A recently-released study has found that although the number of acute traumatic spinal cord injuries has remained relatively stable over the last 20 years, there has been a big increase in spinal cord injuries among older adults. Experts associate the increase in injuries with an increase in the number of falls.
Traumatic spinal cord injury can lead to chronic impairment and disability. A person who suffers a traumatic spinal cord injury can have a decrease in his or her quality of life, and health care spending may skyrocket. In spite of the negative effects of spinal cord injuries, relatively little data is available on the causes of traumatic spinal cord injuries.
The new study looked at over 63,000 patients with acute traumatic spinal cord injuries between 1993 and 2012. The incidence rate for spinal cord injuries has remained relatively stable. Spinal cord injuries in younger men have declined, but among elderly people there was a high rate of increase between 1993 and 2012.
The biggest cause for the increase is falls. The percentage of spinal cord injuries in elderly individuals that is associated with falls increased from 28 percent in 1997-2000 to 66 percent in 2010-2012. According to experts, this is a major public health issue. The most likely cause is a more active elderly population today when compared with the 1990s.
In some cases, falls are because of the negligence of a property owner. Many property owners fail to maintain, repair, or properly clean their property. Landowners are required to maintain their property so that it does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to visitors to the property. A grocery store may fail to promptly clean up a spill. The owner of a restaurant may fail to keep the parking lot free from tripping hazards. In both of those cases, if an elderly person suffered a fall because of the dangerous condition, the property owner could be held liable for damages.
If you are injured because a property owner or a business establishment fails to keep their property safe, you may have the right to bring a claim for your damages. The damages could include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, there are some steps you should take that will help you pursue your claim. You should first seek medical attention. If possible, file a report with the property owner immediately after the accident, or as soon as you are able. You should get names of the property owners and property managers. Ask any witnesses for their contact information. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries. Make notes about the condition that caused you to slip. Keep the footwear and clothing you were wearing when the accident occurred. It’s important that you not give any detailed statements to insurance adjusters.
You should also speak with an attorney if you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. An attorney can help you file a claim against the property owner, file a lawsuit, negotiate a settlement, and more. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that any property owner who fails to make their property safe for visitors should be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result of the dangerous condition.
If you have been injured in a fall because of the property owner’s negligence, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco dangerous property attorney at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She can help you with your claim against the property owner. Call today to schedule your free consultation.