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Why seniors can face challenges with premises liability suits

As people get in to their senior years, their chances of falling typically increase. Their agility and balance aren't what they used to be. Neither is their eyesight, so it can be easier to overlook a stray extension cord or a buckle in the carpet. Further, seniors are more likely to be taking medications that can impact their cognitive skills.

The consequences of a fall also increase with age. A teen who slips and falls on a wet floor may suffer nothing more than some bruises (and embarrassment). An elderly person who falls can break multiple bones and end up with long-term mobility issues.

Too often, when an elderly person falls and suffers injuries on someone else's property, the property owners try to shift the blame to the victim -- even if there was a tripping or slipping hazard that could have caused anyone to fall. That's why if an older loved one has fallen and suffered injuries, it's essential to make sure that their rights are protected.

Property owners have a duty of care to anyone who has a right to be on their property to do their best to keep it free from hazards. If they breach that duty and someone is injured, they can be held legally responsible for that person's expenses and damages. That duty is the same whether visitors are 18 or 80.

An elderly person who falls may suffer more severe (and expensive) injuries than a younger person. However, that doesn't mean they don't have the same right to file a lawsuit. After all, a younger person may have expenses to cover (such as lost wages) that an older person might not. The issue is whether the property owner took reasonable steps to make their property safe for customers and visitors.

If you have an older family member who has been injured due to a property owner's negligence (or if you're an older person who has been injured), it's wise to seek legal guidance to help ensure that the property owner is held responsible.

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