According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five slip and fall accidents will result in serious injuries like broken bones, broken hips, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. Older adults are particularly at risk of slip and fall injuries. The CDC reports that 3 million older Americans are treated for slip and fall injuries each year. While older adults are particularly susceptible, adults and children alike can be seriously injured if they suffer a fall. What are the causes of slip and fall injuries? Are you at risk? Here are some of the top causes of slip and fall accidents each year, and some ways that these accidents can be prevented:
- Wet Surfaces. Wet surfaces are among the leading causes of slip and fall accidents among older adults, according to Health Direct. Premises owners, restaurants, and stores have a responsibility to keep floors free of water and dampness. If there is a known situation where a floor will be damp, proper signage should be used.
- Rugs and Carpets. If rugs and carpets are not properly secured or if they bunch up, they can pose a slip, trip, or fall hazard. Nursing centers, hospitals, and premises owners have a responsibility to prevent trips, slips, and falls by securing rugs and by removing rugs that cannot be secured.
- Lighting. Proper lighting can go a long way to preventing slip and fall accidents. Nursing homes should install night lights that can allow residents to see where they are walking at night. These night lights could also be present in bathrooms and other places where residents might encounter slip and fall hazards. Companies and premises owners also have a responsibility to ensure that their public areas are well-lit.
- Icy Surfaces. Winter is here, and store owners and property owners have a responsibility to keep surfaces free of ice. Individuals should be particularly aware of the risk of black ice in parking lots and on sidewalks, which can be hard to see.
Premises owners can take many steps to prevent falls. But, if you have an elderly loved one and are concerned about his or her fall risk, there are also several measures you can take to keep your loved one safe. Here are some steps you can take to protect your elderly loved one from slip and fall risks:
- Have your loved one’s hearing and vision checked regularly. According to the National Institute on Aging, poor vision can lead to falls. Individuals need to see where they are stepping to avoid a fall.
- Learn about your loved one’s medicines. Some medicines include side effects that impact a patient’s balance or can cause dizziness. If your loved one takes these medications additional steps should be taken to prevent falls.
- Avoid drinking. Alcohol can impact your balance and make you dizzy and it can interact with some medications.
- Use a cane or walker, if needed. A cane or walker can help you keep your balance and help you prevent falls.
- Wear the right kind of shoes. Non-slip or non-skid shoes can prevent falls.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a slip and fall accident, you may have certain rights under the law. It is important to seek proper medical treatment for your loved one. Then, consider speaking to the Law Offices of Robert Gregg, slip and fall lawyers in Dallas, Texas. Our law firm can review the circumstances of your injury and may be able to fight to help you seek a recovery for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.