Slip and fall injuries are a danger for many older and even middle-aged Americans, according to the National Safety Council, a century-old nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to research and provide safety solutions.
According to NSC, falls are a leading cause of injury in the U.S. and accounted for nearly 9 million emergency room visits in 2011. More than 25,000 Americans died from injuries sustained in a fall in 2009.
The older a person is, the higher his or her fall risk, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which states 2.4 million older adults were treated for fall-related injuries in 2011. Almost 670,000 needed hospitalization.
An older person who falls will take longer to recover and is likely to sustain more serious injuries from a single fall, the CDC says. Hip fractures, for example, are almost always by falling, usually sideways alongside the hip. Treatment usually mans hospitalization and surgery, followed by a lengthy stay in a nursing home for a year or more.
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In New York, Falls by Elderly People are Common and Expensive
According to the New York State Department of Health, falls cause death, disability, and hospitalization, particularly for the elderly. Falling is a leading cause of injury among New Yorkers age 65 and over. Every day in New York:
- Two senior citizens die from injuries sustained in falls.
- 140 are hospitalized.
- 223 are taken to hospital emergency departments.
- 60% recover in a nursing home or rehabilitation center.
About $1.7 billion is spent in annual hospital costs related to falls, and more than $145 million in outpatient emergency charges. Ninety-five percent of these bills are paid by public funds: Medicare, Medicaid, public service retirement coverage, etc.
Fall Risk Begins in Middle Age
Most statistics on slip and fall injuries follow adults older than 65, but of course, falls happen in all age groups. Perhaps the best way to measure this is to look at occupations and the mean worker age.
The CDC says the construction industry has the highest rate of falls that result in death. The mean age for this industry is 42.4, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The following chart shows the industries with the highest rate of nonfatal falls:
Looking at types of workplace injuries, CompSource, a third-party administrator, says falls that occur on same-level surfaces—such at wet or slippery floors–and falls to a lower level are among the top ten most common worksite injuries. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued more citations for safety violations related to fall protection than any other in 2011.
If You Have Fallen, You May Be Entitled to Compensation and Should Contact an Attorney
Injuries from falls can be very serious, including death and fractures. There are recommended slip and fall lawyers in New York City that help people who fall due to negligence by others or even if it involves intoxication. To answer your questions, visit Belluck & Fox, LLP today. We are familiar with claims and can protect your rights. We can help you get compensation for treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.