Slip-and-fall accidents can happen to anyone, at any time. When a surface contains a dangerous defect, such as a wet spot or food debris, it can be disastrous for unsuspecting visitors. Most slip-and-falls are preventable with a property owner’s due care and prudent property management. Learning more about slip-and-fall accidents could help you discover whether you have grounds for a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Ciccarelli Law Offices’ Philadelphia slip-and-fall accident attorney can answer any question you have regarding these types of accidents.
About 8 Million People Go to the ER for Falls Annually
Falls are extremely common accidents, sending around eight million victims to emergency rooms throughout the country per year according to the National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI). About one million of these visits (12%) stem from slip-and-fall accidents. That equates to about 2,000 ER visits from slip-and-fall accidents per day.
Falls Are Common in the Workplace
In 2016, 831 workers throughout the U.S. lost their lives in various fall accidents, according to the National Safety Council. An additional 48,060 suffered serious enough injuries to require taking sick leave from work. The majority of these workers (697) fell to a lower level, but 134 died after same-level falls. The risk of falls at work is highest for workers in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail.
Falls Are the Number One Killer in Construction
Falls at work take more lives in the construction industry each year than any other type of accident. In 2017, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data recorded 381 fall-related deaths in construction. Falls accounted for 39.2% of all worker fatalities in construction in 2017. Statistically, men are more likely to suffer serious falls in the workplace than women.
Lack of Fall Protection Is the Most Commonly Violated Safety Standard
Employers in the U.S. must obey safety rules, protocols and regulations set in place by OSHA. Ignoring these rules to save time or money could cause a serious or fatal workplace fall. The most frequently cited OSHA standard violated in the fiscal year 2018 was a lack of fall protection in the construction industry. This safety violation contributed to many worker fall injuries and deaths. Workers injured in slip-and-fall accidents could be eligible for compensation.
By 2030, 7 People Will Die in Falls Every Hour
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that if fall rates continue to climb as they have over the past decade, by the year 2030 seven people will die in slip- or trip-and-fall accidents per hour in the U.S. Currently, the fatal fall rate is 61 deaths per 100,000 people – an increase from 47 deaths per 100,000 in 2007.
20% of Falls Cause Serious Injuries
The CDC also states that 20%, or one in five, falls lead to serious injuries. Serious injuries can include bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, major sprains and traumatic brain injuries. Victims of severe slip-and-fall accidents may never fully recover from their injuries. Fractures are the most common serious injury from falls, occurring in 5% of victims.
Serious Falls Are Most Common in the Elderly
Data from the NSFI highlights the dangers of falls for the elderly. Poor vision, disabilities, lack of mobility, bad balance, muscle weakness and conditions such as vertigo can contribute to the risk of fall accidents for seniors.
1 in 3 Older Adults Experience Falls Annually
The NFSI also reports that one in three people over the age of 65 will suffer a fall each year in the U.S. Thousands of people over 65 die each year because of falls. The risk of falling increases with every 10 years of life.
All Falls Are Preventable
Falls are the outcome of one or more parties’ negligence. If an employer, property owner, product manufacturer or another party fails to ensure the safety of a premises, a slip-and-fall accident could occur. Due care to prevent slip-and-fall risks such as wet or slippery floors could prevent related accidents, injuries and deaths.
Victims Can Receive Compensation in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws allow victims of slip-and-fall accidents to seek financial compensation for their injuries from at-fault parties. Filing a slip-and-fall accident claim against a negligent or careless party could result in payment for fall-related medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and other damages.