Unintentional falls are a leading cause of serious injuries in adults aged 65 years and older. Loose carpet, rugs, and damaged carpets with curled edges are recognized as environmental hazards that may contribute to falls. Each year approximately 37,991 adults over the age of 65 are treated in the United States for falls associated with loose carpeting. This number represents 54.2% of all elderly people that trip-and-fall each year. Additionally, 45.8% of elderly trip-and-falls occur because of unstable rugs. 72.8% of falls occur within the home, and 80% of elderly falls are women. Falls are the number 1 leading cause of all emergency room visits in adults aged 65+ and lead to more hospital admissions and deaths than any type of trauma.
There is not one single isolated cause of the elderly and trip-and-fall accidents, but falls typically occur because of multiple contributing factors. These factors include, but are not limited to; individuals susceptibilities that increase the risk of falls such as chronic functional impairments i.e. reduced balance or vision loss and acute illness. Other factors may include unsafe walking surfaces, obstacles in pathways, inappropriate footwear, and poor lighting.
Research has shown that hazardous rugs and carpets may be the most common environmental hazard in homes of older adults. One study has found that loose throw rugs are present in an astounding 78% of elder homes. Additionally, 38% of homes contained curled carpets (a major hazard in elderly), and an average of 11 rugs without non slip backing were found in each home. Further studies evidence that the type of flooring may increase the risk of serious fall-related injury. Case control studies have also shown that floor mats in hallways and bathmats significantly increased the number of falls in elderly that have these in their home.
Trip-And-Fall Causes by Loose Carpets
A trip occurs when your foot strikes an object resulting in a loss of balance. In a trip, your momentum causes your body to continue forward. Common causes for trips include;
- Cords or clutter in walkway
- An obstructed view
- Taking a shortcut instead of proven path
- Uneven stairs
- Curled Rugs
As little as 1/4 inch rise in a walkway can cause a person to stub there toe and trip-and-fall. Additionally, the same thing can happen when walking up or down a flight of stairs.
- Platforms and walkways shall be maintained in good repair, and reasonably free of oil, grease, or water. Mats, grates, or other methods that provide equivalent protection shall be used in areas where operation requires walking on slippery surfaces.
- Warning signs or other equally effective means (barricades) should be used as a warning system in areas where slip hazard is present
- Ensure floor mats are secure
Floor Mats and Rugs
The design of floor mats should include;
- Slip resistant surface on both top and bottom sides
- Beveled edges, flat edges or similar design should be used to help reduce likelihood of tripping on mats edges
- Slots or similar design to help promote drainage and prevent accumulation of water and grease
Prevention And Home Modification
Make sure to remove and replace any old carpeting or rugs that may be present in your home. Apply double adhesive tape to the back of the rug so it has sufficient traction with the floor. Additionally, the elderly should wear shoes with strong soles that are able to grip the floor. Shoes play an important role in trip-and-fall accidents and the number of falls would decrease significantly if the elderly worse proper footwear. Poor lighting is another huge cause of falls in the elderly. Always make sure that the lighting conditions are strong and don’t forget to change any old light bulbs to prevent a black out which could potentially result in a trip-and-fall accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, or any other type of falling accident, don’t hesitate to call our offices for your 100% free consultation and case evaluation.
Who Is Responsible For My Injury
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of injuries. Claims for damages usually arise when there is a hazardous or unreasonably dangerous condition on the walkway, sidewalk, (any premises) that the owner, manager, or shopkeeper knew or should have known about. If an individual is injured in a restaurant, store, market, or home as a result of an unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises, the owner of that property or premises will be responsible for compensating you for any injury you sustained on their premises.
Unreasonably Dangerous Conditions Causing Slip and Falls
- Snow, ice, wet spots
- Grease/ Polished floors
- Electrical Cords
- Drawers/Filing Cabinets
- Uneven sidewalks/ surfaces
- Loose gravel
Compensation for your injuries
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident then you are entitled to significant compensation for your loss. The compensation you receive for your injuries is called “damages.” Your compensation will come in the form of what is called “General and Special Damages.
Special damages are any costs that can be identified with a bill. A simple way to think about special damages is all “hard” costs, or costs that can be identified with a receipt. Your special damages in a slip-and-fall case will include; medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, loss of income, and any other costs associated with your fall.
General damages may include but is not limited to; Pain & suffering, lost earning capacity, and any cost that cannot be determined via a receipt. An example of general damages is if you can no longer lift your children as a result of your fall. There is no receipt for this type of loss and is difficult to put a number on this kind of harm. General damages are a perfect example of why one must hire an attorney immediately following their slip and fall accident.
Why Others Choose Us!
Our office will precisely and aggressively handle your case until the day we close it out. There is no case too big or too small for us to handle, and our team of highly experienced lawyers are here to answer any questions that you may have about your case. Our attorney’s are always available to take your phone call, and many client’s have developed personal relationships with the lawyers in our office. We send our client’s to the best doctors in the city and we always make sure that you see a physician that is closest to your home. If your injury requires an appointment with a specialist, we will make sure that you have an appointment with that specialist so that your injuries can be properly evaluated.
Many law firms in Los Angeles send their client’s to the same doctors over and over again regardless of their injuries. Our office has close relationships with some of the most renowned doctors in Los Angeles, and we will make sure that you and your injuries are adequately taken care of.
NOTE: Our team is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have regarding your case. Additionally, our office offers 100% free consultations and case evaluations, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call be it day or night.