Our Chicago brain injury attorneys have often shared how traumatic brain injury risks are highest for the youngest and oldest community members. Research data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have repeatedly made this point. Those under four years old and over seventy five years old are particularly at risk for suffering severe head trauma. In both groups the two most common causes are falls and automobile accidents.
For seniors, falls are particularly risky.
It is no wonder why.
Seniors often face mobility problems as well as more bone, joint, and muscle issues. A lifetime takes a toll on the body. Tumbles that a younger person would be able to recover from might prove particularly serious for seniors.
For that reason it is incumbent upon all those who are in a position to help prevent seniors from falling from acting reasonably to do so. Similarly, those who have an obligation to maintain premises frequented by seniors have a duty to keep the location reasonable safe to eliminate preventable falls. Unfortunately, every Illinois brain injury lawyer at our firm understands that many care centers and property owners fail in these regard. At times that failure results in real harm to local seniors.
For example, last week two Illinois injury attorneys at our firm settled a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a senior who died after suffering a brain injury in a fall. In the case an 87-year old man was leaving an adult day care facility in the Chicago area. The man was getting ready to board a bus which was supposed to take him home. The senior had mobility problems, and so his care plan specifically called for caregivers at the adult day care center to provide assistance at these times. When the accident occurred, in mid-July in 2010, the man did not have any help from caregivers at the adult day care center.
The lack of assistance was not the only factor that contributed to the man’s fall and brain injury. The curb ramp at the location was also unsafe and dangerous. Investigations into the fall reveal that the curb ramp dimensions violated building codes-the longitudinal slopes and side slopes exceed allowable ratios. The ramp was also lacking markings which would have indicated its size, location and configuration.
All together the lack of assistance and dangerous ramp led the senior to fall as he was trying to enter the bus. The fall caused him to strike his head hard on the ground, leading to a serious brain injury. As often happens in these serious senior falls, the man’s condition deteriorated quickly. He passed away five days after the fall.
Two of our attorneys, John J. Perconti and Scott J. Richard filed suit against the adult day care center for negligence and the corporations responsible for the maintenance of the curb. Last week an agreement was reached between the parties to settle the matter without the need to go to trial. The defendants agreed to pay $1.2 million for the incident. Half of the settlement is to be paid by the adult day care center and the other half will be paid by the companies owning and maintaining the premises.