When a business or property owner fails to make sure their premises are safe and harm-free for their guests or customers, people who visit the property often become hurt. This happens when a person trips over something or falls. As a result, they may face accumulating medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and so much more.
Even though falls are usually preventable accidents, they still send many to emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, clinics, and doctor’s offices annually in York, PA and the rest of the country. A York, PA premises liability attorney can assess your case and explain how you can recover compensation.
What are some causes of severe falls?
A few of the most common causes for severe falls include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Failure to provide a sign or alert individuals about fall hazards
- Improper cleaning
- Uneven cement, sidewalk, or pavement
- Snowy, icy, or wet pavement, sidewalk, or cement
- Fallen objects in the way
- Worn out, old, cracked, or deteriorated stairs, floors, and more
- No or unsteady stair rails
- Improper or poor lighting
- Sticks, dirt, dust, leaves, or other items blocking walkways
- Issues with carpet, mats, or rugs
- Potholes in parking lots
- Wires in the way
The frightening data on falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 people visit the hospital each year because of a fall injury. In 2015 alone, the cost to treat the injuries and complications due to falls was about $50 billion. This data is extremely alarming, as it shows that anyone can become a victim of a fall at any time due to the negligence of property or business owners. It also shows that fall injuries are very costly, which can lead to financial consequences for several years to come.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that “falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide.” In fact, close to 700,000 people die across the world every year from falls. Falls are one of the top preventable accidents, yet 37.3 million people around the world and about 6.8 million people in the U.S. seek medical treatment for falls annually.
Falls can lead to traumatic and devastating injuries in York, PA
Most property or business owners make the mistake of assuming that falls will only lead to minor scuffs, bruising, scrapes, or cuts. Therefore, they may fail to take cleaning, maintenance, and decluttering seriously. However, the harsh reality is that falls are very serious and can lead to traumatic and devastating injuries quickly. Here are some of the catastrophic injuries that falls may cause:
- Broken or fractured hip: The CDC mentioned that “95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling.” Broken or fractured hips usually occur when individuals fall sideways. Treatment may include screws, multiple surgeries, total hip replacement, or partial hip replacement. Regardless of which treatment option your doctor recommends, you will most likely have a long road of recovery and rehabilitation ahead of you. However, it is important to keep in mind that hip injuries are one of the most complicated injuries to heal from, and many people never fully recover.
- Broken leg: Broken legs are very serious injuries that have the ability to change your life within seconds. While most people think that a broken leg is similar to a broken arm, the difference is that the individual with a broken leg may never walk the same again. They may need assistance from crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair for several months, and they may never get their full strength back that they had before the fall. This can prevent them from participating in sports, exercising, or even doing their normal day-to-day activities that they once enjoyed.
- Traumatic brain injury: Falls are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. These types of injuries are extremely serious, as the tissues in the brain may tear, bleed, or become permanently damaged. If an individual survives a traumatic brain injury, there is a chance that their brain may never function correctly again.
- Coma: When individuals fall and hit their head on a hard surface, this may also cause them to go into a coma. This causes them to lose consciousness for several days or weeks. As a result, this can be a very terrifying time for families, as the brain can begin to lose all its function and enter into a “vegetative state” from being in a coma for so long.
- Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury is another type of severe injury that may result from a fall. These injuries often lead to serious life-threatening and permanent complications, which are hard for individuals to learn to cope with. For example, they may lose their strength, ability to move certain body parts or limbs, sensations, balance, ability to control their bladder, and more. It is also very common for individuals who suffer a spinal cord injury to become paralyzed.
- Internal organ damage: Depending on the type of fall the individual experiences, they may also suffer internal organ damage. This frequently happens when they land on a hard surface and puncture, bruise, or completely damage their vital organs, such as the kidneys, liver, spleen, lungs, and more.
Although most of the long-term effects that victims of falls suffer are typically physical, it is important to know that falls can also lead to mental and emotional trauma. As a matter of fact, elderly individuals who fall often have post-fall syndrome, which is a direct fear or anxiety about falling again. Most people who show signs of post-fall syndrome refuse to move, do certain activities, or even walk on their own because they are afraid of the pain, injuries, or suffering that comes with falling.
Who is liable for my fall in York, PA?
If you fall at someone else’s house or business, the property owner is most likely liable for your fall. The reason for this is because they are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe, maintained, clean, and in good condition for anyone who enters. If there are any defects or issues with the property, they should provide a warning before anyone walks around or enters their property. If you experience a serious fall accident at a restaurant, grocery store, doctor’s office, gas station, mall, or a person’s home, the owner is usually the first person that is considered liable for your injuries and other losses caused by the fall.
Did you recently fall on a negligent person’s property? If so, contact the York premises liability attorneys at KBG Injury as soon as possible. We will investigate your accident, find key evidence pieces to support your claim, determine liability, and seek compensation from the responsible parties. Our lawyers advocate for our clients to receive the highest settlement amount possible, and we are ready and willing to do the same for you. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free consultation at one of our office locations in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, or Gettysburg today.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.