A fractured hip can be a devastating injury that greatly affects your mobility and can drastically change your life. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones. Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture. Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways, and the chances that you fracture your hip go up as you get older.
How Do You Typically Prove You Were Injured At A Business?
In order to recover for your injuries you will have to prove that there was a negligent actor that caused your fall. If you fell at a business, store, hospital, etc. you will have to show that there was a hazardous condition on the floor that caused your fall, and that this hazardous condition was on the floor due to the fault of one or more of the business’ employees. Typically this is shown by video going back hours before the fall (which your attorney can request the business preserve and send to them), as well as testimony of witnesses, and any incident reports filled out by the business.
If the hazardous substance was not on the floor due to the negligence of an employee (such as a customer dropping something on the floor) you can still recover against the business for your hip fracture. Here you will have to prove that the business was aware that there was a hazardous condition on the floor that needed to be cleaned, or should have been aware of it given the length of time the hazardous condition was on the floor and not addressed. This case can be proven again by witness statements, video, incident reports, and sometimes by the condition of the hazardous substance on the floor.
Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available For Falls?
If you are an employee of the business in Pennsylvania, you can only get workers’ compensation benefits for your fall if the fall was caused by the negligence of a store employee. However if your fall was caused by the negligence of an independent contractor, you can also bring a separate civil claim against that independent contractor. In this situation the workers’ compensation insurance carrier would have a lien on your civil case for any benefits it paid to cover medical treatment or for lost wages.
Beyond proving negligence you will have to prove that the fall caused your hip fracture, that any surgery or other medical treatment was necessary and related to your fall, and what your future complications and medical issues are. For example a fractured hip can sometimes lead to other nerve damage, such as a pinched nerve in your lower back (also known as a radiculopathy) that can have long term effects on your ability to walk. It can also cause pain that runs into your leg. This can be handled by reports and testimony of your treating doctor or other medical experts. You can prove any lost wages through tax returns and pay stubs, and you can provide your attorney with any out of pocket medical costs.
Finally if you suffered a fractured hip as a result of a fall at another person’s home, you would have a claim against that person’s home owner’s insurance – assuming it was the home owner’s negligence, or the negligence of a member of their family, that caused your fall.
The Thistle Law Firm is experienced at handling fractured hip slip, trip, and fall claims. If you suffered a fractured hip as a result of a slip and fall accident the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call and answer your questions at 215-568-6800.