Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common injury cases in the country. But just how common are they? What are the costs associated with these problems? Perhaps more importantly, what can these numbers tell us about how to improve medical care, personal injury law and public education to reduce how much we collectively spend on related issues and resolve suffering associated with them?
Emergency Room Statistics
Most hospitals strive to provide timely and effective emergency room care for every patient, although some achieve this noble goal better than others. Slip and falls can result in life-threatening injuries that require immediate attention. In fact:
- Slip and falls account for over a million hospital visits each year, and falls cause over eight million emergency room visits annually. Slips and falls account for 12% of all ER visits!
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often result from slips and falls. Slip and falls are second only to traffic collisions as a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Risks for Senior Citizens
As the body ages, it becomes weaker and less resilient. While a slip and fall may not be fatal, it can leave lasting damage that complicates elderly health. Senior citizens are also more prone to impaired vision and an incomplete range of motion, making recovery from a fall more difficult and repeat falls more likely. Consider the following:
- One of every five falls results in some kind of serious injury for a senior citizen, such as a head injury or broken bones
- Each year, at least a quarter of a million senior citizens stay in a hospital for fractures caused by slip and falls. Falls are responsible for more than 95% of hip fractures.
- Slip and falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths for people over the age of 65.
- The total annual cost (adjusted for inflation) of hospital bills due to slips and falls is nearly $34 billion.
- Slip and fall accidents cause 15% of all general industry workplace fatalities.
- They are the leading reason for worker’s compensation claims and missed work.
The National Safety Council offers these tips to prevent falls:
- Clean up all spills immediately
- Stay off freshly mopped floors
- Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
- Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping
- Keep frequently used items in easily reachable areas
- Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles
- Arrange furniture to provide open walking pathways
- Keep drawers and cabinet doors closed at all times
- Install handrails on all staircases on both sides
Contact us to talk about your situation; we can provide a compassionate, thorough and strategic case evaluation to help you determine whether someone else’s negligence, carelessness or wrongdoing contributed to your accident. If so, you might be able to make a legal claim to obtain damages for medical bills, lost work time, therapy costs and other expenses.