Slip and Fall

Falls are no joke for those 65 years old and up. While young people may be able to shake it off, the elderly struggle more with slip-and-fall events, which can often turn fatal. Even when they survive, senior citizens can be facing serious injuries and high medical costs.

CDC Statistics

Just how serious are falls? According to the CDC the unintentional death rate has been on the rise. In 2005, about 42 out of every 100,000 turned fatal. By 2010, it was much closer to 53. In 2014, the rate had hit roughly 58.

Millions of Incidents

The CDC also noted that about 2.8 million older people end up in the ER every year for injuries sustained in falls. About 20 percent of falls lead to fractures, head injuries, and similar serious conditions. Around 800,000 individuals end up needing to stay in the hospital for ongoing care after falls every year. Common injuries include those to the head and the hips. In fact, around 300,000 elderly people find themselves in the hospital with hip injuries annually. The statistics show that an incredible 95 percent of these injuries happen when people fall. Naturally, hip injuries are most common when falling to the side. Finally, falls cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) so often that they're the leading cause.

The Cost

So, what do all of these falls cost? Estimates, which take inflation into account, suggest that the total direct cost comes in at about $31 billion each year. Around two-thirds of the cost, or roughly $20 billion, comes from hospital bills.

Unsafe Conditions

There are many unsafe conditions that can lead to falls, from apartments that have not been properly maintained to patches of ice and snow that haven't been removed in a timely manner to slippy floors in supermarkets that aren't marked. If you have been seriously injured or if an elderly relative has passed away from such an accident, you need to know what rights you could have to compensation.