At least 10 percent of Americans over 18 years old fall each year, according to reports. But do not assume that fall injuries are minor or just inconvenient because slip and falls can cause serious injuries, particularly traumatic brain injury, for all age groups. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the number of people who died in this country from TBI suffered in falls rose substantially.
A TBI is a head injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body or a penetrating head injury which disrupts normal brain functioning. Falls are the leading cause of TBI. Unintentional falls comprise the second leading cause of TBI fatalities in this country, according to the CDC.
There were 17,408 fall related TBI fatalities in this country in 2017. The rate of TBI deaths related to falls, adjusted for age, rose 17 percent from 2008 to 2017. Minnesota and 28 other state had significant increases in these fatalities during that time.
All age groups experienced increases, according to the CDC. The rise in these deaths was notable for people who were 75 years and older or living in rural counties. Fatality rates for people who were at least 75 was eight times greater than those 55 to 74-years old.
The CDC attributed these rates to people vulnerable to TBI injuries because of longer survivability rates for diseases such as stroke, heart disease and cancer. The population of older adults has also rose.
The rate of fall related TBI deaths was also highest among males in 2017. The CDC attributes this to a higher proportion of men falling off ladders.
But the general increase in these fatalities, particularly among older Americans, indicates that there are many causes. Falling down steps at home or from a step ladder are examples.
These may also involve another person’s negligence such as an unattended spill in a store or restaurant or slippery or icy sidewalks or stairs. Failure to make repairs, such as fixing a broken handrail or flooring, can also cause these injuries. Lack of warning about dangerous conditions are another cause.
An attorney can gather evidence of negligence and a dangerous condition. They can help assure that a person injured from a slip and fall can pursue compensation.