You may have heard of the slip-and-fall injury. The reason you might know about it is that they happen all the time. They can happen to any individual, and they can be quite dangerous.
We’ll take a few moments to fill you in on some slip-and-fall injury facts. You’ll learn who this happens to the most, what some of the legal ramifications are if this happens to you, and also some common slip-and-fall injury varieties.
Slip-and-Fall Injuries Can Be Deadly or Minor
The Center for Disease Control states that slip-and-falls account for more than 95% of hip fractures. That’s hardly the only injury you can sustain that way, though. You also might suffer:
- A traumatic brain injury
- A hand or wrist injury
- A broken bone
You might break a bone if you slip and fall, and you’re not able to regain your balance on the way down. The most common time this happens is if you don’t realize a surface is slippery, perhaps because there is not adequate signage.
If you hurt your hand or wrist, that probably means you realized you were falling as you were going down, and you tried to break your fall. These injuries might not be so severe, but even a sprained wrist is painful. It’s better than a break, but you’re probably looking at several months of recovery time.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when you slip, fall, and strike your head. These can be deadly if you fracture your skull. A doctor might call a concussion mild, but even a “mild” concussion is a brain injury, and you never want that to happen.
They Happen to Older People More than Anyone Else
While anyone can slip and fall, older people hurt themselves this way more than any other group. That’s because:
- Older individuals are sometimes not as spry as younger ones
- Older people might have more brittle bones than younger ones
As you get older, your bones become brittle. Doctors call this osteoporosis. You can combat it with pills, but you lose some bone density as you age, regardless of what you do.
If an older person slips and falls, they might break a hip, a wrist, or sustain some other injury. If this happens to you, it is best if someone is around to see it.
They can get some help for you, while if you slip and fall in your home, you may struggle to get to a phone to call 911. That’s why you may want to consider getting a medical alert wearable so you can press a button to call for aid if this takes place.
They Can Happen Anywhere
You might think about store slip-and-falls, and those do happen, but you can slip and fall anywhere. You might take a tumble while you’re walking down the street if there’s an uneven sidewalk or an icy patch. You could fall in your home if you take a bad step or you trip over something that’s out of place.
If you fall in public, there will probably be someone to help you. If you live alone, that’s when you may struggle to call for aid. That’s why some families entreat their older relatives to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility.
You might be stubborn and resist going. Maybe your younger family members are willing to let you move in with them rather than one of those other options. You can also get a home health aide to come to your house or apartment multiple times per week if you’re not as steady on your feet as you once were.
You Can Sometimes Collect Money After a Slip-and-Fall
If you fall in your home, you probably can’t get any money from that. If you hurt yourself, you’ll have to pay the medical bills. Ideally, you’ll have insurance that can cover it without any large copays.
If you slip in a store and fall, or some other establishment, it’s possible you could collect some money if you decide to pursue a lawsuit. What matters then is whether the business’s owner or operator did enough to keep you safe.
If they mopped the floor and didn’t leave any signs up, that’s a potential lawsuit situation. However, if you came in drunk and didn’t notice the sign or the wet floor, it’s not as likely you can collect any money from that. If you’re not sure if you have valid lawsuit grounds, you can always ask a lawyer.