Many equate falls with clumsiness. However, tripping and hurtling towards a floor or other obstacle can result in serious injuries and death. In New York, falls account for the most hospitalizations in the state. Those most susceptible are young children up to 14 years old and adults over 25. The most vulnerable are the elderly.
Regardless of age, fall-related injuries may make it very difficult for a person to live on their own, take care of themselves, or perform everyday activities.
The health risks
Falls can result in serious injuries that can range from bruises and broken bones to nerve damage and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by a sudden external impact to the skull or brain. In fact, falls rank high as the leading cause of brain injuries along with motor vehicle accidents. Victims are oftentimes left with disabling or permanent injuries.
The financial burden in New York
In New York, approximately 400 accidents result in a traumatic brain injury on a daily basis. Annually, TBIs result in more than 19,000 hospitalizations, 112,000 emergency room visits, and 2,000 deaths. These tragic accidents create a substantial financial burden on the state, with annual costs of hospital visits exceeding over $1 billion annually.
Prevention only goes so far
Proactive steps can make a difference to those more prone to falls. Minimizing, if not preventing falls, can be as simple as keeping a house well-lit, using a step stool for out-of-reach items, and installing handrails or stairways. For infants, parents should be more attentive, mainly on elevated surfaces that may lack a safety gate.
However, when you are outside of your home and can no longer control your environment, you could suddenly lose your balance on a cracked or uneven sidewalk. A trip to the store could result in slipping on a wet surface.
Overall, falls are costly, both financially and personally. A once active life could be impaired or at an end due to the negligence of another individual. Options exist to minimize falls, but for those who find themselves victimized by negligent acts committed by others, legal help is a valid option to hold them accountable and secure the compensation you deserve.