About 9 million emergency room visits annually are a result of slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents also rank second on the list of causes of unintentional death in The United States. The chances of suffering fatal injuries as a result of slip and fall accidents exist. In fact, many injured people may require extensive physical rehabilitation and medical care and, in some cases, victims may die due to complications. While slip and fall accidents may be common among all age groups, older adults suffer the effects more. Among the older population, slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. To better understand the health risks posed by slip and fall accidents, The Fleck Firm has highlighted the commonest types of injuries sustained by victims.
Broken bones are a common occurrence in slip and fall accident cases. This injury occurs when a sudden impact is applied to the bone. When the victim falls hard on a surface and the force of impact is greater than what the bone can withstand, it breaks. Broken bones can affect any part of the body, this type of injury is common in older adults. Older adults have weaker bones that put them at risk of broken bones when significant force is applied. The most common parts of the body where broken bone problems are experienced include ankles, hips, shoulders, wrists, and elbows.
While broken bones may be common to older adults due to slip and fall accidents, keep in mind that age is not a significant factor when pursuing compensation. This means that older or younger adults are not more favored to win compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
This injury occurs when an unexpected force hits the head. Traumatic brain injuries may result from hitting one’s head hard against any surface, object, or ground during a fall. TBI is one of the most devastating results of slip and fall injuries. It ranges in its degree of fatality. Some victims may suffer minor effects like bumps, small concussions, and bruises. However, the chance of fatal injuries like hematomas, skull fractures, and subarachnoid hemorrhage exists. Some TBI patients may lose consciousness, memory or find themselves in a coma or vegetative state. Traumatic Brain Injury, in its fatal forms, can cause lifelong health and mental challenges.
According to the CDC, more than 95 percent of hip fractures can be attributed to Slip and fall accidents. Hip fractures are more common in fall situations because the victim may try to save themselves by twisting and turning only to hit the ground hard with their sides. In such a position, the hip bone absorbs most of the force of the impact, causing it to shatter.
Sprained Ankle or Wrists
A slip and fall accident may cause you to take reflexive actions to protect yourself. Such actions may involve cushioning or bracing your fall with your hands. When this happens, the unexpected movement and force of impact may cause you to sprain your ankle or wrists. Sprains may appear to be a minor injury; however, you may find it difficult to go about your normal daily duties during recuperation.
Other common slip and fall injuries include;
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Knee damage
- Shoulder or neck injury.