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How Often Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?

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Posted on March 25, 2024

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A sudden slip-and-fall accident is at best embarrassing and painful, even when we brush ourselves off and walk away. At its worst, a slip-and-fall accident can cause serious injuries, including those that result in missed work days, expensive hospital bills, and sometimes even permanent disability. How common are serious slip-and-fall accidents, how do they occur and what types of injuries do they cause?

What is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

“Slip-and-fall” accidents typically describe a fall caused by an unsafe factor or hazard such as a wet floor. When an unexpected obstacle or condition causes a break in a person’s natural gait, the result can be a sudden fall. Toe slips and heel slips are the two main categories of slip-and-fall causes:

  • In a toe slip, the trailing foot (the foot in the back during a typical step) catches or slides at the push-off point, sometimes resulting in a fall.
  • In a heel slip, the heel of the lead foot slides forward due to an obstacle or slick surface. This causes sudden momentum as the heel slides forward and the lead leg can no longer support the person, resulting in a fall.

Heel slips are the most common cause of serious slip-and-fall accidents.

How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents?

Far more slip-and-fall accidents likely occur daily across the country than we know since many go unreported and don’t require medical care. However, the following startling statistics indicate that slip-and-falls are a significant cause of injury:

  • The CDC reports over 8 million slip-and-fall accident victims receive emergency room treatment annually, making it the leading cause of ER visits
  • 1.8 million hospitalizations from falls are among those over age 65
  • Falls are the second-leading cause of brain injuries and spinal cord injuries (second only to car accidents)
  • Falls are a leading cause of death for the elderly
  • Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of work injuries—136 workers died from same-level falls in 2021
  • Around 22 percent of slip-and-fall accidents result in more than a month of missed workdays while the average number of missed workdays from slip-and-fall accidents is 11
  • More fall injuries occur from ground-level falls than from falls from heights
  • Bone fractures are one of the most serious results of slip-and-fall accidents and occur in about 5 percent of falls
  • About 60% of nursing home victims experience a fall each year
  • Falls cost Americans an estimated $13-$14 million per year, making up 16 percent of all insurance claims and 26 percent of insurance costs
  • Wet or hazardous floors are the leading cause of slip-and-fall accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of hip fractures

Falls are listed as one of the top causes of preventable deaths and injuries in the United States.

Serious Injuries Caused by Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Falls are a common cause of serious injuries and death to elderly slip-and-fall victims, workers, and customers in stores, hotels, and restaurants. Common injuries caused by slip-and-fall accidents include the following:

  • Head injuries/traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Broken bones, including hip fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries like sprains and torn ligaments
  • Wrist, arm, and ankle injuries
  • Facial injuries and/or broken teeth
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Bruises, lacerations, and abrasions

Most hospitalizations from slip-and-fall injuries result from head injuries and hip fractures.

If your fall was an act of negligence, contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Haffner & Morgan to get the compensation and justice you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today.