Slip and Fall Accidents in Maine
Serving Injury Victims in Portland, Bangor, Biddeford, Saco and Augusta
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls are one of the most common causes of unintentional injuries in the US. A slip and fall occurs when a victim slips on a hazard such as standing water or ice which causes them to lose their balance and fall. While some falls result in very minor injury, many can lead to serious injury and even death. Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death in the country after auto accidents. In 2009, for example, falls were responsible for over 25,000 fatalities. In 2011, about 8.9 million visits to the emergency room resulted from injuries sustained from a fall.
Not only are slip and falls common, they can lead to significant injury. Based on information from The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), it can be seen that falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits every year including 1 million visits due to slip and fall injuries. Altogether, slip and falls are responsible for 11% of hospital visits each year and falls are responsible for 21.3%.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Maine, call an injury attorney right away to find and out more about your rights.
Maine Slip and Fall Injuries
There are a number of ways that a fall can lead to injury. The NFSI states that fractures are the most serious common result and occur in 5% of victims. Other injuries include bruising, broken bones, dental injuries and facial injuries. Hip fractures are the most serious most common type of fracture. All of these injuries can lead to steep medical bills and, in some cases, an inability to work for some period of time. When the injury is the result of someone's negligence, they can be held liable for the damage they inflicted.
In order to prevent visitors from being hurt, landowners, property management, employers and business employees need to make sure that their premises are kept safe from slip and fall hazards. According to the NFSI, common locations for falls include the following locations:
- Cluttered hallways
- Areas with heavy traffic
- Uneven surfaces
- Areas prone to wetness or spills
- Unguarded heights
- Unstable work surfaces
The National Safety Council recommends that, in order to prevent tripping and slipping hazards, phone and electrical cords and small objects should be kept out of walkways and stairs, spills should be cleaned up immediately and periodic checks should be performed in all walkways and stairwells in order to check for potential hazards.
If a party neglects their duty of care, the victim is entitled to seek compensation for their expenses including medical bills, lost wages and more. If a death results from a fall, the victim's family could collect for funeral expenses and wrongful death.
Falls and the Elderly
Falls can be particularly dangerous to the elderly. The CDC reports that, each year, about 1.8 million people over the age of 65 are treated in the emergency room for injuries sustained from falls. Elderly individuals are not only frailer, they often have balance issues. These two facts coupled together make seniors very prone to fatal falls. In 2005 more than 15,000 people 65 and older died after experiencing a fall. According to the NFSI, adults aged 65 and older are 4 times more likely to experience a fatal fall then other age group. Nursing homes and retirement communities should take special care to make sure that all slipping hazards are removed promptly.
Work Place Hazards
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls are responsible for the majority of work related accidents in the US. They estimate that 15% of all accidental deaths are caused by falls and therefore employers should take extra care to make sure that walking and working surfaces are free from slipping hazards. The NFSI also found that slip and falls are the primary cause for injury related lost days from work. Slip and falls are the leading cause of Worker's Compensation claims and occupational injuries for people aged 65 and older.
Call a Portland Slip and Fall Attorney
A slip and fall injury can lead to steep medical bills, inability to work and even death in some circumstances. If you have been the victim of a fall accident caused by another party's carelessness, The Law Offices of William T. Bly can help you. Call us now to find out more about what types of compensation you may be entitled to.