Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone without warning and leave them with serious physical injury and thousands of dollars in medical bills and costs of ongoing therapy. In addition to being a significant financial burden for their victims, these accidents are listed amongst some of the leading causes of emergency hospital visits and mortality across the globe. Even a minor slip and fall injury can have devastating consequences for the victim, including a high risk of permanent physical incapacitation.
Hip fractures are some of the most common and dangerous injuries resulting from these types of accidents. When you trip, slip, and fall on the ground, landing on your back puts heavy pressure on your hip bone and hip joints, resulting in hip joint dislocation and bone fractures that can cripple you and have lifelong consequences. The elderly are at a particularly high risk of incurring such injuries, with higher chances of medical or surgical complications, including temporary or permanent disability and death.
Slip and Fall Hip Fracture Statistics
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that hip fracture caused by a slip and fall is more likely to occur in the elderly, particularly in people who are over 65 years of age. Nearly 90 percent of all hip fractures in this age group can be attributed to slip and fall accidents, with over 75 percent of all fractures occurring in females.
Nearly a quarter of a million elderly patients were sent to the emergency department due to hip fractures in 2010 alone. One in five patients with hip fractures dies due to complications of medical or surgical treatment, with most deaths occurring within the first year of the causative incident. More than one-third of all patients need lifelong medical and nursing care due to the complications of hip fractures.
Complications of Hip Fractures
The hip joint is one of the most important joints in the human body, responsible for the mobility of lower limbs and the stability of the human skeleton. Although the hip bone is strong, it is prone to damage during slip and fall accidents because most people tend to land on their hips during such accidents. Falling on your hip with high pressure can result in fractures that take significantly longer to heal than other bone fractures because the hip bone is poorly vascularized.
The danger of complications increases in the older age group. As we get older, our bones become less dense and lose their strength. Weaker and lighter bones lack the structural integrity of healthy and young bones, which makes them more prone to lasting damage due to fractures. Some of the most dangerous complications of hip fractures include the following:
Risk of Death
Hip fractures are placed top on the list of slip and fall injuries with high mortality rates. While some people fully recover from hip fractures with good medical and nursing care, a majority of patients do not recover despite the best medical or surgical treatment. Nearly one-third of all patients with hip fractures die within the first year of the accident due to medical or surgical complications. Those who survive are left with severe depression due to repeated hospitalizations.
Complications of Healing
Healing complications during hip fracture treatment include thrombosis, paralysis, nervous impairment, disability, and more. These complications might force an individual to use a wheelchair for the rest of their life.
Dependence on Nursing Care
Most people who suffer hip fractures during slip and fall accidents require prolonged medical and nursing care. Since the hip joint is crucial to human mobility, a fracture can render a person unable to perform even the most basic everyday tasks, which might necessitate temporary or permanent nursing care.
If you or your loved one fractured their hip due to a slip and fall accident at someone else’s property, you can pursue legal action against the negligent party. A competent slip and fall injury lawyer can help you get fair financial compensation for your injury and monetary damages through a lawsuit trial or settlement negotiations. Most lawyers offer a free initial legal consultation, which can help you formulate a winning legal strategy for your slip and fall case.