How to Treat Hip Injury From Falling

How to Treat Hip Injury From Falling

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How to Treat Hip Injury From Falling

Hip injuries connected with a fall are generally associated with older adults. Still, you can sustain a painful and life-changing hip injury at any age. Hips are one of the largest joints in the body, which bear the bulk of your body weight. Any injury to this area will likely have far-reaching consequences, making it hard to walk, ascend and descend stairs, and sleep. Hip injuries sustained in a fall can range from mild to fatal, particularly in older adults.

When you've suffered a substantial hip injury, you will face expensive medical costs. You may have no way to pay for them, especially if you can't work or don't have adequate health insurance. While this predicament is hard for anyone to deal with, it's even worse if the fall resulted from someone else's negligence.

At Morgan and Morgan, our slip and fall lawyers have extensive experience handling personal injury claims that involve premises liability. You might have grounds to recover compensation from a property owner if their negligence was the reason for your fall, resulting in a hip injury. Let's examine the different types of hip injuries that can be sustained from a fall, recommended medical treatment, and your legal options to recover compensation.

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Hip Injuries From a Fall

The hip comprises two primary parts: the ball at the end of the femur and the socket that sits in the pelvis. Combined, they form a ball and socket joint joined together by other body parts, such as ligaments and tendons, which are bound to other muscles in the groin, buttocks, and spine. Because the hips form one of the widest parts of the skeleton, these ball and socket joints are more likely to bear the brunt of force upon impact from a fall. Here are some of the most common hip injuries and treatment options that may be recommended by a doctor.

Hip bursitis - We have small, jelly-like sacs throughout the body that reduce friction between bones and surrounding tissues called bursae. When we experience a hard impact on the hip area, bursae can become inflamed with blood, leading to a painful condition known as bursitis. The symptoms include pain outside the hip area, thigh, or buttocks. Pain can intensify when lying on the affected side, applying pressure, or performing basic activities like walking up stairs or getting up from a chair.

Hip labral tear - Lining the hip joint socket is a cup-shaped cartilage that keeps joints aligned during movement and stabilizes fluid in the joint that assists in frictionless movement. Injury to this area, such as trauma from a fall, can result in a labral tear which causes pain, reduces the range of motion, causes stiffness, and may produce a feeling of "clicking” or “locking up" in the hips.

Hip dislocation - A heavy impact, such as from falling from a height, can cause the femur to dislodge from its socket in the pelvis. Generally, the severity will depend on the extent of the force involved when the impact took place. Hip dislocation can cause severe pain, swelling, discoloration, inability to move or use the adjoining leg, loss of feeling in the affected limb, muscle spasms, and may be visually apparent.

Hip fracture - A hip fracture is bone breakage in the upper section of the femur. A fractured hip is a common injury for elderly individuals whose bones are weakened by osteoporosis. However, persons of any age are susceptible if they fall from a substantial height or endure a significant impact. Symptoms include intense pain, inability to walk or place weight on the leg on the side of the affected area, swelling and bruising, and visible displacement.

Hip strain - When muscles that support the hip joint are overly stretched from a fall or other heavy impact, they may tear, resulting in hip strain. Symptoms include a limited range of motion, tenderness in the hip, swelling, weakness, and pain during movement.

Snapping hip syndrome - If you fall and then begin to hear a snapping sound or feel a snapping sensation, you may have developed snapping hip syndrome. If pain, feelings of tightening, weakness, and limited range of motion accompany the syndrome, it may require treatment.

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  • What Treatments Are Available for Hip Injuries From Falling?

    Depending on the severity of the damage, you might be able to get away with simple remedies like rest and ice packs. If you suspect the injury is substantial, go to a doctor right away. Anytime you've been injured by an accident that wasn't your fault, it's imperative that you seek medical care, even if you're not sure of the seriousness of the injury, in order to receive compensation. Here are general treatments that might be recommended based on the nature of your hip injury:

    Rest - As with most injuries, rest and care not to overdo it can go a long way. Your doctor will likely recommend that you pay attention to when your hips start to hurt and cease the activity causing it.

    Pain medication - Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, or you might consult with pharmacists concerning over-the-counter options.

    Cold or heat therapy - Pain and swelling can be curtailed by cold and heat therapy. Generally, an ice pack is recommended directly following a fall, while heat therapy may be used to alleviate pain during recovery. Because the hips are such a broad area, you might have luck looking for oversized ice packs and heating pads for increased coverage.

    Stretching and strengthening exercises - Depending on your activity level, a fall can exacerbate issues if you already have weak muscles. Stretching and strengthening these muscles can be beneficial to increase the range of motion and minimize pain.

    Physical therapy - A physical therapist's evaluation will ensure you're armed with the information on how to treat the injury. Generally, you can expect a physical therapist to devise a plan that will include exercise, stretching, and the application of therapeutic agents like electrotherapy to treat pain.

    Surgery - When damage to the hip is severe, surgery may be the only option for the best chance of a full recovery. Surgery is typically reserved when all other alternatives, such as rest, exercise, and physical therapy, have been exhausted. In extreme situations, emergency surgery may be needed if bleeding is problematic or the hip is broken.

    Hip injuries can be notably challenging to recover from, especially for older adults. Most older adults who suffer a hip injury will not be capable of returning to their homes. While losing independence is one thing, hip injuries in older adults can be fatal because of complications that arise from lack of movement. These dangerous complications include health issues such as blood clots and pneumonia.

  • What Are Hip Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents?

    When you slip and fall because of a slippery substance or some other hazard, you'll frequently land on your hip. In some instances, you may be able to recover compensation from the property owner where your accident took place. The slip and fall lawyers at Morgan and Morgan can examine the facts of your accident to determine if you have a legal path forward to bring a premises liability claim against the property owner.

    Premises liability lawsuits can be a considerable challenge, though. It's up to you as the plaintiff to bring evidence that establishes the property owner was negligent along with other elements. Generally, owners of a property or those that are in possession of a property have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent lawful visitors from suffering foreseeable harm while on the premises. This means they must use reasonable measures to maintain their property, remove or repair hazards, or warn people of dangerous conditions.

    They might be deemed negligent when they fail to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of others. If they are found negligent, then they can be held liable to pay for the damages you suffer. However, this all requires proof that the property owner breached their duty of care and knew or should have known of a dangerous condition that led to your fall. Knowledge of a hazardous condition is often the trickiest part of these types of claims.

    However, the slip-and-fall lawyers at Morgan and Morgan have substantial experience in litigating against negligent property owners. We've been able to locate eyewitnesses and uncover surveillance footage that helps solidify our client's claims. Still, there are defenses that can be tough to overcome without the right legal strategy.

  • What Defenses Do Property Owners Use in Slip-and-Fall Lawsuits?

    Not every slip-and-fall accident will hold up in court. For example, suppose you were walking behind a couple with a child spilling the contents of their “sippy” cup, and you didn't see the liquid and slipped, resulting in an injury. A business owner could plausibly argue they are not liable because they did not know of the liquid nor had sufficient time to clean it up. An accident happened seconds after the spill, and they did not cause the situation. In this scenario, it would be unlikely you could successfully recover compensation, even though the accident wasn't your fault and happened on someone else's property.

    However, suppose the spill had taken place in a food court that catered to children. In that case, the business owner should have been aware of the likelihood of spills and had a posted employee that looked out for these dangers or installed slip-proof flooring and posted warning signs of slipping hazards. Still, here are some common defenses we see in slip-and-fall lawsuits which will require counterarguments:

    Open and obvious doctrine - Some states have laws that say when you're visiting another person's property, you have a duty to avoid open and obvious dangers. For example, if you're getting an oil change, you'd have difficulty winning a claim if you tripped and fell into the oil change pit.

    Contributory negligence - Generally used by insurance companies to limit their liability, the contributory negligence doctrine holds that injured parties who played a part in their injury are not entitled to the full value of their damages since they are partly to blame. This means that if you were 50% to blame for the accident, you'd only be entitled to 50% of the value of your damages. The key to recovering maximum compensation is successfully minimizing your responsibility in the accident.

    The property had no knowledge of the hazard - Depending on which state and the type of property the accident took place in, this can be a feasible defense. However, certain types of property owners are expected to perform routine inspections to ensure the safety of their property. This means that even if they didn't know, they should have known. Generally, business owners are expected to keep a close eye on and maintain their property to a high standard because of the duty of care owed to the public.

  • Contact Morgan and Morgan for Your Back Injury From a Slip and Fall

    Our slip and fall lawyers are ready to review your claim today. We can locate the responsible property owner and hold them accountable. Working with Morgan and Morgan can make all the difference in winning meaningful compensation or getting nothing for your injury. Hip injuries are notoriously difficult to recover from, and you might face a mountain of bills with no way to pay. We can help to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve when someone else's negligence causes you harm.

    Contact us now for your free case evaluation.

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