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Protecting Elder Loved Ones from Injury Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on March 31, 2015

San Francisco Personal Injury“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.“ —Mark Twain

This is a good quote, but perhaps not accurate. When an older adult suffers a life-changing injury, it is difficult not to mind. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to accidents like tripping and falling or being knocked over. When such accidents occur, broken hips or other bones are not uncommon and can be devastating. Injuries can take away your comfort and self-sufficiency, requiring added care costs and stress. It is frightening to lose independence. Frankly, getting older is difficult enough without the added insult of getting hurt.

Falls are the second leading type of unintentional home-related injury deaths for the elderly. Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeat offenders. Falls occur most commonly in:

  • Crowded Areas
  • Ramps
  • Areas with uneven surfaces
  • Stairs
  • Doorways
  • Ladders

It can be hard to prove who is at fault in a slip and fall accident, and in most cases, it must be proven that a “dangerous condition” caused the fall. Property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is free of hazards that may cause an accident. For example, if your loved one fell in front of a convenience store from using faulty handrails, you could potentially hold that store accountable if they knew about the dangerous handrails and did nothing to correct it.

Another concern for the elderly is defective products, such as consumer goods that are safe for younger individuals, but may be dangerous to older individuals. This is mainly due to decreased strength and reaction times. These can include kitchen appliances, furniture, bath equipment, and other consumer electronics. If you were hurt from a defective product that resulted in medical costs and wages lost, you may be able to hold the manufacturer accountable. If the manufacturer does not carry sufficient warnings, provide complete and adequate instructions, or is aware of the defect and does nothing to correct it, your loved one could be compensated.

For example, many people that have a DePuy’s ASR or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant have filed lawsuits against the device manufacturer after they endured painful complications. Most of the lawsuits alleged that the device was improperly designed and failed to provide adequate safety warnings.

If you or a person you love has had their independence altered by the fault of another, Balamuth Law may be able to help. We have years of experience representing older adults and the elderly in cases involving broken bones and limited mobility. Let our Northern California elderly slip and fall attorneys take the strain of worrying about compensation off of your family’s shoulders while you focus on healing.

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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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