Florida Elderly Slip and Fall Lawyers
While falls are a leading cause of serious injuries for people of all ages, older adults are especially vulnerable to these accidents. Their injuries are more serious. Their recoveries take significantly longer. The long-lasting consequences may be much more significant.
In Florida, which has a large population of people over age 65, slips and falls are a particular concern, especially at nursing homes. These accidents may require the victims to undergo extensive medical treatment as well as physical and emotional therapy in order to recover. This can be especially burdensome when the victim is living on a fixed or retirement income.
Florida Elderly Slip and Fall Victims Face Risks of Injuries
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. over the age of 65 suffers a slip and fall accident each year. Falls are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma among this elderly age group.
The CDC reports that 2.3 million non-fatal injuries among older adults in the U.S. resulted in emergency room treatment in 2010, with 662,000 of these patients requiring hospitalization.
Elderly fall victims are at risk of suffering several types of injuries. They may suffer:
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Hip fractures
- Head trauma (concussion or more severe form of traumatic brain injury, or TBI)
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Fractures of the spin, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.
Even if an elderly slip and fall victim suffers no physical injury, they may develop a sense of fear as a result of their experience. It may lead to them lose mobility and suffer extreme stress.
Sadly, deaths caused by falls among elderly victims have increased in the past decade. The CDC reports that, in 2009, more than 20,000 older adults died from fall injuries.
Property Owner Liability for Elderly Slip and Fall Accidents
Some elderly people suffer from poor balance, low coordination and shakiness. Their physical conditions may make them more prone to falls. But other elderly fall victims suffer no such complicating factors. Their falls are caused by external factors beyond their control. Many may slip and fall because a property owner failed to remedy a hazardous condition that the owner should have fixed.
Stairway slip and fall accidents may happen in homes, apartment buildings, hospitals, nursing home facilities, businesses, stores, government buildings and on public property.
Florida Nursing Homes and the Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents
In nursing homes, slip and fall accidents among the elderly happen all too often. In fact, the CDC says that as many as 75 percent of nursing home residents suffer a slip and fall injury each year.
Possible causes for a slip or a fall in a nursing home include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Poor lighting
- Incorrect bed height
- Stairway defects such as broken handrails, uneven steps or clutter
- Medication errors that cause the patient to lose balance
- Failure to provide proper equipment to assist with getting around such as a cane, walker or wheelchair
- Failure to provide adequate assistance with walking by nursing home staff.
Some property owners fail to address safety hazards. If a hazard causes a person to fall, the property owner may be legally liable on a premises liability claim. The property owner may be responsible for covering the victim’s medical expenses and for compensating the victim for their pain and suffering.
A property owner may also be held responsible for a family’s loss if a slip and fall accident causes a victim to die. Family members may receive damages from the responsible property owner if the property owner’s negligence contributed to the victim’s death.
Contact a Florida Elderly Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
If you are a senior citizen who suffered injuries in a stairway slip and fall accident, you should contact a Florida elderly slip and fall lawyer for help. Likewise, if you lost an elderly parent in a slip and fall accident, you should speak to an attorney. An attorney can help determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, is a Florida elderly slip and fall attorney. He represents accident victims throughout the state of Florida, including residents of the cities of Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and Vero Beach. To schedule a free consultation, call us today toll free or fill out our online contact form for more information.