Anyone can slip and fall. Yet, the dangers are more severe for California’s elderly residents. One in four elderly Americans suffers a fall each year, according to the National Council on Aging. Falls are the leading cause of trauma admissions for seniors. Most falls cause minor injuries like contusions, abrasions, and lacerations – but even these small wounds can become big problems in seniors with delayed healing.
In California, 20 to 30 percent of senior falls result in moderate to severe injuries — like head trauma, broken bones, a fractured hip, or damaged joints — that can cause limited mobility, loss of independence, social isolation, depression, and even premature death.
When a person over the age of 65 slips and falls in California, it is worth speaking with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Salamati Law to find out if a liability issue could result in financial compensation.
Elderly Slip and Fall Scenarios Resulting in Lawsuits
Sometimes an elderly slip and fall is just an accident. For instance, if a person falls at the home he or she owns, there is typically no one else to blame. However, in a number of circumstances, another person or entity can be held responsible for contributing to the cause of the fall. Situations include:
- Nursing home slip and fall accidents
- Hospital slip and fall accidents
- Workplace slip and fall accidents
- Slip and fall accidents while visiting a friend or neighbor
- Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks that have been improperly maintained by homeowners or government municipalities
- Condo or apartment slip and fall accidents in common areas
- Parking lot slip and fall accidents
- Supermarket, movie theater, or retail establishment slip and fall accidents
While one may not be keen on filing a lawsuit against a friend or neighbor, it is typically the homeowner’s insurance policy that pays out the compensation. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will investigate the claim to see if a liability issue exists.
Elderly Fall Damages
When successful, lawsuits following an elderly fall can result in money for:
- All related medical expenses: Victims of any age are entitled to money for ambulance rides, diagnostic imaging, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor copays, medications, rehabilitative therapy, and counseling. However, older Californians are more likely to have severe and long-lasting injuries resulting in substantial medical costs.
- Lost wages: More than one million seniors (about 19 percent of Californians 65) are in the labor force. Seniors who are still working can receive compensation for past, present, and future lost wages. A forensic economist can help determine how much an elder’s working career might be worth.
- An estimated amount of pain and suffering: For an older Californian, it’s difficult to put a price tag on mobility and independence. Debilitating injuries from falls take an enormous toll on a senior’s happiness, causing anxiety, depression, and decreased lifespan in many cases. The courts may take the amount of tangible damages and multiply them by 1.5 to 5x to calculate a reasonable pain and suffering estimation.
- Punitive damages: Some cases of negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct strikes the court as so gross and outrageous, punitive damages result to financially hurt the defendant and send a message that such egregious an offense will not be tolerated. Though rare, this amount can take a case well into the hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of dollars. The severity of the injury and quality of the evidence will be taken into consideration in doling out punishment.
An experienced attorney will not let you settle for less than your case is worth.
How Can A Fall Risk Be Reduced?
California property owners owe a duty of care to reduce the fall risk for any person visiting the premises, whether an elder or not. Adequate lighting, non-slip stairs, handrails, mopped-up spills, salted walkways, and well-maintained properties in good repair are all steps a reasonable property owner might take to alleviate the risk of a senior slip and fall injury occurring on the grounds.
Do You Need A Slip and Fall Lawyer?
Salamati Law can provide you with a compassionate Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer with experience in premises liability claims. We’ll conduct a full investigation to determine what happened in the moments before the fall. If negligence or recklessness is a factor, the insurance settlement or jury award can help cover the cost of medical care and long-term rehabilitation, while providing some measure of pain and suffering compensation to account for the loss in quality of life.
Our successful firm works on a contingency basis, meaning that victims pay nothing upfront to pursue their cases and only pay the standard legal fee upon the successful resolution of their case. Call now to schedule a free consultation.