What You Need To Know About Elderly Slip And Fall Accidents

A drawing illustrating elderly slip and fall accidents

Even though slip and fall accidents are dangerous for anyone, they can be especially threatening for the elderly. The older the person is, the more time it takes for their body to heal. Also, you have to count on an increased risk of complications. So, no matter how minor the injury is, it can be debilitating.

Unfortunately, slip and fall injuries are prevalent among older people. One in three senior citizens experiences a slip and fall accident every year, and falling once doubles the chances of it happening again. Therefore, it’s essential to understand these types of accidents to protect your loved one. We will cover that in the rest of the article to help you and your seniors.

The most common causes of elderly slip and fall accidents

Due to the medication use, increasing age, cognitive impairment, and sensory deficits, slip and fall accidents are very common among senior citizens. The most common causes of these accidents are loose area rugs, low light, and different obstacles in pathways.

An elderly man riding a bicycle on a sunny day

Therefore, to help your elderly loved one avoid this from happening to them, there are ways to make their home safer:

  • Invest in area rugs that are easy to tape down.
  • Remove any obstacles that someone can easily trip over.
  • Make sure to tape down electric cords and move the furniture against the walls.
  • Add extra task lighting in hallways, along staircases, and in any darker areas of their home. Night lights are a great option.
  • Install grab bars in their bathtub, shower, toilet area and handrails on both sides of the stairways.

Unfortunately, even with all the precaution measures in place, accidents can still happen. There are also many cases when accidents occur due to someone else’s negligence. Further in this article, we will talk about that in more detail. We’ll also demonstrate why getting in touch with experienced personal injury attorneys is the best way to go if this happens to you or your loved one.

Slip and fall accidents can be costly

Did you know that, out of every five falls, one results in serious injury? Many elderlies suffer broken bones and head injuries every year, and more than 2 million people around the US are treated in emergency rooms due to these accidents.

Doctor talking to an older woman after a slip and fall accident.

Over a quarter of people who experience a fall end up with an injury that requires hospital treatment. Usually, these are head or hip injuries. An estimate is that at least 250.000 elderly are admitted to hospitals due to hip fractures. These fractures are mostly caused by slip and fall accidents.

Slip and fall accidents are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The costs of treating these types of injuries vary from patient to patient. However, they are often not less than several thousand dollars.

What to do after an elderly slip and fall accident?

For instance, let’s say your beloved senior is planning a retirement relocation. Even though there are plenty of ways to stay safe and organized, there is always a risk of slip and fall accidents, especially if your senior has poor eyesight or poor hearing. So to be on the safe side, here’s what to do in case this happens to your loved one.

After a fall, the most important thing to do is to get the injury assessed by a medical professional. Also, make sure they document every detail. Getting immediate medical attention is crucial for the injury to heal faster. Also, avoiding medical assistance will leave your loved one without a chance to recover damages from your insurance company or the owner of the premise where the accident took place.

An older woman wearing an apron, washing vegetables in the kitchen

Remember that not all slip and fall accidents result in noticeable damage at first, so it’s always better to get a check-up. Even if your beloved senior feels ok, it doesn’t mean they are. This is especially true with head injuries. Just remember that more than half of all concussions go undetected or unreported. Also, head injuries caused by falls can cause permanent brain damage.

Recovering for negligence after a slip and fall injury

Even though you did everything to ensure your beloved senior lives in a safe home, a slip and fall accident can easily happen somewhere else. In some cases, accidents happen because of someone’s negligence. So, if you’re looking to claim it, you need to prove the following four elements:

  1. The person you’re holding responsible had a duty of care. They needed to act as another reasonable person would have in the same situation.
  2. The responsible individual breached that duty of care.
  3. That breach is the cause of an injury that an elderly person experienced.
  4. Harm was done to an elderly person.

For example, imagine your elderly relative slipped on a patch of ice in front of your neighbor’s house. In that case, your neighbor breached their duty of care when they failed to clear the ice on time. If your relative didn’t suffer any injuries, there is no basis for claiming negligence as there was no harm done. On the other hand, if your relative did suffer damage, no matter how minor or severe, they’re eligible for a premises liability claim.

The bottom line

We hope our article helped you understand the elderly slip and fall accidents and how you can help your loved one feel safer at their home. However, keep in mind that these accidents can happen no matter how much you try to prevent them. Sometimes even due to someone else’s negligence. If this happens to you or your loved one, get in touch with our professional attorneys at Ferguson Ferguson, and they’ll take care of the rest.