(219)736-9700 info@davidholublaw.com

How to Avoid Falling

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from a caller who fell in a restaurant on a wet floor where people coming from outside tracked in snow and water. The caller was age 70 and had fallen a few months earlier.

She was concerned that the business might say it was her fault, but she was adamant that the floor was wet and that there were no warning signs and no floor mat to catch water being tracked in.

She had finished her meal and was ready to walk out when she slipped and suffered a painful broken shoulder.

According to the CDC, millions of people older than age 65 fall every year, and at least one out of four older people falls each year. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

So now you know why medical provider questionnaires at hospitals or facilities doing blood tests ask you to fill out information about prior falls.

They need to assess a patient’s fall risks. If they know you might fall, they must provide assistance to protect you in many situations.

Only about 20% of those that fall suffer a severe injury such as broken bones or a head injury.

Nevertheless, every year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

Of those 3 million, 800,000 patients end up being admitted overnight. A large number of hospital admissions are for hip fractures. But, the most common injury resulting from an older adult falling is traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Nobody wants to fall, and no one wants to suffer a wrist, arm, ankle, or hip fracture due to falling.

Many fall risk factors impact the elderly. They include:

  • Difficulties with walking and balance
  • Lower body weakness
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Using medicines that affect balance
  • Vision problems
  • Poor footwear

So, what can you do to reduce your fall risk?

  • Maybe your doctor can prescribe a walker or cane or talk to you about specific things you should avoid doing.
  • Ask your pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy, including a review of over-the-counter medications.
  • Take vitamin D supplements.
  • Do Strength and Balance Exercises. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and get new glasses when needed. If you need bifocals, ask about how to best learn to judge distance.
  • Were safe footwear.

Injury attorneys deal with fall injuries involving all age groups.

The standard of care owed to visitors does not change depending on the visitor’s age. Grocery store fall hazards are just as dangerous to the young as to the old.

Consult an attorney if you fall at a restaurant, department store, or another place of business.

Even if you have a history of falls.

Just because you have fallen in the past, it is still essential to determine what caused you to fall on a particular occasion.

Cracks in sidewalks, freshly mopped floors, and entranceways without a runner or floor mat all present unreasonable fall hazards.

A business that fails to protect against such hazards can be held legally liable.

The duty owed to visitors applies to the elderly and infirm as well as the young and healthy.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”