Ten Things You Might Not Know About Fall Injuries
Some slip-and-falls are little more than annoying. But in most cases, these incidents cause serious, lifelong, and/or fatal injuries. Typically, property owners are financially responsible for fall-related damages.
1. Falls are the Leading Cause of ER Visits
About a fifth of Emergency Room patients seek treatment because of a serious fall. A significant number of these incidents are slip-and-falls which occurred away from home at a place like a grocery store, nursing home, or another person’s home. Frequently, doctors only treat broken bones and other obvious wounds. They do not properly treat hidden wounds, such as head injuries.
2. Work-Related Falls
California workers lose more work days due to fall injuries than any other kind of wound. A fifth of these victims are out of work for at least six weeks. Falls, especially at construction sites, are also a leading cause of fatal injuries. And, two of the top three Occupational Safety and Health Administration infractions involve an employer’s failure to reduce the risk of fall injuries. Additionally, among workers over 55, the fall injury fatality rate increases significantly.
3. Falls and Floors
Indoor and outdoor walking surface hazards cause a staggering two million falls a year. Hazards like a large sidewalk crack, a rug at the top of a staircase, and slightly uneven flooring. Many older people are especially at risk for these injuries. These individuals often have gait disorders. So, when they slip, they are usually unable to recover their balance.
4. Elderly Falls
About a third of Californians over 65 fall every year. Half of these victims are repeat fallers, which means their injuries are often more serious. These serious injuries frequently include brain and spinal cord injuries. Such wounds could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Falls, and not motor vehicle collisions or anything else, are the second-leading cause of injury-related death among people over 65. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for people over 85.
5. Nursing Home Falls
Many fall injuries prompt nursing home visits. Moreover, falls often prolong nursing home visits. Almost two-thirds of nursing home residents fall every year. In addition to head and spine injuries, many victims sustain hip injuries. Because of the resulting loss of mobility, most of these victims can never live independently again.
6. Economic Costs
Fall-related compensation and medical bills cost about $70 billion a year. As mentioned, a disabling fall could cost about $300,000 in economic losses alone. These figures do not include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment in life, and other noneconomic losses.
7. Workplace Falls are Completely Preventable
A few simple precautions could entirely eliminate serious falls. Many of these precautions involve using up-to-date ladders and other equipment, providing the right safety gear, and educating employees as to the danger and prevention of falls.
8. The Risk is Increasing
According to the Centers for Disease Control, by 2030, falls will kill seven Americans every hour. Some of these victims die immediately while others linger for weeks or even months in hospital or nursing homes.
9. Pre-Existing Conditions
Some people have weak bones or muscles which contribute to the risk of a fall or the injuries they sustain in a fall. These individuals are entitled to maximum compensation in California. In personal injury claims, as in life, no one should ever benefit because of, or take advantage of, another person’s inherent weaknesses.
10. Gender Risk Factors
Men are more likely to sustain fatal fall injuries. Women are more likely to sustain serious fall injuries, yet survive. Occupational hazards, especially construction workers, increased risk-taking, and refusal to see a doctor probably all contribute to the higher fatality rate among men.
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/slips-trips-falls https://www.osha.gov/data/commonstats
Picture Source: Storyblocks
Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.