Because falls happen so often during one’s lifetime, some people find it hard to understand how a fall accident caused by a slip or trip can bring about a wrongful death. However, whether the consequences of a fall are minor or fatal depend on the circumstances and the individual. Falls can be especially devastating for certain groups of people. For example, the CDC states that falls are the main cause of injury and death among the elderly. Even young athletic people can die from a fall. A bad landing can cause a serious neck or traumatic brain injury that can prove fatal.
Serious falls can be caused by:
- Stairs. A fold in a rug at the top of a stairs, or a structural defect can precipitate a fall. Because of the unevenness of stairs, controlling or stopping a fall is difficult.
- Slippery surface. Wet floors caused by liquid spills that aren’t cleaned up, or oily pavement in a parking lot are two of many possible scenarios.
- Cords, cables, debris, and uneven surfaces. These types of trip hazards can cause many falls when they’re in highly trafficked areas where people don’t normally encounter these dangers. A public sidewalk is one such place where people rarely look at their feet because they expect a smooth and level surface.
- Missing covers on the sidewalk or street. Missing storm drain grates, manhole covers, and open sidewalk doors are hazardous to the extreme because of the distance and unexpectedness of the fall.
- Poor lighting. Poor lighting contributes to the danger of existing fall hazards because the victim fails to see them. For example, pavement cracks and potholes in a dimly lit parking lot are difficult to see.
A fatal fall accident caused by the above and other hazards become a wrongful death if the hazard was the result of the property owner’s failure to keep their property safe for visitors. If another’s negligence caused a loved one to pass away because of a fall, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us at Hogan Injury for more information.