Over the past 2 decades, there has been a staggering increase in the number of fatal slip and fall accidents involving American seniors, with the rate doubling during this period of time.
Slip and fall accidents are a major cause of wrongful deaths and personal injury involving seniors, and in fact, according to some statistics, contribute to the highest number of wrongful deaths involving seniors every year. However, a new study shows exactly how alarming those risks are, and how dramatically those wrongful death rates have increased. The study by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University shows that in 1999, there were a total of 10,100 fatal slip and fall accidents involving American seniors above the age of 65. By the year 2020, that number increased to 36,500 fatal slip and fall accidents involving seniors.
That is a staggering increase, and seems to show that in spite of advancements in fall protection for seniors, these personal injuries are only increasing. The researchers say that there simply is not enough of a focus on slip and fall prevention involving senior citizens, and that is contributing to this increase. The study also shows that fatal slip and fall accident rates seem to have increased among all categories of seniors since 1999. Rates seem to have increased for both men and women. White male adults had the highest slip and fall death rate with as many as 78 deaths for 100,000 population in 2020. Fall-related death rates also rose for black, native American, Hispanic and Asian seniors.
The researchers speculate that there are certain factors that could be responsible for this two-fold increase in fatal slip and fall accidents involving seniors over two decades. For one thing, seniors now are surviving life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes that were more likely to be fatal 20 years ago. A person’s physical condition after a heart attack or stroke may be frail, and, therefore, may contribute to increased slip and fall risks. Additionally, seniors are now more likely to be on medication for diseases like cardiovascular disease. These medications could have side effects including loss of balance, confusion and disorientation, elevating slip and fall risks further.
The researchers believe that an increased focus on slip and fall prevention could help reduce those fall risks among seniors. They also believe that seniors need to be encouraged to come forward and seek medical attention when they suffer a slip and fall, even when they do not believe they suffered any personal injury. As it stands now, most seniors only seek medical attention when the slip and fall clearly has resulted in some kind of personal injury or fracture.
The Atlanta attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in an accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.