Slips and falls are much more common accidents than most people realize. These accidents occur most frequently when a person is walking on a wet or uneven surface, such as a recently waxed floor, a loose carpet or floorboard, an unshovelled sidewalk, or unsalted steps.
If a third party was responsible for the dangerous conditions that caused the slip or fall, there may be grounds for a personal injury case. An experienced slip and fall injury attorney can help you understand your rights.
Falls Among Older Adults
Falls are serious, costly, and unfortunately, prevalent among Americans 65 and older. The CDC estimates that one quarter of adults over the age of 65 falls each year. In fact, 3 million older people are treated for fall injuries in emergency rooms every year, with at least 300,000 hospitalized for hip fractures. Nearly all hip fractures are caused by falling.
For the elderly, fall injuries are among the 20 costliest injuries to treat. Treating fall injuries costs more than $50 billion per year, and the average hospital cost for a fall injury is over $30,000.
Among older adults, one in five falls results in a serious injury such as a broken wrist, arm, ankle, or hip, or even a traumatic head injury. Half of all elderly adults who are hospitalized for hip fractures can no longer live independently after the fracture.
Anyone who wishes to reduce a senior’s risk of falling should:
- Add railings and grab bars in bathrooms and on stairs
- Ensure the home is well lit
- Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs or clutter
- Repair broken or uneven steps
Because older adults are at significant risk of falling, nursing home staff should carefully monitor and assist elderly residents to prevent falls.
Falls in the Workplace
Falls are a primary cause of injury in the workplace, with 85% of workers’ compensation claims attributable to employee falls. Slips and falls also account for the majority of absences from work: 22% of slip and fall workplace injuries result in the worker being absent for more than a month.
Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height, such as scaffolding and ladders. Sadly, these falls are 100% preventable when following proper safety procedures.
Falls in Public Spaces
From slippery floors in the supermarket to poor lighting in a parking lot, falling hazards are everywhere. The law requires businesses and homes to maintain their premises so that people can travel safely. This responsibility is known as premises liability.
What to do if You Are Injured in a Fall
If you are injured due to a slip or fall, your first priority should be taking care of your health and obtaining the appropriate medical care. Then, it is imperative that you collect evidence to support your case. Follow these steps:
- Obtain medical treatment
- Report the accident to the owner or manager of the premises where you fell, and ask them for a written statement
- Document the circumstances surrounding your fall, and collect contact information of any witnesses
- Stay calm and do not discuss your fall with the property management, an insurance company, or on social media
- Get legal help from an experienced slip and fall attorney
Hire a Long Island Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident that is due to the negligence of a property owner or manager, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. The knowledgeable and experienced slip and fall accident lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP will help you seek justice. Contact us online or call us today at 631-928-8000 for a complimentary consultation.