Protecting yourself from a fall

Slips, trips and falls are often considered minor incidences, perhaps eliciting more laughs than cries for help. However, did you know that every year, about 8 million trips are made to the emergency room by people who have fallen?

Falling accidents can be incredibly painful and cause serious damage, but there are ways you can try to protect yourself from the worst of it.

As reported in this Herald-Tribune article, some fall-protection methods include:

  • Trying to fall on your side, rather than your front or back
  • Protecting your head
  • Bending your elbows and knees and landing on larger body parts like your shoulders, buttocks or thighs
  • Trying to distribute the impact of the fall across your body
  • Relaxing and softening your muscles, rather than stiffening up

All of these can certainly be effective in minimizing the pain felt after a fall, but it is quite a lot to think about in the split seconds it takes to actually fall.

It would be better to avoid slipping or falling in the first place.

Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do to avoid falling, especially when there is a hazard in your way that you can't see and don't know about. This is where premises liability comes into play.

Premises liability is the legal duty property owners have to maintain a safe environment for visitors. For instance, restaurant owners should keep walkways and entrances clear; landlords should install proper lighting and handrails in apartment stairwells; store operators should clean up spills and slippery floors right away. If an obstacle cannot be addressed right away, property owners should put up signage warning people of it so that they can avoid the area.

Despite your best efforts to protect yourself in a fall and/or avoid a fall in the first place, you can still get seriously injured in an accident when a negligent property owner allows dangerous conditions to exist. In these situations, the best way to protect yourself might involve taking legal action to secure compensation for damages.