When older people take a fall in a store, restaurant or other property, they sometimes don’t want to make a fuss or hold anyone responsible, even if they’re injured. They blame their own “clumsiness” or they assume that those who own the property will say that they only fell because of their limitations.
Certainly, if someone loses their balance because they didn’t want to use their cane or walks into a post in the middle of an aisle because they were disoriented by their medications, that is likely not a property owner’s fault. However, if they fell because of a hazardous condition that could cause anyone to slip or trip and that the property owner should have addressed, that’s another matter. A spill that hasn’t been cleaned up or cordoned off, an errant cord running across the floor or a broken handrail on a stairway can cause anyone to fall.
Falls can be more serious – and costly – for seniors
As people advance in years, many are more likely to fall for a host of reasons. Further, falls can cause more serious injuries to older people than many younger ones. Seniors are more likely to suffer a fracture that may require surgery and considerable recovery time. Hip fractures can be particularly debilitating.
The fact that a senior’s medical care and other financial damages may be greater than those for a younger person doesn’t mean they have any less right to hold a property owner liable for negligence. Legal standards for premises liability concerns are the same, regardless of who suffers harm when a property owner’s duty of care is breached.
A plaintiff needs to show that a property owner (and/or other defendant) had a duty of care to anyone who had a right to be on the property, that they breached that duty and that they suffered compensable harm as a result. This can include economic damages (like medical bills and lost income) as well as non-economic damages that are typically classified as “pain and suffering.”
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a property owner’s negligence, don’t let anyone tell you that your age or medical condition is to blame. Find out more about your right to fair compensation by seeking legal guidance at any time.