Monday, October 26, 2009

Most Common Accidents on Public Property and Your Legal Rights

Have you or a loved one had an accident on public property? If you aren’t sure what the term “public property” encompasses, any property that is owned by the government (federal, state, community) is called public property. This includes public libraries, parks, pathways and government buildings. Some of the most common accidents on public property include slips, trips and falls.

Slips, Trips and Falls

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2004, unintentional falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injuries treated in Hospital Emergency Departments in the US. Every year, about 35-40% of adults over the age of 65 fall at least once. “By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $54.9 billion (in 2007 dollars).” [Reference: Englander F, Hodson TJ, Terregrossa RA. Economic dimensions of slip and fall injuries. Journal of Forensic Science 1996;41(5):733–46]

The outcomes that are linked to falls include bruises, fractures, head traumas, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Common fractures from slips, trips and falls include:

• Spine

• Forearm

• Leg

• Ankle

• Pelvis

• Upper Arm

• Hand

• Hip

Reducing fall hazards is a responsibility shared by both public and private property owners. Injuries at public properties can be prevented. Proper housekeeping in walking areas is important for fall prevention. Keeping paths obstacle-free is a big step toward minimizing slips and trips. Adequate lighting is another contributing factor for safety in avoiding fall injuries. Temporary vision problems can happen when you move from a light to dark area. A person can easily slip on a liquid spill or trip over an obstacle if their vision is hampered. Using slip-resistant materials on stairs and ramps is another way to help prevent someone from a slip, trip or fall injury.

If you or a loved one has experienced a slip, trip or fall, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you suffer injuries and are seeking compensation and medical reimbursement, consult a personal injury attorney.

This article is brought to you by the Sacramento personal injury law firm Teal Montgomery & Henderson. Sphere: Related Content