Originally published March 15, 2021. Updated September 26, 2023.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents are a common cause of injury in the United States, and while they may seem less severe than other accidents, they can lead to serious consequences. One such injury often resulting from a fall is a hip fracture, which can be particularly perilous, especially for individuals over 65 years of age. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “One in five hip fracture patients doesn’t survive beyond a year following their injury, with one in four adults experiencing a fatal outcome.”
If you find yourself in a situation where you suffer a broken hip due to a slip and fall on someone else’s property, this blog post outlines the essential steps you should follow to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
Stay Calm and Prioritize Safety
After a fall, refrain from attempting to stand up immediately, as this could worsen any potential injury. Instead, focus on staying calm and following these steps:
- If you can stand up, do so slowly by rolling onto your uninjured side, then gradually moving to your knees and ultimately rising to reach a stable piece of furniture where you can sit.
- In case you can’t stand up, don’t panic. If you have a phone with you, dial 911. If you lack access to a phone or can’t reach it, call out for help loudly. Try to shift yourself slowly toward an object you can use to assist in getting up by rolling onto your uninjured side.
Recognize Signs of a Broken Hip
It’s crucial to assess your level of pain, as severe pain may be indicative of a broken hip. Look out for these signs:
- Severe pain in your hip or groin area.
- Inability to stand or put any weight on the injured hip.
- Swelling or discoloration around the injured hip.
- The injured leg may appear shorter or turn outward.
- Some individuals may still walk after a hip fracture, experiencing pain in their hips, back, groin, or thighs.
Determine the Cause of the Fall
Whenever possible, try to identify the cause of your fall. If your fall resulted from inadequate property maintenance or an unmarked hazard, such as a wet floor, uneven surface, loose carpeting, broken railing, or a trip hazard like an extension cord, the property owner may be liable for your injury.
Capture photographs of the scene and collect contact information from witnesses immediately after the accident, as hazards may be removed once you leave. If you’re unable to do so, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member.
Report the Accident
Ensure that the property owner or manager is informed of the incident before you leave the premises. Request a written report of the incident for your records.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
Inform the medical professionals about the circumstances of your fall and your suspicion of a hip fracture. They will likely perform an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis, with the possibility of an MRI or bone scan if the results are inconclusive.
Hip fractures typically necessitate surgery, which may involve the insertion of metal plates, screws, or even partial or total hip replacement. Extensive physical therapy is often required for recovery, encompassing relearning basic daily activities such as walking, dressing, bathing, and using the restroom.
Consider Legal Assistance
Individuals who suffer hip fractures can experience complications such as reduced mobility, weakened bones and muscles, a shorter lifespan, bedsores if bedridden, and blood clots. Even those who recover fully may face substantial medical bills.
If your fall resulted from a hazardous condition that should have been prevented, the property owner may be liable for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In such cases, consider consulting experienced slip and fall attorneys to evaluate your case.
After a Slip and Fall Accident, Call on Catalano Law
A broken hip following a slip and fall accident can be life-altering. It’s crucial to remain calm, assess your condition, gather evidence, report the incident, seek medical attention promptly, and consider legal recourse if the fall resulted from negligence. Contact the seasoned Syracuse slip and fall attorneys at Catalano Law today for a free case review and guidance in pursuing the compensation you deserve. Your health and well-being are paramount, and understanding your rights can make all the difference in your recovery.