When something causes a younger person in New Jersey to fall, that individual may walk away with only minor aches or pains. Yet, when an older adult slips as a result of the same fall hazard, he or she may end up with a serious, potentially life-changing injury.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hip fractures are a frequent result when an older adult falls down. Often caused by falling sideways, hip fractures are among the most severe injuries one may experience in a slip-and-fall event.
How often older adults are falling
While women experience about 75% of hip fractures, about 300,000 men and women who are 65 and older seek treatment for broken hips each year. A key reason women suffer more broken hips in falls than men is that they have higher rates of osteoporosis, which is a bone condition that makes bones more susceptible to breaking.
What factors heighten fall risks for older adults
The chances of suffering a broken hip during a fall increase with age. Many different hazards make an older adult more likely to fall, some of which are environmental. For example, insufficient lighting, loose wiring, cluttered stairways, uneven walkways and spilled liquids all increase the chances of a fall. While younger individuals might be able to avoid some of these hazards, older adults who may have existing balance, flexibility, vision or other issues may not be able to do so.
Property owners have a duty to keep their spaces safe for use and free from hazards. When a property owner fails to do so and someone suffers an injury as a result, that property owner may, depending on the situation, be liable for the injury.