Broken Bones in Nursing Homes
Tampa attorney Armando Edmiston fights for residents’ rights
Some nursing home residents sustain bone fractures. Often, these injuries require extensive medical care and can leave residents in pain and unable to walk or move normally for weeks or months. In an elderly person who is already in frail health, an injury like a broken hip can lead to a downward spiral.
In many cases, nursing homes insist there was nothing they could do, that it was simply an accident. Don’t take their word for it. Nursing homes are responsible for residents’ safety, and broken bones are a telltale sign of nursing home neglect. That’s why it’s critical that you understand your rights and the legal options available to you.
If your loved one lives in a nursing home in Florida, our Tampa nursing home neglect attorneys at Armando Personal Injury Law can demand the justice your family deserves. Armando Edmiston has years of experience fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims. As a result, he knows the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Greater Tampa Bay area, including Whispering Oaks, Concordia Village of Tampa, and Canterbury Towers Tampa. Wherever your loved one’s broken bone injury occurred in Florida, we can help.
What are common nursing home broken bone injuries?
Bone fractures are some of the most common nursing home injuries. An estimated 1 out of 10 falls in a nursing home results in a severe injury, such as a fracture, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some commonly broken bones in nursing homes include:
- Broken hip – Each year, 300,000 people nationwide break their hip. And nursing home residents are twice as likely to break their hip compared to the general population, according to a nationwide scientific study conducted by researchers in New England.
- Broken tibia – The tibia is one of the lower leg bones, also called the shinbone. According to one scientific study, tibia fractures are among the most common lower extremity fractures in nursing homes in the country.
- Broken fibula – The fibula is the other lower leg bone. Fibula fractures can leave nursing home residents in pain and unable to walk.
- Broken knee – This may be a broken kneecap (patellar fracture) or a fracture in the ends of the leg bones that make up the knee.
- Skull fracture – Skull fractures are particularly dangerous because they can result in brain damage.
- Broken shoulder – Shoulder fractures, especially a broken collarbone (clavicle fracture), can have serious long-term consequences.
- Broken arm – Any of the three bones in the arm – humerus (upper arm bone), ulna (inner forearm bone), and radius (outer forearm bone) – can be broken in a fall or other incident.
What causes nursing home broken bone injuries?
The immediate cause of most broken bones in nursing homes is falling. Because nursing home residents often have brittle bones, a fall is more likely to lead to a fracture or other serious injuries. Many nursing home residents have medical conditions that make them even more vulnerable, such as arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
That’s why one of the nursing home’s most important duties is to prevent residents from falling. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect can increase the risk. Some forms of neglect that can lead to falls include:
- Failure to train staff members in fall prevention
- Failure to promptly clean up slip and trip hazards
- Poor lighting
Some broken bones are also a result of physical abuse, such as hitting or shoving residents.
There are many reasons why bone fractures are so common in nursing homes. Sadly, it’s often because many nursing homes put profits ahead of safety – they fail to hire enough staff, maintain their premises, and ensure residents are cared for. That’s why we fight to hold them accountable.
The severe consequences of a fracture in a nursing home
A broken arm or hip may sound painful but not necessarily life-threatening. But for too many nursing home residents, a fractured bone starts a downward spiral of cascading health issues that can shorten their lifespan.
For example, a broken hip may require surgery to repair, and the anesthesia needed for surgery can lead to permanent lung damage. Pain medication may result in a loss of appetite, leading to malnutrition.
Moreover, prescribed pain medication for a fractured bone can introduce additional subtle symptoms often overlooked by the nursing facility. Nausea and dehydration can quietly emerge as side effects of taking pain meds. These symptoms might not be easily detectable, emphasizing the importance of close observation by care providers.
In short, it’s not just the cost of treating the broken bone – it’s the myriad effects on your loved one’s health and quality of life. An experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can fight for the accountability your family deserves for the full impact of the broken bone, not just the immediate cost.
What should I do after a broken bone injury in a nursing home?
You need to act fast if a loved one sustained a bone fracture in a nursing home:
- Get medical attention – Bone fractures demand immediate medical care. Have a doctor examine your loved one right away. If not diagnosed and treated right away, bone fractures can cause other medical complications.
- Notify the nursing home – If they don’t already know, tell the nursing home your loved one broke a bone in their facility. Tell them in writing so you have a record.
- File a complaint – If you believe your loved one’s bone fracture is due to nursing home neglect or abuse, you can file a complaint online with the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at the Department of Elder Affairs.
- Contact a lawyer – The sooner you talk to a Florida nursing home neglect lawyer, the better. That way, you can learn more about your legal options, and your attorney can get right to work on your case.
How much is a nursing home broken bone case worth?
There’s no set dollar amount for different types of bone fractures sustained by nursing home residents. You can pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs related to the injury. If your spouse or parent died due to complications of a broken bone, you can pursue compensation for funeral and burial costs and other losses through a wrongful death action.
Talking to a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney is the only way to know how much your case may be worth. A lawyer can help you explore your legal options and decide which strategy makes the most sense.
How can a Tampa nursing home neglect attorney help?
Seeking the justice and accountability your family deserves can be challenging. Nursing homes often deny doing anything wrong. Their insurance companies fight claims hard because they know a lot of money is at stake. We fight back.
Tampa attorney Armando Edmiston has the knowledge, the experience, and the drive to win such tough cases. When you have our legal team on your side, rest assured that we will take a stand and fight for your rights.