Accidental slips and falls are one of the leading causes of personal injury in New Jersey and the U.S. Although it’s true that every fall does not cause an injury, falls do result in serious injury every year. Statistics on slips and falls reveal a number of startling facts about falls and who are most affected each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits each year. CDC statistics show that more than 800,000 people each year are hospitalized due to a fall, and that one out of five falls causes serious injury.
Injuries from falls can range from minor to significant or life-altering injuries that require medical treatment, including hospitalizations, surgery, physical therapy, and other treatment. Some examples of common injuries sustained from falls include the following:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Other orthopedic injuries such as strains, sprains, and torn muscles or ligaments
- Cuts or abrasions
- Serious back injuries or spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions and skull fractures, and brain hemorrhage
For older adults the age of 65 or over, falls are a leading cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries. At least 3 million older adults each year are treated for fall injuries in the emergency room. Older adults are particularly prone to hip fractures after a fall, with more than 300,000 people aged 65 or older hospitalized for this injury. Hip fracture can drastically affect the quality of life of an older adult.
There are a number of common causes of falls, including the following:
- Wet or slippery floors or pavement
- Weather conditions such as ice and snow
- Broken stairs or sidewalks
- Trip hazards (electrical cords, debris on a sidewalk)
Property owners can help to lower the risk of slip and fall injuries by removing hazards. Some examples include removing snow and ice, or making sure floors and walkways are properly maintained.
If you have been injured in a fall, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention. If you’ve fallen on someone else’s property, it’s critical to seek medical attention in order to document your injury.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, the owner of the property may be responsible for some of your losses. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney may help you understand what some of your options are.