When looking at fatal falls, you can find all sorts of examples of people falling from even the shortest distances and suffering fatal injuries. Indeed, people have passed away after simply slipping and falling on level ground. On the other hand, you can find examples of extreme falls that did not result in death, such as the WWII airman who fell 18,000 from a plane and survived.
On the whole, though, the height of a fall makes a massive difference in the odds of a fatality, and it can also be used to predict how severe the injuries will be for the victim.
What is LD50?
One term often used in these calculations is LD50, which is a height significant enough to pose a 50% chance of death. The typical height used is 48 feet. For roofers or construction workers, this equates to roughly four stories. Though almost everyone who falls that far will be injured, about half of those people will at least survive.
When you go up to 84 feet, the rate increases to about 90%. Only one out of every 10 people who fall seven stories will survive it. The other nine will be fatally injured, with many passing away on the scene immediately.
What does this mean for you?
Understanding risks can lead to more careful behavior, reducing the odds of a serious or fatal fall. One key thing to remember, though, is that even surviving a fall can leave you with life-altering injuries. You must know what options you have and what legal steps to take after such an incident. An attorney can help you learn more.