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The true cost of falls

More than 420,000 people die around the world each year because of falls. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S. and falls are the second leading cause of death.

Falls account for 32,000 deaths each year, which is more than four times the number of people who die from fires or drowning combined. Three times more people die from falling than by being murdered by a firearm.

When it comes to injuries, falls are an even more significant cause. More people visit the emergency room due to a fall than from any other kind of incident according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The cost to Americans is enormous, too. Over one-third of ER budgets are related to falls. Also, personal injury claims are often a result of falls.

Falls from great heights occur less frequently than you might imagine. Instead, most falls happen in stairways, showers and supermarkets. Even a fall from a very short distance, such as falling out of bed, can change your life, leaving you with a disability. Fractures are a common injury, but internal injuries and injuries to the spinal cord and brain can also happen.

Researchers have been working for decades to find a way to reduce the injuries and deaths caused by falls. One window-washer in New York City fell 472 feet after the anchors on the scaffolding came loose. The man's younger brother fell off the scaffolding as it was falling and was killed instantly when he struck the top of a fence.

The other brother, though, was found sitting up and alive. He had two broken legs, a broken foot, several broken ribs, a broken arm, crushed vertebra, two collapsed lungs, a swollen brain and various ruptured organs. The reason he survived is believed to be because he lay flat and held on to the platform -- as professional window washers are supposed to do.

If you have suffered an injury due to a fall that is another person's fault, then it's time to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Source: Daily Mail, "How to SURVIVE a fatal fall: Experts are encouraging us to learn how to fall properly - but it's not as impossible as it sounds," Neil Steinberg with Mosaic, June 07, 2017

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