A new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that falls are the most common source of injury in Canada. The news comes as no surprise to Ontario slip and fall lawyers who regularly field personal injury queries relating to spills on ice, slick floors, and uneven ground.
In total, falls caused almost 654,000 emergency room visits and 152,500 hospital admissions in 2016-17, or nearly 1,800 emergency room visits and 417 admissions every day. As Canada’s population ages, physicians and slip and fall lawyers expect fall-related injuries to become more prevalent.
Seniors have the highest risk of falling and often suffer the most serious injuries, but no demographic is immune, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute senior researcher Geoff Fernie told the CBC.
“It’s not exclusively older people,” he said. “We see a lot of young children falling down stairs and having serious head injuries.”
“We see middle-aged people running up and down stairs and having indoor stair accidents quite commonly,” Fernie continued. “And we see a lot of workers having falls – and not just construction-type workers. People in the winter, people working in coffee shops and falling over in the car park when they get there in the morning.”
Falls in the home accounted for a surprising number of emergency visits, far outpacing slips on ice; the most common forms of injury included head injuries, broken ankles, and hip injuries.
“Head injuries are a big worry … because they can be very serious,” Fernie said. “You can have long-standing effects from head injuries and people can be off work for one to two years.”
Slip and fall events may be common in Canada, but they can be reduced through common sense measures like avoiding icy routes or adhering to slippery floor warnings. For senior citizens, maintaining fitness levels contributes to improved balance, which is an excellent deterrent.
Researchers have also proposed establishing standards for winter boots and changing the depth of stair treads under the Canada Building Code. The latter proposal is estimated to save nearly 30 lives and negate 13,000 injuries within five years of implementation.
Of course, eliminating slip and falls from the national landscape is an unrealistic goal: as long winters are cold and Canadians are active, injuries from falls will occur. If you have suffered an injury related to a fall, contact the slip and fall lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today. Our experienced team can assess the validity of your claim and help guide you on your path to recovery.