Most people who slip in a public place don’t suffer serious injuries. They might bruise their tailbone or their ego but won’t have any long-term damage. However, people sometimes do get seriously hurt in slip-and-fall incidents.
Someone unable to stop their fall or brace themselves could hit their head and suffer a traumatic brain injury. Someone trying to catch themselves or slow their fall might break a bone on the way down. Broken bones or fractures are among the more common serious injuries people can suffer when they fall.
A fracture can be obvious, especially if it’s a compound fracture that breaks the skin. Hairline fractures that remain stable may not be as obvious. Someone might not realize they have broken their arm until they try to lift something later, for example. How likely are you to suffer a broken bone if you have a slip and fall while grocery shopping?
Broken bones are a common consequence of public falls
Every year, millions of people slip and fall while out in public spaces. About a million of them will have to go to emergency rooms to seek immediate trauma care. Others may go to see their physician because they realize their injury is serious but not an emergency.
Statistics about reported slip-and-fall injuries indicate that approximately 5% or one in every 20 slip-and-fall incidents results in broken bones. People who fall in a public place may need thousands of dollars in medical care and could require extended leaves of absence from work because of their injuries. Those losses could devastate working-class Americans who don’t have enough in savings to pay their bills when they don’t have any income.
Those who slip and fall may be able to ask for compensation
When a business or property manager makes their space open to the public, they knowingly incur premises liability. They may have financial responsibility if someone suffers serious injuries on their property.
Both landlords and businesses often carry premises liability insurance to protect them from financial losses if someone gets hurt while visiting their property. In cases where obvious negligence or misconduct on the part of a property owner contributes to someone’s injuries, the person who got hurt may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit to recover the losses they suffered.
Recognizing the financial risks that can come from a slip-and-fall can help you protect yourself if you experience one.