The risk for a slip and fall accident at home, at work, or in public places is high for people in all age groups. In 2016, approximately 9.2 million Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for fall-related injuries.
Slip and Fall Risks
Slip and falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries for every age group, except for people between ages 10 and 24 where it’s the second-most common cause of non-fatal injuries. In 20 to 30 percent of injury cases seen by slip and fall lawyers, injuries involve fractured or broken bones, neck and back injuries, and head trauma.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accident statistics, more than 800,000 Americans suffer fall-related accidents each year that are serious enough to require admission to a hospital for treatment. Hospitals report that one in five patients suffer broken bones, but many patients are treated for more serious injuries like hip fractures and head trauma. People over the age of 65 are twice as likely to suffer severe injuries from a fall due to fragile bones, balance problems, lack of muscle strength, and vision problems. CDC data shows that 300,000 elderly adults are hospitalized for hip fractures each year, and at least 50 percent of those patients never fully recover from their injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can happen in the home, the workplace, and in public places without warning. Common causes include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Damaged or loose carpeting
- Area rugs without non-slip pads
- Uneven floorboards or walking surfaces
- Loose handrails on stairways
- Insufficient lighting
When slip and falls occur outdoors in public areas, they are often caused by uneven sidewalks or pavement, dim lighting, and winter weather conditions that create slippery walking surfaces from snow, ice, and rain. Some cases result from lack of proper buildings and grounds maintenance by business or property owners. In such cases, property owners can face premises liability lawsuits for failure to keep their property safe from slip and fall hazards. Property owners are expected to perform regular maintenance to create a safe, risk-free environment for people on their property.
Since many slip and falls result in serious injuries, they often lead to lawsuits by slip and fall lawyers. When fault for the accident is linked to negligent actions, the injury victim can recover damages to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.