For the elderly, slips & falls are not only more dangerous, but also more likely due to some of the issues that can accompany aging such as: balance and gait deficits; loss of vision; chronic illnesses; muscle weakness; bone density loss and perhaps cognitive impairments. Certain medications and improperly chosen, maintained or unfamiliar assistive devices can also increase the likelihood of falls.
When a fall does occur, the bones and muscles of the elderly can take a much longer time to heal. Direct costs to an injured person can include health care costs such as medication and physiotherapy, and if the injured party is still working, a greater financial loss from lost wages. However, there are also indirect costs to the injured party, their family, and the wider community. These could include the cost of long-term or full-time care resulting from the fall, lost wages of family members caring for the injured party, and the loss of productivity of the injured and their family caregivers.
Although it can be more difficult to determine liability for a slip & fall suffered by an elderly victim due to their increased risk factors, the same general standards apply to all slips and falls. Property owners and those responsible for property maintenance must be mindful of all of the types of people who may visit their premises, from small children to the elderly, not just the young and able-bodied.
For those who fall due to the negligence of others, whether on private property, public property, or even in nursing homes or hospitals, the occupiers of those premises can be held liable for that negligence. In fact, since the consequences of falls by the elderly can often be very serious, the damages that can be awarded against an occupant of premises can be significant.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to the condition of premises, you may have a valid claim against a property owner or other party who is responsible.