If you’re like many people, you may be heading “home for the holidays.” At the very least, you may be heading to somebody’s home for Thanksgiving or other holiday visits.
You need to be careful, however, that you don’t accidentally end up in a serious accident. The unfamiliar surroundings could make you more prone to a slip and fall.
How serious are slip and fall injuries?
According to government reports, half of all accidental deaths inside homes are caused by falls — and the vast majority of them occur when someone falls from ground level, not from any vast height.
What are some of the biggest culprits behind falls in homes (especially around the holiday season)? Consider these:
- Unfamiliar stairs, especially those that have warped over time or those that lack handrails
- Rugs that don’t have a non-skid backing or aren’t securely fastened to the floors
- Small children and pets that are milling around underfoot
- Toys, gifts, purses, bags, coats, shoes and umbrellas — especially when people are gathering
- Tile floors that have been too heavily waxed or cleaned with the wrong materials (leaving them slick)
- Outdoor walkways that have gotten covered in leaves, debris or ice
- Carpets that are worn and snagged, which can easily catch a heel of someone’s shoe
- Spills on the floor, like a spot of gravy or grease in the kitchen that was overlooked
The fall alone can be serious. Even losing your balance and falling onto the floor can cause seniors, for example, to break a hip and end up with a lengthy hospital stay and long recovery. Head trauma is also a major possibility — especially if the person who falls happens to hit their head on a piece of hard furniture on the way down.
It can be incredibly uncomfortable to think about pressing a claim against a relative’s home insurance for compensation when you’ve been injured, but you may not have any choice. If your injuries are serious after a slip and fall, find out what legal options you may have.