Slip and fall incidents can lead to devastating injuries, particularly for the elderly. Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are not uncommon, and they often occur due to the careless or negligent actions of property owners. Preventing slip and fall incidents is of vital importance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four people over the age of 65 falls each year. Falling once doubles the chances an elderly person will fall again. Here, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to prevent slip and fall injuries from occurring to the elderly.
Types of Injuries Caused by Slips and Falls
Slip and fall injuries can lead to a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common slip and fall injuries that elderly people sustain include the following:
- Broken bones (often of the wrists and arms)
- Hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Severe lacerations of skin tears
- Spinal cord trauma
- Severe neck or back injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
In many cases, the medications that elderly people take make them more susceptible to serious injuries in the event they are involved in a slip and fall incident.
What Can Businesses do to Prevent Slips and Falls?
Business owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that their guests are reasonably safe from known hazards. Businesses can take the following steps to prevent elderly patrons from sustaining slip and fall incidents:
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance of facilities
- Keep low-lying obstacles out of walkways
- Maintain adequate lighting in all walkways
- Avoid stairs and inclines
- Repair any loose flooring materials (carpeting, floorboards, stairs)
- Make sure entrances and exits are slip proofed
- Properly and promptly clean spills or leaks
Who is Liable for Slips and Falls?
There could be various parties liable for slip and fall injuries of the elderly. If business owners and operators fail to take reasonable steps to prevent slip and fall hazards, they could be held liable. However, these safety requirements fall not only onto private business owners, but all property owners. This includes those who operate and maintain government and public property as well as private residence owners.
Many slip and fall incidents that involve the elderly take place in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Medical professionals and other employees of these facilities must take steps to minimize the slip and fall risks of elderly patients. Failing to do so could result in the facility being held liable for any injuries.
Contact an Elderly Slip and Fall Lawyer in Charleston
If you or someone you love has sustained a slip and fall injury due to the careless or negligent actions of a property owner or operator, you may need to seek assistance from an attorney. At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our Charleston, WV slip and fall lawyers are ready to help you through this. We have the resources and legal experience necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your case so we can secure the compensation you need. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.