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Two fall-related injuries that can be especially dangerous for seniors

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Two different people who suffer a fall under the same conditions (such as a wet floor, a loose piece of concrete or a broken handrail) can experience two very different outcomes. One may suffer very serious injuries, while the other may have just a few bruises or maybe a mild concussion.

While no injuries after a fall – no matter how seemingly minor – should be ignored, it’s important to realize that older people are more likely to suffer serious injuries, including the following, than those younger than them.

Hip fractures

Fractures in general are more likely to occur as people get older and their bones become frailer. Women, in particular, suffer a loss of bone density which can lead to a higher fracture risk.

Hip fractures can result in serious outcomes for a number of reasons. They generally require surgery followed by a hospital stay and time in a rehabilitation facility, which can expose them to other health hazards. Reduced mobility, even if it’s not permanent, can lead to physical and psychological decline from which some people never recover.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in seniors are most likely to result from falls. In fact, over 80% of them do. While no TBI is minor (as the name indicates), they can be more serious in seniors.

As people get older, their brains physically shrink. This creates more space between the brain and skull, with more room for the brain to move and suffer damage if the head strikes something (or vice versa). The veins connecting the brain to the skull also shrink. All of this shrinkage makes a subdural hematoma (bleeding in the brain) more likely. Obviously, this can be dangerous if it’s not caught and stopped quickly.

Age shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to liability

These and other injuries may require more extensive medical care, therapy and rehabilitation for an older person than they would for someone younger. If a fall was caused by another party’s negligence or actions, they can potentially be held liable for economic as well as non-economic damages.

Too often, unfortunately, seniors are told that they only fell because of their age or physical limitations. However, if there was an unsafe condition that could have caused anyone to be injured, it doesn’t matter how old the victim is or how much medical care they require as a result of their harm.

For this, and a host of other reasons, it’s important for seniors (or anyone) to avoid signing a liability waiver after a fall or other injury and to avoid agreeing to a settlement without experienced legal guidance.