Broken Hips & Hip Injuries in Colorado Nursing Homes

The elderly and disabled are at increased risk of hip injuries from falls. Knowing this, nursing homes and assisted living facilities should take measures to prevent the risk of falls and hip injuries and broken hips.

When the staff’s negligence causes harm, residents and their families should contact a hip injury lawyer.

Attorney Mac Hester leads Nursing Home Justice to offer education and guidance to people who have suffered hip injuries in nursing homes.

Contact a nursing home negligence lawyer at (303) 775-8128 to discuss your lawsuit.

Hip Injuries in Nursing Homes

Hip fractures and other hip injuries are one of the leading causes of hospitalization for people over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As many as 300,000 people over 65 are hospitalized for hip fractures annually. More than 95% of those broken hips are caused by falls.

The majority of hip injuries in nursing homes happen to women. Women experience approximately three-quarters of all hip fractures. One reason for this is that women are more likely to have osteoporosis, which is a disease that weakens bones, making them more likely to break.

Risk Factors for Hip Injuries

While anyone can get a serious hip injury, there are some factors that put people at a higher risk. Those risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Medications Taken
  • Comorbidities (more than one disease present at the same time)
  • Depression
  • Impaired Balance
  • Dementia
  • Previous Slips and Falls
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
  • Impaired Eyesight
  • Low Body Weight

Types of Hip Injuries

Patients in nursing homes are at a high risk for hip injuries. Some of the most common types of hip injuries they sustain include the following:

Hip Fracture

Hip fractures, or broken hips, often happen due to a fall, abuse, or severe impact. For older people, a hip injuries from falling can occur from standing height.

People with weak bones (often due to osteoporosis) may suffer a hip fracture from insignificant forces on their hips.

Bruised Hip

Bruised hips may occur from trauma or nursing home abuse. For some people who have a bleeding disorder or delicate blood vessels, a bruise can occur by pressing against or hitting an object.

Nursing home staff who use negligent methods of moving residents to and from a bed may also cause hip bruising due to unnecessary force.

Bedsores on the Hips

Nursing home residents may be immobile or confined to a bed. When a patient is in a bed for an extended period of time, they should be repositioned frequently by staff members.

Failure to do so can cause bedsores on the hips. This type of neglect by nursing home employees can have severe consequences for residents.

How Do Hip Injuries Occur?

Hip injuries often occur due to the negligence of nursing home staff members, actions by other residents, or accidents that cannot be prevented.

Hip injuries may happen in the following manners:

  • Failure to timely respond to a call for assistance from the resident, causing the resident to attempt to get out of bed on their own
  • Negligent handling of a resident resulting in them being dropped during transfer
  • Failure to move an immobile resident, leading to bedsores
  • Fights or combative situations between residents
  • Slips, trips, and falls due to clutter in nursing homes
  • Understaffing that leads to failure to keep watch on at-risk patients
  • Abuse by nursing home staff members, visiting family members, or other caregivers
  • Falls out of bed due to lack of proper medical equipment

How Are Negligent Disabled Care Facilities Held Responsible?

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and disabled care facilities are typically responsible for injuries that happen when residents are in their care.

They are required to act reasonably to promote the health and safety of residents. If they breach that duty, they can be found negligent and held liable for damages.

The Nursing Home’s Responsibility

Even when a nursing home staff member is personally at-fault for injuries, the nursing home is ultimately liable. Since the nursing home is the employer, they are legally responsible for the actions of their employees.

The Nursing Home’s Parent Company

If a nursing home is part of a larger corporation, like a parent entity, or there is a management company that handles hiring, training, and other matters, those companies can also be found fully or partially responsible.

Your hip injury lawyer will evaluate your specific situation and make sure all necessary parties are included.

How Are Hip Injuries Prevented?

Nursing homes are required to take measures to ensure the safety of their residents. They should take the following actions to prevent hip injuries:

  • Provide call bells for patients who need assistance from staff
  • Timely respond to calls for assistance from residents
  • Closely monitor residents who are at-risk for falls and hip injuries
  • Install bed alarms to notify staff when a patient gets out of bed
  • Use bed rails to prevent a resident from falling out of bed
  • Lower the bed
  • Place floor mats around beds and wheelchairs in case a resident falls
  • Clear floors of debris and quickly rectify spills
  • Install wall railings to assist residents who need help walking
  • Ensure residents have slippers and non-skid socks when they are mobile

How Are Patients’ Lives Impacted by Hip Injuries?

Hip injuries reduce the mobility of nursing home residents, and can significantly impact their lives in the following ways:

  • A high percentage of hip injury patients die within one year after their injury
  • Hip fractures often require hip replacement or surgery, confining residents to a wheelchair or bed for a long period of time as they go through long-term rehabilitation
  • Hip injury victims may also be required to take more medications that impact their balance and mental awareness
  • Residents with hip injuries often fall into severe depression because of their reduced mobility, limiting their social interaction

What Compensation Can You Recover After a Hip Injury?

After a hip injury in a nursing home facility, you and your family may be eligible for a hip fracture settlement or verdict if you have to go to trial. Some damages you can recover include with the help of a hip injury attorney:

  • Medical expenses
  • Caregiver expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Physical impairment
  • Incidental expenses

Wrongful Death

If your loved one dies due to the negligent actions of their caregiver in a nursing home, you can recover compensation for the following:

  • Loss of financial support that the decedent would have provided to the surviving spouse, heirs, or designated beneficiary (if the decedent was a rehab patient who was going to return to work)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, grief, and loss of companionship

Additionally, the representative of your loved one’s estate can file a survival action against the negligent party to recover expenses your loved one incurred before death, such as medical bills.