A study by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found about 300,000 U.S seniors aged 65 and up suffered a fractured hip in 2009. The study also found that only ten percent of those seniors recovered enough by the next year not to need assistance walking up stairs, while more than half were significantly impaired and almost one third needed assistance to get out of bed. The most sobering statistic in the study is that more than twenty percent died within a year.
A fractured hip is often the result of an accident
A hip fracture is a devastating injury for anyone, but it is much more common among seniors following a fall or other accident. The location of the injury is in a place that moves every time as a person walks or even turns. Older people are much more likely to suffer a broken hip as their bones weaken and become brittle with age. This process is called osteoporosis. The risk of an older person breaking his or her hip is compounded by the fact that seniors are at a greater risk of falling in the first place because of loss of balance, slower reflexes and weaker eyesight. A fractured hip can result from several different types of accidents, including:
- Trip and fall
- Slip and fall
- Car accident
- Sports injury
Liability in accidents that result in a fractured hip
The person responsible for causing the accident cannot avoid responsibility by claiming the accident would not have resulted in a fractured hip if not for the victim’s age. Rather, the negligent party is liable regardless of the injured person's predisposition for the injury. This is significant, as a fractured hip will generally require surgery and often a full hip replacement. The injured party will be confined to bed and need months of rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy. Unfortunately, many never regain the ability to walk or their full independence. Patients who have hip surgery are also at risk for other conditions such as bed sores, infection and pneumonia, which can be fatal.
If you or a loved one suffered a fractured hip as a result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and impairment. An experienced Florida personal injury attorney can help hold that party responsible and obtain a settlement or judgment for money damages.