This article, provided by the Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Millar & Mixon, LLC, offers information on slip and fall injuries.
Understanding Slip and Fall Injuries Slips and falls can occur while at work, shopping in a grocery store, at or near a construction site, on the street or sidewalk, or on other public or private properties. Often falls only result in a few minor bruises, scrapes, or scratches, but most are shocked to learn just how many people receive serious personal injuries in Atlanta slip and fall accidents, Decatur slip and fall accidents, as well as the number and frequency of slip and fall accidents in the remainder of the U.S. Advertising Space - After your Hub is published advertisements may be placed in this space. Please note, it can take some time after you publish for the ads to match the content of your Hub. Slip and Fall Statistics According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Safety Council: Slips and falls follow behind only automobile accidents, and are the second leading cause of accidental deaths and disabilities. Injuries resulting from slips and falls cost U.S. citizens/taxpayers approximately $36 billion each year. Over 50 percent of Americans over the age of 40 will suffer a serious slip and fall accident during their lifetimes. Significant slips and falls are experienced by more than one million people each year in the U.S. An average of 17,000 U.S. residents die as the result of their slips and falls. Injuries suffered from slip and fall accidents include head and brain trauma injuries, joint injuries, as well as injuries to wrists, shoulders, backs, knees, and hips— especially in the elderly. Slips and falls account for more visits to emergency rooms than any other reason. Including medical/hospital bills, the cost of physical therapy, and lost wages, the average expense for a slip and fall injury costs over $20,000. 95 million work days are lost each year as the result of slip and fall accident injuries. 70 percent of all slip and fall accidents happen on level ground. Slips and falls result in more worker fatalities than all other job-related worker fatalities combined. Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of work-related injury. Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents on the job are often more serious than injuries sustained elsewhere. Per incident, the average number of working days an employee misses due to injuries suffered in slips and falls is 38 days. In the food service industry alone, each year over three million employees and over one million guests receive injuries which are the result of slip and fall accidents.
Georgia Premises Liability Law Under Georgia premises liability law, businesses and municipalities are required to correct hazardous conditions which may contribute to slips and falls and cause injuries. Conditions required to be corrected include uneven surfaces, loose pieces of concrete, wet floors, insufficient lighting conditions, etc. At trial the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant either knew or should have known about the existence of the hazardous condition and that the condition was the cause of the slip and fall. As can be seen in the following instance, awards for damages incurred in slip and fall incidents can be significant. March 2011, Atlanta Slip and Fall Case A Fulton County jury awarded a Norcross, Georgia woman $1.14 million after she suffered permanent damage to her foot after tripping and falling on loose concrete near Underground Atlanta. The woman’s heel became caught in the sidewalk as she was crossing the intersection of Alabama and Pryor Streets. Several surgeries were needed in order to repair the woman’s ankle. Her attorneys brought suit against the city of Atlanta. They argued that the city was aware of the hazardous condition of the sidewalk and had failed to correct the problem in a reasonable amount of time. The jury sided with the plaintiff in the case and awarded her $2,500 for medical bills related to her injury, $125,000 for wages lost due to time missed from work, and $1,000,000 for pain and emotional suffering the victim experienced as the result of her injury. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) The single most serious injury sustained as the result of slip and fall accidents is traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI symptoms vary according to whether the brain injury is mild, moderate, or severe. An individual does not have to have experienced a black out one hour long in duration or bleeding from the nose or the head. In cases of mild traumatic brain injury which is often the result of slip and fall accidents, the injured person may experience only a momentary loss of consciousness, lasting for just a few minutes. The victim of a mild traumatic brain injury may experience the following symptoms: Dizziness Blurred vision Headaches Difficulty sleeping Problems concentrating or paying attention Fatigue, etc.
The victim of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may experience the same symptoms as the victim of mild traumatic brain injury and in addition:
Nausea and vomiting Severe headache that does not go away Difficulty in waking from sleep Confusion Loss of coordination Restlessness Seizures Convulsions If the trauma resulted in a blood clot, victims may be unable to recognize familiar people and experience slurred speech or even loss of consciousness.
Seniors at Greatest Risk for Slips and Falls Because of their age, loss of balance, gait, vision problems, and other factors, Atlanta seniors are at a high risk of suffering serious injuries as the result of slip and fall accidents. Older adults who tend to focus on obstacles directly ahead and not those nearby are at a higher risk of experiencing a slip and fall accident than younger adults who look at objects in front of them. Seniors are more likely to suffer from failing vision, thereby affecting their ability to spot hazards that may contribute to a slip and fall. Their sense of balance and coordination begins to fail as well, also increasing their risks of a slip and fall accident. Poor reflexes might impair the ability of seniors to grab onto something at the start of their fall in order to prevent the fall from continuing. Many seniors experience osteoporosis, decreased bone mineral density, and are at a higher risk of suffering broken bones and hip fractures. A hip fracture experienced by a senior is much more serious than one experienced by a younger person. Old bones take longer to heal, and seniors are not always likely candidates for surgery due to the presence of other medical problems/conditions. Owners of commercial property, apartment building owners and others must ensure that their properties are safe for seniors who are at the greatest risk of becoming injured from slips and falls. If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident, Contact an Atlanta Slip and Fall Accident Attorney at Millar & Mixon, LLC Call (877) 475-7615 or fill out our online contact form. No recovery, no fee! These articles are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Professional legal counsel should be sought for specific advice relevant to your circumstances.