Falling is the top cause of emergency room visits in the United States each year, with more than 8 million fall victims checking into the hospital as a result of slipping, falling or tripping. Research shows that exercise could be the best way to minimize injuries from falling, including:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
Research on the Prevalence of Fall Injuries
A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine looked at falls among adults between the ages of 45 and 64. The research study found that slip and fall injuries are a third leading cause of accidental deaths among this group of people. From traumatic brain injuries to life-threatening spinal injuries, there are a variety of potentially fatal injuries that can occur as the result of a fall. These injuries can also have long-term consequences for the victim, making it hard to perform your everyday activities. You may also be unable to return to work and earn a regular living.
Recovering from a slip-and-fall accident is not the only thing you may have to worry about as a victim. Treatment costs are high, even if you have insurance. Your premiums may increase as a result of an accident, and some costs may not be covered by insurance. Long-term rehabilitation often costs more than insurers are willing to pay injury victims. The good news is that it may be possible to get another party to cover the cost of your medical treatment if:
- Your fall was caused by negligence
- Your accident took place while at work
- Another party contributed at least partially to your fall
High Medical Costs
The costs of treatment for injuries associated with a fall averaged out at $22,000. This is far more than many insurance policies will pay for treatment. Your insurance company also may not cover all of the costs associated with your injury. Long-term costs such as physical therapy, rehabilitation and experimental treatments are less likely to be covered fully. If you do not have insurance, you may find yourself significantly in debt simply to cover your medical bills.
Slip-and-fall accidents cost approximately $91 billion each year in emergency care and compensation. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, that party is responsible for your medical costs and other damages. Even if you are partially responsible for your injuries, another party is held partially responsible as well. Stores that fail to put up wet floor signs and negligent individuals are common examples.
Exercise and Fall Prevention
While falls cost billions of dollars each year, Phoenix accident lawyer, Aaron Crane says “The good news is that exercise can help prevent them from occurring”. According to researchers, regular exercise has a significant effect on the likelihood of a fall. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that people who engaged in regular exercise had a reduced risk of injury. People who exercise frequently are between six and seven percent less likely to fall. This means that exercise can not only improve your overall physical health but reduce your risk of accidental injury as well.
Accidents still happen even with regular exercise. If you are involved in a slip-and-fall accident, you should seek medical care right away. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you could still develop injuries later. Conditions such as whiplash often present themselves days or even weeks after an accident has occurred. Going to the doctor creates a history of treatment that will be helpful if you file a lawsuit. Without a treatment history, it is hard to prove that your injuries were caused by a specific accident.
Getting an insurance company or an at-fault business or individual to pay for your medical costs is not always easy. In many cases, your insurance company may try to deny your claim or even say that you were at fault for the accident. In such cases, having a talented personal injury lawyer on your side is the key to getting the help you deserve. There is no reason to pay your own medical bills for an accident that was not your fault when a lawyer could help you hold the responsible party accountable.
Insurance companies will often offer a low settlement in hopes that you will settle for less than your claim is worth. It is important to plan for the long haul and insist on coverage for your short- as well as long-term medical costs. Otherwise, you may end up paying for your own care.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Aaron Crane of Cantor Crane, for his insight into the importance of exercise and fall prevention.