Riverview Slip and Fall Lawyer
In the 1980s and 1990s, the catchphrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” from a medical alarm commercial for senior citizens became a popular culture phenomenon, as well as source material for many jokes. Indeed, despite the humor attributed to the commercial, the premise was based on an undeniable fact: slip and falls are the leading cause of accident-related emergency room visits and injury-related death in seniors over the age of 65. What is shocking is that serious injuries from slip and falls are not limited to the ubiquitous broken hip and can include devastating and tragic injuries to the spinal cord and even death.
Long before law school and opening a personal injury law office in Riverview, Florida, I witnessed members of my family experience serious slip and fall injuries. When I was nine years old, for example, my dad called and informed me my grandmother was in the hospital. My parents divorced when I was 3, and they both worked full time, so I was essentially raised by my grandparents. Learning that one of them was hurt was devastating. Looking back on it now as a Riverview personal injury lawyer, what happened to my “Mammy Rose” is a common occurrence. She was in a Dollar Store and tripped over a bundled piece of carpet. She suffered serious personal injuries from her fall including a fractured hip and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital.
On a different occasion, my aunt slipped and fell in a grocery store on a spot where a customer had, a few minutes earlier, spilled some water on the floor. My aunt also had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance. She suffered a fractured humerus in her shoulder and a torn meniscus in her knee from this slip and fall at the grocery store.
Recently, another aunt slipped and fell in a Brandon, FL restaurant. Unbeknownst to her, a hole in the wooden walkway of the restaurant had been covered by a throw rug hiding the existence of the hole. She stepped on to the spot, her foot partially falling through the hole and fell. She likewise suffered serious personal injuries, including a torn ligament in her shoulder.
While the personal injuries my family suffered from their respective slip and falls were serious, slip and falls can cause even more serious injuries to the spinal cord and even death.
Spinal Cord Injuries from Slip and Falls
As unlikely as it may seem, a slip, trip or fall can also result in a serious injury to the spine and spinal cord. Many us who grew up watching the original Superman movies recall the tragic horse riding accident involving the actor who played Superman, Christopher Reeve. Christopher Reeve’s equestrian accident left him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. Tragically, accidents that cause paralysis are not limited to dangerous sports and automobile accidents.
Paralysis, which is the loss of a function in a body, typically the arms and/or legs can take several forms. For example, monoplegia is the paralysis of one arm or leg. The term quadriplegic refers to the four limbs, both arms and legs, while the term paraplegic or paraplegia refers to paralysis of both legs. When the head or back sustain a significant impact resulting in injury to the brain or spinal cord, paralysis is a risk. You may be reading this article and thinking, “really paralysis from slipping and falling” or “can I become a paraplegic or quadriplegic from a simple slip and fall?” Unfortunately the answer is yes. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls cause 15% of all spinal cord injuries. For slip and fall victims over the age of 65, slip and falls are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. In fact, slip and falls result in over 1 million emergency room visits every year.
Wrongful Death from Slip and Fall
For our senior citizens, they are more likely to die from a slip and fall than any other accidental death. More than 15,000 people over the age of 65 die each your from a slip and fall accident. Special needs citizens are also at risk. In 2011, a man with Down’s Syndrome slipped and fell on a wet floor at an Orlando hotel resulting in his death.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury from a slip and fall accident, it is vital to consult with a Riverview personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights. To contact a Riverview personal injury lawyer for a free consultation, call Santini Law at 813-445-6121 today.