Important Facts About Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common accidents in the United States. Every year, millions of people, including thirty million older adults are injured in falls. Every year, approximately 17,000 people die due to slip, trip and fall accidents.

Slip and fall accidents are caused by the negligence of others including accidents in businesses, private homes, or accidents on the job.

Here a few things to know about slip and fall accidents.

Cost

The average cost of a slip and fall is $30,000 to $40,000, according to the CDC. Slip and falls related to snow average about $48,000. The cost of a fall is devastating to families and increases insurance prices that impact others.

Non-fatal falls incur the following costs every year:

  • $29 billion is paid by Medicare
  • $12 billion is paid by Private or Out-of-Pocket payers
  • $9 billion is paid by Medicaid

Falls result in a total of more than $34 million in medical bills annually. Victims of falls miss an average of 11 days of work leading to income loss. While lost income can possibly be recovered from a settlement, the immediate impact puts a financial strain on families.

Injuries

Slip and falls result in a 5% change of a broken bone. In 20-30% of cases, slip and falls result in serious injuries which can result in a pain and suffering settlement.

Even though adults age 65 and older are most likely to suffer from a serious injury resulting from a slip and fall, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injury for all age groups expect for people aged 10-24.

Slip and falls are the leading cause of brain/head injury. Falls are also responsible for 95% of hip fractures.

Falls can take a mental toll as well as a physical one. Many fall victims develop anxiety and fears around falling, causing them to limit activities.

Causes

Most slip and falls are caused by the negligence of others. These accidents are a public health problem due to their cost and occurrences. Many of these accidents are preventable.

Falls are usually caused by:

  • Flooring mats
  • Water spills
  • Snow/ice
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Rugs
  • Clutter

In some cases, falls are caused by health problems such as muscle weakness, poor balance due to medications and other factors, poor eye site, and foot issues.

Prevention

Preventing the possibility of a fall is often easier said than done. Sometimes, it is not possible to prevent an accident, but being aware of your surroundings can help prevent injury. Businesses that take the time to ensure their property is safe from fall hazards prevents these accidents before they happen. Simple steps such as salting parking lots during snow and ice and displaying safety signs can decrease the risk of falls, protecting both the business and the consumers.


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