Lexington Slip and Fall Injury LawyerIt’s very common for a fall to result in a serious injury.
Falls aren’t funny. In old comedies, pratfalls were common on screen. As kids we may have pulled a chair away from someone sitting down or stuck a foot out to see someone fall. But slips and falls can be deadly serious and nothing to laugh about. People can suffer life-long, debilitating injuries because of a fall. There can be serious consequences to falls, and we take them very seriously.
If you or a loved one has fallen because of the negligence of another and suffered serious injuries, we may be able to help. Whether it happened on a sidewalk, a residence, office, retail store, government building or parking lot, if another party is at fault, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and economic losses.
It’s very common for a fall to result in a serious injury. According to the National Flooring Safety Institute:
- Falls cause more than eight million hospital emergency department visits annually, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). About 12% of all falls result in visits to emergency departments.
- Fractures occur in about 5% of all falls. Hip fractures are the most serious type and result in the worst health problems and number of deaths.
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than two million fall injuries each year.
- Half of all accidental deaths occurring in homes are caused by a fall, with most happening at ground level, not from a height.
- About a third of people over the age of 65 will suffer a fall each year; about half of them will fall more than once.
- The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2005 more than 15,000 people older than 65 died due to a fall, up from 7,700 ten years earlier.
- Half of all deaths resulting from falls happen to those 75 or older.
- 85% of worker’s compensation claims result from employees slipping on slick floors.
Statistics from the CDC tell us the following:
- About 20% of falls result in a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- More than 800,000 people a year are hospitalized because of a fall, most commonly due to a head injury or hip fracture.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.
- Falls are the top cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion each year, with hospital costs accounting for about two-thirds of the total.
What causes falls, and what can be done to prevent them? According to EMC Insurance:
- Debris on walking surfaces can cause people to slip or trip. Clutter needs to removed from floors and stored or thrown away.
- Power cords strung across floors can cause people to trip. More electrical outlets could solve the problem, or bright cord covers can be used.
- Parking lots and sidewalks are covered in snow or ice during winter months. They need to be cleared and regularly monitored for additional build up. Shovels and road salt stored near doorways encourages their use.
- Thin layers of ice or black ice form when snow melts and water freezes after sundown. Snow piles should be away from walkways so when they melt water won’t run onto them. Road salt can be applied to walkways and parking lots during the day and when ice is found.
- Downspouts discharge onto walking surfaces, causing wet or icy conditions. Runoff needs to be channeled under or away from walkways.
- Handrails should be installed on at least one side of a stairway.
- Stair steps with the same color stair tread can cause trips and falls. That can be reduced if the tread is in a bright, contrasting color.
- Chipped and deteriorated stairways can cause falls. If in bad shape, stairs need to be repaired or replaced. Stair treads are helpful.
- Uneven sidewalks can cause trips. Sidewalks should be repaired so they’re even, and warning markings or cones should be used until repairs can be made.
- Potholes can cause trips and falls not just because they’re holes in pavement but because they collect water that can freeze and cause ice. They should be filled in and repaired.
- Worn or cracked entrance mats should be replaced.
Just because a person is injured in a fall doesn’t necessarily mean a valid lawsuit can be filed. Negligence needs to be shown. If a party responsible for the safety of others is aware of a hazardous situation and fails to take actions to keep people safe, or those actions are insufficient, negligence may have occurred.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall, get medical attention as soon as possible. Take photos of the area if possible, and contact us so we can start an investigation. The circumstances resulting in the fall are critical to a legal action, and they need to be documented.
We have successfully represented people who have had fractured hips, bleeding on the brain, dislocated shoulders with torn ACL’s, herniated discs and many other serious and permanent injuries due to the negligence of those who own or manage properties. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a slip and fall on another’s property through no fault of your own, you may have a case. Call us today to see if we can help.