Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common reasons for premises liability and injury claims in Kansas City. Slip and fall accidents can take place anywhere – at grocery stores, malls, sidewalks, hospitals and even right at home where dangerous conditions exist. Slip and falls can cause serious and even life-threatening injuries, especially to vulnerable populations. It is particularly important for young people under the age of 19 and the elderly to take precautions to avoid slip and fall accidents, as they are the most at risk.
Slip and Falls Impact Children and the Elderly the Most
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of senior citizens 65 and older fall down annually. Accident statistics show at least one in four older people fall each year. At least three million seniors are checked into emergency rooms for fall injuries and these injuries are the leading cause of elderly injuries. Fall rates have risen steadily over the last decade, leading the CDC to predict at least seven fall-related deaths of older adults every hour by the year 2030.
The elderly are at risk of serious injuries in slip and fall accidents due to less muscle strength, brittle bones and pre-existing conditions. One of the most commonly suffered injuries is a hip fracture. This is a serious personal injury for an older adult, as it makes the patient immobile for a long period. Immobility or bedrest while healing from a hip fracture puts a senior citizen at risk of related health complications, such as bedsores, infections and blood clots. Ultimately, these complications can be fatal for elderly slip and fall accident victims.
Children under the age of 19 are the other population that is most susceptible to slip and fall injuries. Children and teenagers are more likely to engage in activities that put them at risk of fall injuries, such as sports. Youth slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, back and neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In the most severe cases, a fall accident could give a young person a permanent disability.
What Preventive Measures Can Be Taken in the Home to Help Minimize Slip and Fall Injuries?
If you are especially susceptible to severe injuries in a slip and fall accident, take extra precautions to prevent this type of accident in your daily life. Many slip and fall accidents that prove to be catastrophic or deadly for elderly victims occur at home. Take the following steps to help minimize your risk of a slip and fall injury at home:
- Talk to your doctor to evaluate your risk of falling.
- Review your medications for side effects such as dizziness.
- Ask about vitamin D supplements to decrease your risk.
- Do regular strength and balance exercises.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly.
- Eliminate obstacles and clutter in your home.
- Maintain adequate lighting.
- Wear appropriate nonslip shoes.
- Install bars in the bathtub or shower.
- Put railings on both sides of staircases.
Make it easy to call for help if you do slip or trip and fall inside of your home and cannot get up. Keep a phone close to the floor or use a safety alert device such as a medical bracelet or necklace in case of emergencies. Prompt medical care for your serious injuries can make a significant difference in your ability to recover as a vulnerable person.
When Can a Victim Pursue Compensation for a Slip and Fall?
If you suffer serious injuries in a slip and fall accident in Kansas City, consult with an attorney about the possibility of filing a lawsuit. If other parties are legally responsible for slip and fall cases, such as a store employee for failing to clean up a spill, those individuals may be financially responsible for your losses.
A successful lawsuit could make you eligible for compensation for your related medical bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. If you’ve suffered a serious injury and want to discuss your options, reach out to our slip and fall attorneys for a free consultation.