What Are the Effects of a Fall on an Older Person?


As we age, our risk of falling increases, and the effects can be more serious. Even falling from a standing position can cause serious injuries or even be fatal for seniors. 

Whenever older ones fall, they need medical care and support. However, if someone else’s negligence caused the fall, your family or family member may also be entitled to compensation. Rather than being left out of pocket by your injuries, talk to one of our fast-working premises liability lawyers at Gould Injury Law.

We pride ourselves on providing fast results for our clients. If we take on your case, our dedicated legal team will aggressively pursue a fast resolution, seeking the best compensation possible. Talk to a slip and fall lawyer for free today by calling 888-WIN-FAST or reaching out via the contact form on our website.


Common Fall Injuries in Seniors

Sadly, one study by the University of Rochester Medical Center found that people over 70 are 3 times more likely to die from a ground-level fall than those aged under 70. 

Of course, most of the time, older people survive falls. Yet, there can still be long-term consequences. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in 5 falls in seniors leads to serious injuries. 

In 2015, the total cost for fall-related injuries was over $50 billion, and Medicare and Medicaid covered only 75 percent of these costs. So along with the pain and disability that can accompany a fall, seniors may be left with mounting financial problems.

According to the CDC, the two most common outcomes of falls in seniors are:

  1. Broken bones
  2. Head injuries

However, along with these physical issues, falls can cause psychological problems. These, in turn, can increase the risk of falling again.


Broken bones

Falls happen in a split second, yet it’s hard to resist the temptation to put our hands out to break our fall. The problem is that this often leads to broken wrists or arms. It’s also easy to break ankles and hips during a fall. 

Hip fractures are particularly concerning in older people. Such conditions are often caused by falling sideways, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that most hip fractures occur in people aged 65 and older. In addition, most people will need to have surgery soon after breaking a hip to reduce the pain and help them regain their mobility.

After surgery, there is a risk of developing complications, such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Bed sores

To prevent these negative outcomes, physiotherapy typically starts the day after surgery. Rehabilitation can take anywhere from 4 weeks to several months to recover from a broken hip. Yet, the sad truth is that older adults who undergo hip replacement surgery are 3 to 4 times more likely to die within 1 year than other people.

With co-pays for hospital stays, medication, and rehabilitation, plus the possible need for care at home, it’s easy to see how the bills can start to pile up for older people after a serious fall. If someone else’s actions or inactions caused your fall, you should not have to bear that financial burden. 

You have the right to pursue compensation so that you are not financially disadvantaged by someone else’s negligence, so take fast action. Our slip and fall attorneys can use all our firm’s resources to aggressively fight to secure the compensation you need as fast as possible.


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

Older people are at risk of TBIs if they hit their heads when they fall. Nearly three-quarters of people aged 65 and older who are taken to emergency rooms with a TBI after a fall will require hospitalization. 

A 2018 editorial on traumatic brain injury in older adults commented that seniors typically experience:

  • Higher morbidity (being unhealthy due to an ongoing condition) 
  • Increased mortality (death rates)
  • Slower recovery
  • Worse functional and cognitive outcomes

TBIs also increase the risk of older people developing depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Additionally, seniors who suffer a TBI during a slip-and-fall accident may require high levels of ongoing medical care and caretaker support. Older ones may also need to adapt their homes or even move into assisted living facilities. 

All of this comes with a very high price tag, which is a cost you should not have to bear if your accident was caused by negligence. Instead, get fast, effective legal help from Gould Injury Law.


When Seniors Develop Fear of Falling 

Fear of falling, also called post-fall anxiety, is easy to overlook, but it’s a common and serious consequence of falls in older people. One study found that around 1 out of every 3 older adults develop a fear of falling after a fall. This doesn’t just cause anxiety; it can also cause people to reduce their activity levels, starting a cycle of problems that actually increases their risk of falling again.


Who is at risk?

Anyone can develop fear of falling after a fall, but it’s commonly associated with:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Female gender
  • Balance issues
  • Use of a walking device
  • History of a fall or falls

Tragically, fear of falling can result in a downward spiral for the older person. As a result, he or she may greatly limit their activity, which in turn can lead to greater frailty. This, in turn, increases their risk of falling again. 

If your loved one has developed a fear of falling, he or she may limit their social interactions. Unfortunately, this can lead to becoming withdrawn and may increase the symptoms of depression. 

Happily, the National Institute on Aging recommends several fall prevention strategies, such as exercise programs, fall-proofing the home, and using assistive devices can help seniors to regain confidence after a fall. 


When Falls Lead to Death

Sadly, sometimes, a slip-and-fall accident causes a loved one to pass away. This may happen instantaneously, or the fall may instigate a decline that leads to death. During a time of grief, considering filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. However, depending on the circumstances, the executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit.

This is a complicated area of law, and it’s vital to have an experienced and fast-working Connecticut wrongful death lawyer on your side during this process. He or she will listen to your story and discuss the potential challenges and opportunities your case presents. If our wrongful death attorney feels that you have a strong case, we may agree to represent you in your pursuit of justice.


Causes of Falls in Seniors

According to WebMD, up to 35 percent of older adults experience a significant fall each year. As we get older, we are more likely to develop conditions that increase our risk of falling. These include:

  • Vertigo
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Balance issues
  • Vision and auditory problems
  • Muscle weakness

For some older people, medication and their environment can also increase their risk of falling. However, other falls are not related to old age.


Falls due to negligence

Business and property owners owe a reasonable duty of care toward people who enter premises under their control. In Connecticut, if you can prove that the business owner or tenant breached duty of care and this caused your injuries, you may be able to claim compensation, regardless of your age. 


Proving negligence in slip and fall cases

Take, for example, the town ordinances regarding snow and ice removal in West Hartford, CT, . Residents must remove snow and ice within 12 hours of the storm ending or 12 hours after sunrise, whichever is later. If residents and businesses cannot remove the ice, then the sidewalks must be sanded. 

Imagine you visit a business that has not followed through on this local law. As a result, as you walk on the sidewalk outside the business, you slip, fall, and fracture your hip. If you can demonstrate that the liable party was negligent by failing to clear the ice which led to a foreseeable hazard, you could be entitled to receive damages. 

Proving negligence can be challenging, and insurance companies will try different tactics to pay as little as possible. Rather than handling these complications yourself, hand your case over to a tenacious, fast-working Gould Injury Law slip and fall attorney. He or she can battle with the insurers on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery.


Seek Justice and Fair Compensation After a Fall

Whatever our age, if we’ve been injured in a fall caused by another person’s negligence, we have the right to seek justice. The goal of damages is to try to make a person whole again, to make up for the losses suffered. 

Of course, nothing can undo the pain you have experienced and the challenges you are facing. But compensation can remove the financial burden from you.

Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages, if applicable
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Don’t delay in seeking legal advice about your case. At Gould Injury Law, we offer a free consultation to everyone. We’ll listen carefully to your story and explain your legal options for fast results. Then, if you decide to hire us, we will fight doggedly in your corner to try to secure the compensation you deserve as fast as possible.

Schedule a free consultation now by calling us at 888-WIN-FAST or filling out our online contact form. A member of our team will get back to you as fast as we can!