According to data released by the National Safety Council, slip, trip and fall accidents are the number one cause of injury-related fatalities for people over the age of 65. Over 8 million people will visit the emergency room each year for slips and falls. Florida has the highest percentage of senior citizens in any state with 16.8 percent of the population being 65 years of age or older. This places Florida’s senior community at an increased risk of serious slip and fall accidents.
The National Safety Council also released data that showed that people over the age of 65 are four times more likely to suffer a fatality from a slip and fall accident than any other age group. These falls often occur on stairs, from tripping over obstacles like rugs and carpets, unseen steps up or down, uneven sidewalks, weather conditions, as well as falling from step stools or ladders.
Injuries suffered by seniors in a slip and fall accident are often not the direct cause of a fatality. The most common injuries are broken hips, legs, wrists, arms and shoulders. It is often complications or secondary conditions, like heart failure, blood clots and stroke following the injury that can prove fatal. Premises liability is very often involved in Florida senior slip and fall accidents.
Recently Amended Florida Premises Liability Laws
The Florida statutes regarding slip and fall injuries were amended in 2010. Before the laws changed anyone who sustained injuries in Florida from a slip and fall needed only to show that a condition existed on the property that was a proximate cause of injury to the plaintiff.
The Florida legislature passed Florida Statute 768.0755, in 2010, which shifted the burden of proof over to the plaintiffs. It also required the plaintiffs to prove that the defendants knew about the hazard or should have known, and failed to correct it.
The Hazards of Senior Living
Many of those at high risk of a Florida senior slip and fall accidents are residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These premises may contain numerous housekeeping and maintenance issues that are potential slip and fall hazards. These hazards may include wet floors, broken pavement or uneven foot traffic areas, objects left on floors, loose electrical cords, a loose or missing hand rail and more.
A Slow Path to Recovery
Any senior who suffers a serious injury from a fall has a much longer and difficult path to recovery than a younger individual. Rehabilitation times can be extensive if rehabilitation is even an option. They may lose their independence completely and require around the clock aid. Even if they recover, the risk of a second fall and serious injury is increased manifold, which is often not survivable.
Anyone, especially seniors, who are injured in a slip and fall accident should seek the counsel of an experienced premises liability attorney. The amended laws make proving negligence more difficult and only a highly experienced attorney is qualified to handle the case.
If you or a loved one suffered a Florida senior slip and fall accident and was seriously injured, reach out to Dolman Law Group for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. If you or a loved one suffered due to the negligence of another, you could receive significant compensation to pay for long term medical bills, rehabilitation, pain, and suffering. Medicare will not cover the cost of everything and does not compensate for your suffering. Call an experienced premises liability lawyer at 727-853-6275 today. Dolman Law Group has recovered substantial awards for seniors injured in slip and fall accidents.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652