Permanent Damage and Disabilities From Slip and Fall Injuries
Have you ever tripped and fallen down in public? It’s embarrassing enough if you’re young and fit, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, falling is the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries of adults aged 65 and older. If you, or someone close to you, is approaching or recently entered that age group, it’s important to understand the causes of falls and know that there are ways to prevent such incidents from occurring.
A fall can happen anywhere, even in your own home, driveway, or yard. They also occur commonly in public locations: malls, grocery stores, libraries, theaters, restaurants, office buildings, golf courses, swimming pools, or even in hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Causes of Slip and Falls
The most obvious causes of falls are slipping on debris or wet pavement, or tripping over an obstacle. Other causes include health issues, such as dizziness from a change in medication; changes in eyesight or hearing which can lead to loss of depth-perception or imbalance; osteoporosis which affects bone strength and stability; and leg or foot pain which can cause changes in gait. Environmental conditions can also lead to falls, such as poor lighting, loose floor-coverings, or lack of proper handrails or grab-bars.
Most people think first of hip fractures when they think of injuries from falls. Fractures are also common in the arms, hands, legs, feet, and ankles. Head trauma and spinal injuries are also frightening injuries that can be caused by a fall, and a recent article in the Journal of Neurotrauma pointed to an increasing rate of fall-related spinal cord injuries among older adults. Less serious injuries from falls may include lacerations and bruises, and of course, damage to the ego.
Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
Injuries from falls can lead to long hospital stays and mounting medical bills. If the victim is still working, there may a resulting loss of income as well. Fear of future falling incidents may instill fear of going out at all, adding to the loss of mobility and independence. This can make moving into an assisted-living facility the only option for many seniors who might otherwise have been able to continue living on their own.
Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid and prevent falling and the resultant injuries. First and foremost is a checkup with your doctor. Tell him about any near-falls you have had, and review your list of medications. Discuss the side effects of your medications and whether they may cause dizziness or instability. Also, visit your eye doctor and make sure that your prescription is up-to-date.
Keep your weight under control. Many activities which help with weight management will also improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Your doctor can work with you to find a form of exercise that is safe for you to do on your own or may be able to recommend a group exercise program or health coach who can tailor an exercise regimen to your abilities.
Take Steps to Prevent a Slip and Fall
Take advantage of physical aids to mobility. Wear sensible, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles and tight laces or Velcro fasteners. If your doctor has recommended a cane, walker, or wheelchair, make sure you understand proper usage and don’t leave it at home. Use handrails and grab-bars in public places, and have them installed in your own home.
If you’ve been lying down or sitting for a long period, be sure to stand up slowly to avoid dizziness. Before you head outside, check the weather forecast, or at least look outside so you can avoid icy or wet walkways and parking lots. If you live alone, make it a habit to check in daily with a family member or neighbor. If you do fall, it’s reassuring to know that someone will check on you if they haven’t heard from you.
Following these pointers may protect you or someone you love from being injured in a fall, but remember that you do have legal rights if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Sibley Dolman Gipe is a nationally recognized personal injury and civil trial law firm. Our personal injury lawyers have a combined 115 plus years of experience handling slip and fall cases. We have handled over 10,000 personal injury claims and lawsuits. Further, we have handled over 750 fall cases and are experienced in countering the manner in which insurance defense lawyers defense such claims in an effort to award a small fall settlement. We have had a number of cases settle for in excess of $1 million and numerous other lawsuits have resolved north of $500,000.00..
Stanley Gipe is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has tried numerous cases up to and through jury verdict. Less than two percent of Florida Bar members are Board Certified in their particular field. Board Certification connotes Stan is an expert in trial practice. We strongly believe that Stan’s experience and prior results lead to higher settlement offers as insurance carriers are well aware that if they fail to make a reasonable offer to a Sibley Dolman Gipe client; they will see us in Court.
Matthew Dolman has served as lead counsel on over 1000 serious and often catastrophic injury lawsuits. He has formerly been selected by his colleagues to Florida Legal Elite (featured in Florida Trend’s magazine) on three occasions and has similarly been voted by his colleagues as a Florida Super Lawyer on multiple occasions. Matthew is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for obtaining a case resolution in excess of $1 million and $2 million respectively.
Our law firm has the financial resources to go up against any corporate giant. In fact, we have handled lawsuits against Bloomin Brands (Carraba’s and Outback Steakhouse), Walmart, Target, Publix, Cash & Carry, Walt Disney World, Hyatt, Marriott, and every conceivable major auto insurance carrier. Our goal is to level the playing field by retaining the best experts necessary to illustrate the harms and losses you have suffered. To set up a free consultation with Sibley Dolman Gipe you can either fill out a contact form online or call our Clearwater office at (727) 222-6922.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765