Injuries happen in myriad ways and circumstances in Georgia, and every person’s experience is unique. Statistically, though, people are most likely to suffer a preventable fatal injury in one of three situations. According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts, between 1999 and 2016, the top three for all ages were motor vehicle accidents, falls and poisoning (which includes overdoses).
When separated out into age groups, not everyone faces the same risk from falling. However, they continue to be in the top three for everyone over the age of 35. For those over the age of 65, falls are by far the most fatal preventable accident.
Saying that an event is both an accident and preventable may seem like an oxymoron. After all, if it can be prevented, is it really an accident? Or can the fault be assigned to a person’s actions?
In the case of fall accidents, in particular, health and age factors can make managing risk a joint effort and responsibility of the individual and his or her health provider team. Factors such as medication, bone density, balance and many others may contribute to the risks of a fall. However, when it comes to environmental factors, it may be easier to point to a person who could have eliminated the situation that led to the fall.
FindLaw explains that identifying liability in a fall involves proving there is a hazard that the victim had no reason to expect and watch out for. However, it must also be a hazard that the property owner or manager should have known about, identified as a danger and corrected.