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Slip and Fall Accidents are Particularly Dangerous for Older Adults

1334532_48594781According to the National Safety Council (NSC), approximately 8.9 million Americans visit the emergency room every year due to injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents. Though people of any age may suffer injuries when they slip, trip, or fall down, statistics show that Americans aged 65 and older may suffer particularly severe injuries. Specifically, hip fractures are possibly the most prevalent injury suffered by elderly Americans who slip and fall.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 258,000 people in the U.S. over the age of 65 were admitted to hospitals for fractured hips in 2010 alone. Falling down was the number one cause for such hip fractures. Most often, the victim would fall to the side and land directly on their hip. Falls took place in a wide variety of locations, including the victim’s home, stores, other public places, nursing homes, or even within the hospitals themselves.

Consequences of a Hip Fracture

Hip fractures may have surprisingly serious consequences for an elderly adult. While a young person may heal from a broken bone rather easily and quickly, the healing process may be much more complicated and lengthy for older adults. An elderly patient with a hip fracture often may undergo the following:

  • Surgical procedures
  • Lengthy hospital stays
  • Time spent in a nursing home or other assisted living facility during recovery
  • Extensive physical rehabilitation

Hip fractures may have even more serious effects on a fall victim’s life, as many must stay in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility for a year or more. Approximately one in three elderly adults who previously lived independently will not ever leave an assisted living facility following a hip fracture. Additionally, hip fractures may result in many types of serious complications and one in five victims dies from such complications within one year of their injury.

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

Businesses and property owners have a duty to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for customers and other visitors. This includes keeping the property free of potential slip and fall hazards. Such hazards may include:

  • Slippery or wet floors
  • Uneven floorboards
  • Broken or loose steps
  • Unsteady or broken handrails
  • Debris in walkways or stairwells
  • Unsecured electrical or phone cords
  • Throw rugs or mats that may slip
  • Torn carpet or other floor covering

If a property or business owner knows that such a potentially dangerous condition exists and fails to fix it, they are acting negligently and should be held liable for any injuries that occur due to their negligence. Slip and fall victims are entitled to be reimbursed for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses they experienced as a result of their fall.

Elderly Americans who suffer hip fractures due to someone else’s negligence deserve full compensation for their losses. Daniel Cappetta is an experienced personal injury attorney in Framingham who is dedicated to ensuring victims of slip and fall accidents receive the settlements they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Cappetta, call our office today at (508) 969-9505. If you would prefer to reach us via email, please fill out the contact form available on the right side of this page.