Sometimes, a fall is just an inconvenience. We feel shaken up, but we may get away with a few cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is able to simply walk away after a fall. In 2020, falls in the US claimed the lives of 42,114 people – more than the number that died in motor vehicle accidents.
Sadly, those who survive serious falls may also be left with injuries and medical conditions that affect them for the rest of their lives. We’re going to explore the most serious consequences of falls and how they impact the quality of life.
We understand that the following information may be painful to read, especially if you have been seriously injured or lost a family member due to a fall. Please be assured that we care about the pain you are going through and want to help. The compassionate legal team at Kiley Law Group has assisted thousands of clients in similar situations, and we are ready and waiting to hear your story.
Reach out to us for a free case evaluation by calling (888) 435-1321. Alternatively, fill out the contact form on our website, and we will get in touch to schedule an appointment.
Deaths From Falls
People of all ages are at risk of falls. However, the World Health Organization reports that people aged 60 and older are at the highest risk of fatal falls. This is caused, in part, by the physical, sensory, and cognitive changes older adults experience.
Sadly, children are also at risk of death from falls. As they are naturally inquisitive, they may get into high-risk situations without comprehending the dangers.
Many working-age adults also face risks every day that can result in fatal falls. Some scenarios involve:
- Working at heights
- Working in unsafe environments without proper protective equipment
- Underlying medical conditions
- Medication side effects
- Alcohol and substance misuse
Every year, there are tragic reports of fall accidents, often on construction sites, that take the lives of workers. In 2019, there were 3 fall deaths on average each day in Massachusetts. Behind every statistic are families struggling to come to terms with the impact of these losses.
The Impact of Fatal Falls
The death of a loved one can unleash an overwhelming flood of emotions and questions. First and foremost, you’re battling the feelings of grief and loss and coming to terms with the void the person’s death has left in your life. Yet, as time goes by, the loss of income and medical and funeral expenses further add to your burden.
Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Although money can never replace your beloved family member, a fair sum can relieve you of financial anxiety moving forward.
In Massachusetts, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate has the legal right to file such a claim. By talking your case through with a wrongful death attorney at Kiley Law Group, you will understand the legal options available to you.
Deaths from falls outside of the home
If your loved one lost his or her life away from home, for example, while shopping or visiting a public building, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Your lawyer can examine the circumstances of the fall to determine whether negligence was involved.
Some examples of negligence could include:
- Unsafe conditions on the premises
- Lack of maintenance
- Ice and snow
- Inadequate lighting
If you believe your loved one’s fall was caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek legal advice and explore your options. If we agree to take on your case, we will fight to achieve a fair settlement on your behalf.
Fall deaths in the workplace
On average, 67 workers die from fatal injuries sustained each year in Massachusetts. A fatal fall in the workplace may be the result of another person’s carelessness, lack of training, or inadequate protective equipment.
Almost all employers in Massachusetts are required to hold workers’ compensation insurance. This provides limited compensation to families who have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, whether negligence was a factor or not. It can be complicated to obtain a fair settlement in these cases, which is why you need a skilled wrongful death lawyer fighting in your corner.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) From Falls
The National Safety Council reports that falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in 2020. Over 6.8 million people were injured in falls, which are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in adults and children.
A traumatic brain injury is any damage to the brain caused by an external force. This can be a blow, a penetrating wound, or a trauma suffered during a fall. The force of the impact causes the brain to move back and forth against the skull. There are several categories of TBI, and in this article, we will focus on severe TBIs.
Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
A TBI is considered severe when the person does not regain consciousness for more than 24 hours. Every TBI is unique and causes slightly different symptoms.
Some of the common effects of a severe TBI include:
- Thinking and learning changes: Thinking clearly, concentrating, understanding, and communicating may be more difficult, while memory function may also be affected
- Motor and sensory difficulties: Problems with muscle weakness, balance, coordination, hearing, vision, and touch
- Psychological impact: Increased anxiety, nervousness, aggression, and depression may ensue
- Behavioral difficulties: Difficulties controlling temper, changes in personality, and impulsive behavior occur in some people
Sadly, the CDC notes that people who survive a moderate or severe TBI are expected to live 9 years less than the average person. It also greatly increases your chances of dying from the following conditions:
- Seizures – 50 times greater likelihood
- Drug poisoning – 11 times greater likelihood
- Infections – 9 times greater likelihood
- Pneumonia – 6 times greater likelihood
The impact of severe TBIs
A severe TBI typically requires an extended stay in the hospital, followed by inpatient rehabilitation support. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, he or she might be able to return home or may need to access care in an assisted living facility.
If a TBI victim does return to live at the family home, he or she may require:
- Ongoing medical care, equipment, and supplies
- Long-term caretaker support
- Home adaptations
TBI victims will almost always experience lost wages and missed business opportunities, perhaps no longer able to support themselves financially. They may also experience a loss of enjoyment in family life and a loss of intimacy with their spouse.
If you choose to pursue a claim for compensation following a severe TBI, it’s important to choose a premises liability lawyer who will take into account the full impact of your injury. While your attorney protects your legal rights and fights for your compensation, you can focus on healing and adapting to your new circumstances.
Fall-Related Broken Bones
Falls are one of the most common causes of broken bones. While people may heal quickly from simple fractures, complex breaks or broken bones in older people can have severe long-term health consequences.
The long-term impact of broken bones
Broken bones can cause long-term complications, even in younger people, including:
- Nerve damage
- Loss of strength
- Inability to work or take part in certain activities
Hip fractures in seniors
Hip fractures are common in older people, particularly if they fall sideways. Regrettably, the Mayo Clinic notes that around half of people who fracture their hip are not able to live independently again.
Hip fractures can also increase a person’s risk of:
- Blood clots
Post-Fall Syndrome (PFS)
Post-fall syndrome (PFS) usually affects seniors who have fallen. Even if they haven’t sustained serious injuries, they may develop severe anxiety about falling again. This anxiety may prevent them from walking as often as they used to, limiting their mobility. This, in turn, increases their risk of falling again.
Although post-fall syndrome is common in older people, it is not inevitable. Making adaptations to the person’s living environment and even appropriate fitness classes can increase strength and mobility and help him or her regain confidence.
Get Justice After a Serious Fall
If you have been severely injured or lost a loved one in a fall, the thought of pursuing damages can be overwhelming. Yet, if the fall was caused by a hazard at work or on someone else’s property, you have the right to pursue justice and fight for compensation.
Whether you have a claim involving wrongful death, workplace accident, or premises liability, the lawyers of Kiley Law Group are ready to fight to protect your rights. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect payment until we win your case.
Explore your legal options with a member of our legal team by calling us at (888) 435-1321 or contacting us here on our website.