According to the CDC, there are an estimated 36 million falls reported among the elderly each year resulting in approximately 32,000 deaths. Moreover, one out of every five falls results in a direct injury, such as a broken bone, hip, back, or head injury.

Senior citizen elderly slip and fall

Although slip and falls can be very dangerous regardless of age, provided those statistics, they are especially concerning for the elderly. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that older people are more prone to these type of accident injuries than younger people. Typical injuries that may seem minor to a younger person could turn out to be debilitating to those of older age.

Recovering damages after an elderly slip and fall accident

If you or a loved one have been involved in an elderly slip and fall accident, you may qualify for compensation for your damages. In order to qualify for damages, you must demonstrate that certain burdens of proof were failed to have been met. In other words, there must have been a preexisting structural condition that caused the fall and the direct negligence of the property or business owner caused your bodily injury.

Let’s say, for example, that Bill, a senior citizen, is meeting his grandchildren for lunch at their favorite lunch venue. As he is approaching the table, he trips over a piece of raised carpet, falls, and fractures his arm. The restaurant was previously warned by its staff that the carpet could cause an injury. The restaurant was supposed to have a carpenter fix the carpet the following day, but they did nothing to secure the defect in the interim. In this case, Bill could sue the restaurant for his damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding negligence in an elderly slip and fall

Business and property owners have the responsibility to protect their guests from injury while on their premises. In addition, they maintain a certain level of responsibility to follow the In premises liability law, this is often referred to as reasonable care. When reasonable care is not taken and results in an injury, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your damages and/or injuries. All property owners must address potential hazards on their properties, secure any potential hazards, and remedy them as quickly as possible.

Senior citizens and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protection

As we age, many issues begin to arise with eyesight, hearing, and mobility. According to the ADA, “having a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity” is considered disability.

That said, over 30 percent of Americans over the age of 65 maintain some type of disability, the the number increases steadily with age. Regardless of the type of disability you experience, it’s important to know what this means in terms of your protection as you commute in your everyday life.

Public space accommodations

Public places, such as government office buildings at the state, county, and local level, places of public accommodation and commercial facilities, schools and school housing, entertainment and hospitality, and transportation facilities are required to maintain compliance with ADA standards. The areas of compliance include:

  • Space allowance and range
  • Accessible routes
  • Protruding objects
  • Ground and floor surfaces
  • Parking and passenger loading zones
  • Curb ramps
  • Ramps and stairs
  • Elevators
  • Windows and doors
  • Entrances
  • Drinking fountains
  • Restrooms and toilets
  • Handrails and grab bars
  • Proper signage and detectable warning signs
  • Benches

To view the complete list of accommodations and their applicable safety standards, visit the U.S. Access Board.

Failure to comply with the abovementioned ADA standards can act as proof of negligence in a personal injury claim; however, the appropriate steps must be taken immediately after a fall.

What to do after an elderly slip and fall

After a fall, you must take the following steps to preserve evidence if you wish to file a claim. These steps include:

  1. Call for help: if you were alone at the time of your fall, call out for help if you cannot get up. Once help arrives, request immediate attention by security or the store manager and document the incident.
  2. Take photos: photos can be a very useful tool in proving negligence. If you are able to, take a few photos of the culprit to your fall.
  3. Get medical attention: depending on the injuries suffered, you may need an ambulance to transport you to the hospital. If you refuse a medical transport, be sure to visit the hospital for a full evaluation as quickly as possible to rule out any dangerous injuries.
  4. Call a lawyer: after you’ve documented the accident and visited a doctor, it is crucial that you obtain legal help if you wish to pursue an injury claim. Provide as much information to your attorney as possible, including where the fall happened, a copy of the incident report (if you have it), injuries sustained and what you believe caused you to fall.

If you or a loved one have suffered an elderly slip and fall accident, contact The Injury Firm right away to discover your rights for compensation. All initial consultations are free and if we cannot help you, we will point you in the best direction for your specific needs. Call (702) 800-0988 for a free consultation 24/7.

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