Defective Hoyer Lifts and How They Cause Injuries

caregiver using a Hoyer lift to move a young patientHoyer lifts are an essential tool that enables care workers to move patients who are unable to do so without assistance. However, the use of a defective Hoyer lift may cause serious injuries to the patient, care worker, or both.

Below, Arnold Law explains defective Hoyer lifts, including the parts that must be regularly maintained and inspected to prevent accidents. We also discuss who may be liable if a defective lift causes injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries caused by a Hoyer lift, the immediate involvement of legal counsel is highly recommended. At Arnold Law, we have been representing injury victims since 1974, and our dedicated product defect lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

What Is a Hoyer Lift?

A Hoyer lift is a device used by care workers or family members to transfer patients safely from one place to another without assistance. For instance, the Hoyer Lift device may be used to:

  • Move a patient from a wheelchair to a bed
  • Transfer a patient in and out of bed
  • Hoist a patient out of a chair and onto the toilet
  • Move a patient from a hospital bed to a stretcher
  • And more

These devices may vary slightly from one version to another. However, they typically consist of a boom, a spreader bar, a fabric sling that holds the patient, and various straps, clips and latches to secure the sling.

The mast is the large pole-like bar that fits into the base of the lift. There is also a vertical bar, called a boom, which extends toward the patient. Another bar, called the spreader, hangs from the boom. The sling is the part that holds and moves the patient.

Hoyer lifts not only help protect patients, but they also protect ambulance workers, nursing home workers and other caregivers from injuries caused by manually lifting and moving patients.

However, when these lifts malfunction, they may result in severe, life-threatening or even fatal injuries.

What Hoyer Lift Flaws or Defects Can Cause Injuries?

Defects in a mechanical lift could be from a design flaw, improper maintenance or failure to regularly inspect the device. Some common defects or part failures that may lead to an injury include:

Sling Malfunction

Nursing homes and other care facilities are required to regularly inspect the sling for holes, fraying fabric, seams coming apart or worn straps. If there are any parts that are worn and unsafe to use, the sling must be replaced.

Faulty or Worn Loops

There are loops that attach the sling to the boom arm. Care facilities must ensure loops are not frayed or worn through. If a newly replaced loop fails, it may be because of a design flaw.

Hooks, Clips and Other Fasteners

These fasteners help ensure the sling stays attached to the boom and prevent the patient from falling out of the sling or being dropped. There are maintenance guidelines that should be carefully followed to ensure clips and fasteners are replaced long before they wear out.

Other Mechanical Defects

If a lift is used beyond its recommended lifespan, various mechanical failures could result. Sometimes, it is the mechanical parts of a Hoyer lift that may fail or be defective. Bolts may snap, be defective or loosen over time.

What Injuries May Result From a Defective Hoyer Lift?

If a Hoyer lift is defective, it could cause a patient to fall or be dropped. The care workers using the lift may also get injured in the process. Some of the most common injuries a patient could sustain from a Hoyer lift defect include:

  • Fractured limbs
  • Hip fractures
  • Facial fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Torn rotator cuff injuries
  • Other neck or back injuries
  • Death

Who May Be Liable for Damage Caused by a Defective Hoyer Lift?

If a product defect led to the incident that caused you or your loved one to suffer injuries, the manufacturer may be held liable. Your attorney will need to investigate the situation to determine the defect and whether the manufacturer knew or should have known about it.

If the attorney can establish negligence occurred, then he or she may be able to help you recover damages for your medical costs and losses, including:

  • Related medical bills
  • Surgical intervention
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospital stays
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical therapy
  • And more

Did You or a Loved One Get Injured Due to a Defective Hoyer Lift?

At Arnold Law, we have the staff and resources to thoroughly investigate your situation. We understand what evidence is needed to help support your claim. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to holding at-fault parties accountable for the damages they cause.

Call our law offices to seek legal help, even if you are unsure whether you have a valid case. We have staff available to take your call 24/7. Your initial consultation is completely free.

If you have a case and we represent you, there are no out-of-pocket fees. You do not pay for our services unless we win your case.

Contact Arnold Law firm at: (916) 777-7777 for legal help today.