3 surprising facts about slips, trips and falls

Slip-and-fall accidents are vey common -- and can be outright deadly. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trips, slips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths. Only car accidents cause more.

Learning more about slip-and-falls may help prevent them. Here are some important facts you need to keep in mind:

1. There are two types of falls.

You can be injured in a fall from an elevated level or in a "same-level" fall. While most people probably think that elevated falls are the greater threat, the majority of injuries -- 65 percent -- occur on same-level surfaces where people walk.

Elevated falls are often more serious, however, even though most of them occur at a height below 10 feet.

2. Injuries can vary widely.

It might surprise most people to learn that slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. However, other serious injuries are also common, including spinal cord injuries and fractures of the hip and pelvis. Other common injuries from falls include bruises, head and hand injuries and broken legs and arms.

Falls are rarely "simple." It can take months for injuries to heal. Someone who falls at work can expect to miss an average of 11 days of productivity. Employers will usually pay out about $40,000 per incident.

3. Most falls are preventable.

A lot of falls can be prevented with proper care of the surroundings. Elements like unclean floors, loose tiles, damaged carpets, broken pavement and poor lighting are all contributors to many falls. With proper maintenance, those liabilities can be eliminated to make parking lots, store floors and stairways much safer for people to navigate.

Were you injured in a slip-and-fall accident that you believe was preventable? You may be entitled to compensation that can help you during your recovery.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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