An abrupt fall, particularly on a very hard surface like cement or a hardwood floor, can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a spinal cord injury (SCI) or multiple broken bones. These can require surgery and other extensive treatment and have long-term effects.
This is especially true for seniors. The older people get, the more likely it is that a fall – even one from a standing or seated position – will cause serious injuries. Here are a few other facts:
- About three-fourths of SCIs in those over 75 are caused by falls.
- Seniors are more likely to suffer a TBI in a fall than younger people.
- Serious fractures are more common for seniors in a fall because people (especially women) lose bone density as they age.
What’s even more concerning is that people over 70 are three times more likely to die after suffering a fall than those younger than them. It’s not that they necessarily die as the direct result of their fall injuries (although that can happen with a TBI). An older person’s life can change drastically after a serious injury like a hip fracture.
Why hip fractures can have such serious outcomes
People with hip fractures typically require surgery, hospitalization and then some time in a rehabilitation facility. Even when they’re back home, if they have to rely on a wheelchair or walker for the first time in their lives, they tend to become more sedentary and less social. This can lead to a physical and emotional downward spiral.
Of course, this doesn’t have to happen. With good medical care, physical therapy and rehabilitation as well as a support system of family and friends, seniors can get back to at least a reasonably normal life.
This care and rehabilitation isn’t inexpensive. That’s why if your fall was caused by a property owner’s negligence, you can and should seek compensation to cover your expenses and other damages.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your fall was the result of age or infirmity if it wasn’t or that they aren’t responsible for extensive medical bills that you wouldn’t have had if you were younger. These things have nothing to do with liability. An important early step is to get experienced legal guidance to protect and assert your right to fair compensation.