Winter is upon us, and while this can be a joyous and festive time of year, it also brings with it inclement weather. Unfortunately, with snow and ice also comes an increase in slip and fall accidents. This can be especially problematic for property owners, as they can be held liable for injuries sustained on their premises, even if the accident was not directly their fault.
Slip and fall injuries can range from minor to severe depending on the individual circumstances. Elderly individuals are at a particularly high risk of sustaining severe and even fatal injuries due to their frail bodies. If you or a loved one experience a slip and fall injury this winter season, an experienced attorney can help you prove fault and get the compensation you deserve to help you pay for medical expenses and other damages related to your injury.
To avoid finding yourself in this situation, it’s important to take extra precautions during the winter. Wear appropriate shoes with good grip whenever possible, especially if there is snow or ice on the ground. Walk slowly and use handrails or other support devices to keep from falling. Avoid going out when the weather is bad and only walk through paths that have been cleared.
Let’s take a look at some of the top facts and statistics about slip and fall accidents below:
1. Slip and fall deaths are on the rise
Fatalities as a result of falls have increased by 30% since 2007. The CDC predicts that if these death rates continue to increase as they have been, we can expect seven fall deaths to occur every hour by 2030.
2. Older adults are most at risk of experiencing severe slip and fall injuries
Every year, nearly 3 million older adults experience slip and fall injuries that require a trip to the emergency room. As we age, our bones and muscles become weak, which makes us more likely to lose our balance and sustain a severe or even fatal injury when we fall.
3. Fall injuries are a leading cause of ER visits
Injuries that occur as a result of fall accidents account for over 8 million hospital visits annually. Fall accidents can include those who fell from great heights, such as roofs, or those who slipped and fell on the ground, both inside and outdoors.
4. Most slip and fall patients are hospitalized for head or hip injuries.
According to the CDC, over 800,00 patients require overnight (or longer) hospital stays, typically due to head injuries or hip fractures. Slip and falls often catch us off guard, meaning we have little time to react and protect ourselves—and, unfortunately, this often results in us hitting our heads or our hips pretty hard on the floor or ground.
5. Falls are a leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries are head injuries that often result from slip and fall accidents. The harder the impact, the more severe the injury will be. TBIs can range in severity, with the most severe sometimes resulting in irreversible brain damage, vegetative states, and even death.
6. Half of all accidents in the home are caused by falls
Slip and falls can happen anywhere at any time, but they most often occur when we are in our own homes. This is likely because we feel more safe and comfortable in our homes and are not as cautious when moving about. Most of all, home-related fall injuries occur at ground level.
7. Total medical costs for all reported fall injuries were around $50 billion in 2015
The cost of treatment for each individual can vary greatly depending on the individual circumstances; thus, there is no accurate data on the average cost of treatments for an individual slip and fall accident. However, it is reported that total costs for all fall injuries treated are in the billions every year.
8. Fall accidents increase in the winter
A study conducted by the Philadelphia Department of Health over a five-year period showed that there was an increase in ER visits for fall injuries during the winter months. They concluded that this was likely due to inclement weather, as hospital visits increased in the days following winter storms.
9. Falls often occur during work commutes in the winter
Experts further concluded from the same study mentioned above that most of the fall injuries that required emergency room treatment occurred when people were on their way to work. This is likely because people are in more of a rush in the mornings to get to work on time, meaning they are less likely to be careful when walking on snow or ice.
10. Slip and fall accidents account for a high number of workers’ comp claims
Whether it is winter or not, the majority of slip and fall claims come from work-related incidents. However, slip and fall cases can happen anywhere on public, commercial, or residential properties.
Consult an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you were injured on a commercial property or someone else’s residential property, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim based on premises liability. Property owners have a responsibility to keep their property reasonably safe and free of hazards, including snow and ice. If your injury was the result of someone neglecting to address an issue or hazard on their property, even if it is someone you know, you have a right to compensation for your injuries and other damages.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience fighting for the victims of slip and fall accidents and are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.