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Study: Fall Injuries Among Older Americans Cost Billions of Dollars

by John Gomez | Last Updated: September 23, 2016
Fall Injuries

People who are 65 years old and older should be able to enjoy their lives after decades of hard work, perhaps raising a family and generally pushing towards a lifelong goal.  While many people in this age group are able to do so, this is also a time in life that can present several different risks and dangers.

One of the most common and most overlooked dangers for people who are 65 years old or older is the danger of being seriously injured or worse because of falling.  Fall injuries occur at an alarming rate for older Americans.  According to a recent study, the costs associated with these fall injuries on a collective level is nothing short of shocking.

Context – Statistics Regarding Falls Among Older Americans

Before reviewing the study, it may be helpful to look at some statistics that relate to the number of people who are 65 years old or older in the United States who fall and are injured.  According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC:

  • One-third of adults (those 65 and older) fall every year in the United States.
  • Fewer than half of those who fall seek medical attention afterward.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among older Americans.
  • Between 20 and 30 percent of older people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries.
  • The likelihood of a person falling increases as he or she ages.

Older Americans face a tremendous risk of serious fall injuries.

About the Study

Researchers from the CDC performed the study.  It appears in the September issue of the Journal of Safety Research.  Those interested in reading the abstract can find it here.  The study was an attempt to quantify the costs associated with fatal and non-fatal fall injuries among older people in the United States by looking at data from several different sources.  The study focused mostly on the year 2012.  The researchers found the following:

  • There were 24,190 fatal falls among older Americans in 2012.
  • 3.2 million older Americans received medical treatment for non-fatal fall injuries.
  • The fatal injuries for that year led to more than $616 million in total costs.
  • The non-fatal injuries from that year led to $30.3 billion in total costs.
  • In 2015, the total costs for non-fatal fall injuries had risen to $637.5 million
  • The total costs for fatal falls had risen to $31.3 billion by 2015.

Fall Injuries and Your Legal Rights

Clearly, fall injuries among older Americans lead to astronomical costs in the United States on an annual basis.  It’s likely that many people who are injured in this manner suffer because of the negligence of others.  Those people should not have to shoulder their own costs.

If this has happened to you or to someone you love, you need to seek the help of San Diego slip and fall lawyers who have been fighting successfully for the rights of consumers for more than a decade.

Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.


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