Each year, more than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are treated in emergency departments for slip and fall-related injuries. Nearly 400,000 are hospitalized, making falls the leading cause of injury among senior citizens in Wisconsin.
Young people are also injured in falls, but a minor fall for a twenty-year-old can be very dangerous for an elderly person. Twenty percent of falls involving those over 65 result in serious injury, including hip fracture, spine injury, brain injury, or even death. Nearly 12,000 senior citizens die from fall-related injuries per year.
Why are the elderly so vulnerable to falls? One reason may that reflexes and reaction time slow as a person ages. Other reasons include:
- Changes in balance
- Loss of muscle mass
- Changes in depth perception when wearing bifocals
- Decreased vision
- Medication side-effects
As people age, their bones become more fragile and more prone to breaking. In some cases, even a minor fall can cause bones to shatter.
Businesses and property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for all visitors. They must provide safe walkways that are free from hazards that can cause sip and fall accidents. Stairways should have handrails and be well lit. If a business does not take steps to protect elderly visitors from slip and falls, the business may be held liable if a person is injured.
If you or someone you love was injured in a fall at a Wisconsin grocery store, bank, restaurant or nursing home, you may have a Wisconsin premises liability claim. To learn more, contact the Milwaukee accident lawyers at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.