If you own a piece of public property like a retail store, you understand the need to keep floors clean and stairs free of trip hazards. Tripping on an uneven piece of floor or slipping on spilled liquid can cause a person to fall and suffer a serious injury. A fall that results in a blow to the head may even cause a traumatic brain injury.
TBIs can pose great health risks to people, including emotional distress, disability, or even death. Unfortunately, in the past decade, instances of older people taking a fall and sustaining a TBI have been on the rise.
Reasons for more falls
According to Everyday Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a March 6, 2020 study which explained that death rates from people sustaining TBIs from falls <a href=”https://www.everydayhealth.com/concussion/more-americans-dying-from-fall-related-brain-injuries/” target=”_blank” rel=”no opener no referrer”>have increased by 17%</a> over the past decade. The death rate especially rose among people 75 years of age and older. The Everyday Health article suggested a number of reasons that this has happened.
First, the population of the United States is aging, so there are more older people in the population than a decade ago. Also, more people are living longer. As a result, there are more people living with chronic health problems that may impair their balance or their coordination. Older people also have vision problems that may result in a fall.
Human inactivity may also explain the increase in falls. The article explained that people in developed countries are less active than in previous generations, which results in less exercise and lower physical development that may cause additional proneness to falling. Also, a greater number of older people live on their own than in past generations and have to handle household tasks and chores without assistance, which may increase their risk of falling.
If you are older or consider yourself a fall risk, you might prevent a fall through the right medication, physical exercise, or living with other people who may assist you with chores or tasks. Still, you might suffer a serious fall through no fault of your own. If you were to take a fall that causes a brain injury because of the negligence of a property owner, you may have a claim under the doctrine of premises liability.