Many people think of a slip and fall accident as something relatively minor. They believe that while you may get a few bumps and bruises, slipping or tripping and falling happens to most people and usually results in minor injuries. In fact, some of the most dangerous types of accidents involve slip and fall, and many of these incidents result in serious, long-term injury. Even worse, many victims of slip and fall accidents feel that they should not talk about their injuries for fear of not being taken seriously.
Why Slips and Falls Can Be So Dangerous
It is true that some slip and fall accidents are very minor and require only first aid for cuts or bruises. However, there are many slip and fall accidents that involve broken bones, head trauma, spinal injury, or other serious problems. According to the National Floor Safety Institute:
- More women than men suffer slip and fall accidents, but fatalities for slip and fall accidents are equally divided between men and women.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that falls account for about 5 percent of all workplace fatalities for women and about 11 percent of workplace fatalities for men.
- Every year, more than 8 million people visit emergency rooms as a result of falls. This represents 21 percent of all emergency room visits, making it the most common reason that people go to the ER. About 1 million of these visits are classified as “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents, making these types of falls about 12 percent of the total.
- About five percent of falls result in bone fractures.
- Slip and fall constitute the primary cause of lost days from work and is the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. They are also the leading cause of occupational injury for victims 55 or older.
- Half of all accidental deaths in the home are due to falls, and most of these happen on level ground, not from a great height.
- Hip fractures due to falls lead to the most serious health consequences and deaths. Every year, one out of three persons over the age of 65 experiences a fall. More than 15,000 of them will die from their injuries.
- For older people, falls account for the second leading cause of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
It is clear that slip and fall accidents are not “minor” problems. Many of these accidents are caused by dangerous circumstances both indoors and out. For example, floors and flooring products contribute to nearly 2 million falls per year. Many of these falls occur in businesses or other places where floors are not properly maintained.
Outdoors, sidewalks, and other surfaces that are not repaired in a timely manner can also lead to serious injury from a fall. It is the responsibility of a property owner to maintain safe walkways and surfaces to help victims avoid falls and possible serious injury.
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, the attorneys at Barber & Associates are here to help. Call us today to learn more about how we can support you in your search for compensation and justice for your slip and fall injury.