility after fracturing their hip, and 20% to 60% require assistance with daily living.
The impact of hip fractures on quality of life and the potential for long-term consequences make them a concern in personal injury or workers’ compensation claims. An attorney will consider the extent and severity of these injuries when determining adequate compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and prolonged suffering.
Types of Hip Fractures in a Slip-and-Fall Accident
Hip fractures resulting from slip-and-fall accidents can vary in type and severity, depending on factors like the force of the fall, the victim’s bone health, and the point of impact. Recognizing the different fracture types is essential for appropriate treatment and understanding the potential recovery challenges.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common hip fracture types from slip-and-fall incidents:
- Femoral neck fractures. These fractures occur in the narrow part of the thigh bone closest to the hip joint. The location of the break makes it particularly concerning due to its proximity to the hip joint, which plays a crucial role in movement and bearing weight.
- Intertrochanteric fractures. Located slightly farther from the hip joint, these fractures result from force transmitted along the femur during a fall. The break happens in the region between the femoral neck and the shaft of the femur, often leading to significant pain and mobility issues.
- Subtrochanteric fractures. This type of fracture appears below the lesser trochanter, extending into the femur’s shaft. High-force impacts, such as those from severe slip-and-fall accidents, can cause this break. Due to the nature of the break, it can present additional challenges in recovery.
- Stress fractures. These are small cracks in the bone resulting from repetitive force or overuse. In slip-and-fall scenarios, individuals with weakened bones or those engaged in activities that repetitively strain the hip might be more susceptible. Over time, these minor fractures can lead to more significant issues if not addressed.
Long-term Effects of Hip Fractures
Suffering a hip fracture, especially in a slip-and-fall accident, can have substantial long-term effects on a victim’s quality of life. Beyond the immediate pain and surgical interventions often required, individuals may face prolonged rehabilitation periods to regain lost mobility.
- Potential health complications. Victims may face postoperative infections, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism as possible immediate complications. They may have reduced mobility, leading to muscle atrophy and a heightened risk of further falls and injuries. Prolonged immobilization can sometimes result in bedsores and urinary tract infections.
- Effect on quality of life. Physical constraints, including chronic pain and limited mobility, often mean victims cannot participate in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. Victims might be unable to perform basic daily tasks without assistance, leading to a loss of independence and affecting their mental well-being.
- Mental health impacts. Slip-and-fall accidents resulting in a hip fracture can cause long-term emotional distress and mental health issues. Victims often face psychological trauma after such a sudden and life-altering event. The extended recovery period, limited mobility, and chronic pain can lead to isolation and depression.
Legal Aspects of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Depending on the circumstances of your slip-and-fall accident, you may have options for compensation through Michigan’s premises liability laws or workers’ compensation claims. Our personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can review the circumstances of your slip-and-fall to help you file one of the following types of claims:
Premises Liability in Michigan
In Michigan, premises liability laws place a duty on commercial and residential property owners to maintain safe environments. They must ensure their properties are free from hazards that could lead to accidents.
Examples of premises liability negligence include poor lighting, uneven flooring, or icy sidewalks. If you suffer a slip-and-fall due to any of these conditions and we can prove that the property owner was negligent in their duty, you may have a valid compensation claim.
Workplace Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slip, trip, and fall accidents in workplaces account for 85% of workers’ compensation claims. These incidents can lead to serious injuries, including broken hips. Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe workplace for all employees. This duty includes promptly addressing and rectifying potential hazards like wet floors, uneven surfaces, and obstructed walkways.
If you suffer a hip fracture while working, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover medical expenses and potential lost wages. Workers’ compensation applies to any employee injured on the job, whether or not the injury was due to employer negligence.
What to Do if You’ve Broken Your Hip in a Slip-and-Fall
Experiencing a slip-and-fall accident can be traumatic, especially when it results in a severe injury such as a broken hip. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do in such unfortunate circumstances:
- Stay calm. In the immediate aftermath of a fall, remain as calm as possible. Taking deep breaths can help reduce panic and allow you to assess your situation more clearly. Staying calm can enable you to take the necessary steps following the fall.
- Look for signs it may be a broken hip. Before you try to get up, evaluate your physical condition. If you experience intense pain in the hip region, inability to move the leg, or notice swelling and bruising, these might be signs of a broken hip. Avoid moving as it might exacerbate the injury.
- Determine what caused your fall. Once stabilized, try to analyze what caused the fall. Was it a wet floor, an uneven surface, or a cluttered pathway? Identifying the cause is critical when reporting the incident and can be a substantial element in a future legal claim.
- Report the accident. Report the accident to the relevant authorities or management if the fall occurs at a workplace or commercial property. Document the scene with photographs and gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
- Get medical treatment. Seeking immediate medical treatment should be a priority. Even if the injury appears minor initially, complications can arise later. A medical report will facilitate proper treatment and serve as crucial evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim later.
- Hire a lawyer to improve your chances of getting compensation. Engaging a lawyer who handles slip-and-fall accidents can improve your chances of getting fair compensation. An experienced lawyer can help build your case, collect the necessary evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Factors Will Affect My Broken Hip Injury Settlement?
Several factors can influence the outcome of a broken hip injury settlement following a slip-and-fall accident. Understanding these factors can help you navigate the legal process more effectively and manage your expectations.
In a personal injury claim, you can seek economic, non-economic, and, in rare cases, exemplary damages. Your attorney can help you estimate your possible compensation based on the following:
- Severity of the injury. The extent of your hip injury will be a primary factor in determining the settlement amount. More severe fractures that require surgery, extended hospital stays, or long-term rehabilitation tend to result in higher settlements.
- Medical expenses. Your past and future medical costs related to the hip injury are crucial in calculating the settlement. This includes surgery costs, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, medical equipment, and follow-up care.
- Lost income. If your injury has caused you to miss work or has resulted in a permanent disability that affects your earning capacity, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and potential future income losses.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life can impact your settlement. Our attorneys, including partner attorney and registered nurse Eileen Kroll, can look at your medical records and consult with experts to determine the intangible but devastating effects of the injury on your life.
- Liability. Establishing liability is fundamental to your case. If it can be clearly demonstrated that the property owner, employer, or another party was negligent and that negligence directly led to your slip-and-fall accident and subsequent hip fracture, your chances of a favorable settlement increase.
- Insurance coverage. For personal injury claims, your settlement may be limited by the homeowners’, commercial liability, or renters’ insurance of the liable party. For example, commercial liability insurance may offer between $300,000 and $500,000 for bodily injury, so you could seek up to this amount based on your injuries.
- Workers’ compensation benefits. For a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to standard benefits for all covered Michigan employees. This includes payment for medical expenses and 80% of your average weekly wages.
Wage determination and the duration of benefits in Michigan can be complex, so working with a workers’ compensation attorney from Cocrhan, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. ensures you receive all applicable benefits.
Securing Your Future: The Path Forward with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
When facing the challenging aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident resulting in a broken hip, you deserve dedicated legal representation that can make a difference in the outcome of your case. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these injuries can take on your life.
Your well-being is our priority, and we are committed to securing the compensation you deserve. Take action if you or a loved one has suffered a broken hip due to someone else’s negligence. Contact us for a free consultation, and let us help you pursue the financial recovery you need to rebuild your life after a broken hip in a slip-and-fall accident.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at (1-866-779-7331) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.