While many people think of the "slip and fall" as the source of countless frivolous lawsuits, this could not be further from the truth. These accidents are some of the most common in the United States, with some 1 million people suffering injuries as the result of falls every year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20,000 people die annually after slip and falls. Additionally, falls account for approximately 15% of jobsite accidents, and account for between 12 and 15% of the total of workers' compensation costs. With numbers like these, it's hard to ignore the danger that falls present.
Furthermore, the CDC estimates that of the million people injured in unintentional falls every year, approximately 20 to 30% will suffer moderate to severe injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
According to the CDC, falls can be divided into two different types: same-level and elevated. The differences between these two types of accidents are numerous, and their implications can be disparate.
This is the most common form of fall, and occurs when you slip on a surface you're walking on, with no change in elevation following your accident. Normally, you could trip and hit either the surface you are walking on or another object on the ground. Some of the most common examples of this type of accident include:
- Tripping over electrical cords or power lines
- Tripping on door jams and lips
- Falling over objects left on the sidewalk or in a walking-g area slipping on wet floors in or around businesses
- Slipping on ice on pavement, such as roads, driveways, or sidewalks
The majority of unintentional falls fall into this category.