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Falls can be fatal for older people

On paper, falls can sound innocuous. In reality, they can cause serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries. In some cases they can even be fatal. Older people are at particular risk for being seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident. This is because older people can lack the reflexes to catch themselves before they fall. And our bones can get more brittle as we age, increasing the likelihood that a fall will cause a fracture. For some, just the fear of falling can be enough to keep them from venturing out. This lack of activity can lead to weakness and lack of balance, making a fall even more likely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year, 3 million older people go to the emergency room for a fall. They also report that every year, 300,000 older people are hospitalized for a fall. Some of these falls may be pure accidents. But some could have prevented. And falls that could have been prevented invite a lawsuit.

When someone is at fault

If a property owner fails to correct some hazard on their property that they should have known about, and a person falls as a result of that negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. These hazards could be anything from a spill that should have been cleaned up and wasn’t, to ice that should have been cleared or a broken stair that wasn’t repaired. For an older person who falls when encountering such a hazard, the stakes could be life or death. Head injuries can be particularly dangerous, especially for older people who are on blood thinners.

A personal injury lawsuit could yield the compensation needed to help pay for medical bills, lost income and other expenses. In cases of wrongful death, a lawsuit could help the remaining family financially as they grieve a loss. In an idea world, we would not need to have such lawsuits. But in the world we live in, sometimes a lawsuit is the best and only way to secure the needed compensation to carry on.

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