Slip and fall accidents are some of the more common causes of serious injury and sometimes even death (for more severe cases!) in the United States and throughout the world. Thousands of patients report to the emergency department each year due to slipping and falling on personal or public property. More than 12 percent of all emergency visits are due to slip and fall accidents alone.
While it might be easy to dismiss a slip and fall accident as nothing more than a small bruise or mild pain, the fact remains that these accidents can result in life-threatening physical injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent incapacitation and even death. When it comes to slip and fall injuries, caution is always a good practice.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur at any time or place and may result from many different causes, including but not limited to poor lighting conditions, slippery or wet floors, liquid spills, broken flooring, unkempt staircases, loose carpets, etc. Slip and fall accidents are equally common in public and private places and usually result from avoidable causes like lapses in maintenance and non-adherence to public safety standards.
Common Injuries Caused by Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from superficial bruises to bone fractures, internal bleeding, hematomas, and more. It is easy to dismiss these injuries at first because the victim of the accident does not feel a lot of immediate pain, but some of these seemingly minor injuries can aggravate with time and create lasting health problems for the victims of slip and fall accidents. The knowledgeable slip and fall lawyers at Salamati Law in Los Angeles, CA have provided detailed information surrounding some of the most common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents: https://www.salamatilaw.com/slip-and-fall-lawyer-los-angeles/common-slip-fall-injuries-in-los-angeles/.
1. Superficial Injuries
Superficial injuries like skin bruises and contusions are some of the most common types of physical injury resulting from slip and fall accidents. These injuries result from superficial bleeding inside the skin due to rupture of the blood vessels in the upper layers of the skin. Although bruises are usually standalone injuries, in some instances, they may indicate a deeper and more serious injury like a bone fracture.
2. Fractured Bones
Bone fractures are a leading cause of hospitalization resulting from slip and fall accidents. Human bones can withstand a certain amount of pressure, and any more pressure than they can handle might result in several different kinds of fractures.
The direct impact of the victim’s body on the floor puts severe stress on the area of contact and can cause fractures of long bones of the leg or hip. Similarly, falling on the outstretched hands can cause fractures of small bones of the hand and bones of the forearm.
Hip fractures are more common in the elderly due to pre-existing bone conditions like osteoporosis and osteomalacia that reduce the structural integrity of dense bones and predispose them to partial or complete fractures.
3. Sprained Joints
Joints are formed when two bones meet and are held together by strands of tough connective tissue called ligaments. Falling on the floor after slipping naturally puts more pressure on the joints of the body. When put under such stress, ligaments can easily be torn, causing joint sprains.
Joint sprains are a particularly bad type of slip and fall injury because of their slow healing nature. Ligaments have limited blood supply and can take weeks, months, or even years to heal completely.
4. Dislocated Joints
The pressure of falling on a hard surface with your full body weight can cause your joints to get dislocated. Hip and shoulder joint dislocations are some of the most common types of slip and fall injuries and are most frequently observed in the elderly.
While mild to moderate cases can be corrected with traction and physiotherapy, severe joint dislocations may need to be treated surgically for a safe and sound recovery.
5. Spinal Cord Injuries
Although the vertebral column (the backbone) protects the spinal cord from external damage, slip and fall accidents can result in temporary or permanent neurological damage due to spinal cord compression and backbone fractures. Slip and fall accidents can also result in vertebral disc slips, which can cause peripheral nerve compression and lead to sensory impairment or paralysis of one or more parts of the body.
Although spinal injuries are less common than bone fractures and bruises, etc., they are some of the most dangerous types of physical injury because they can lead to permanent neurological impairment in the victim. These injuries can cause partial or complete disability and result in a significantly decreased quality of life.
6. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Traumatic Brain Injury is a broad term that refers to the varying consequences of hitting your head on a hard surface in a slip and fall accident. Head injuries in slip and fall cases can result in bleeding inside the brain (hemorrhages).
The blood eventually clots leading to a hematoma, which can not only raise the internal pressure inside your skull but also cause different neurological disabilities based on the areas of internal bleeding.
Since blood is normally limited to circulation inside the blood vessels, it can have significant adverse effects on the human body if it leaks into the brain matter. Some of these effects of brain hemorrhages include seizures, mental disorders, and physical incapacitation, etc.
7. Injury to Soft Tissue
Besides superficial skin injuries like bruises and contusions, slip and fall accidents may also cause lacerations, superficial cuts, and abrasions, etc. These soft tissue injuries can be further complicated due to bacterial infection or association with an underlying joint or bone fracture resulting from the fall.
Soft tissue injuries can be hard to detect at the time of the accident and may progressively get worse with time, requiring immediate medical attention in all cases.
Consulting a Lawyer
Hiring an experienced lawyer to handle your slip and fall injury case can ensure that you would obtain adequate compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional damages. You can file a lawsuit against the responsible party and sue them for damages if the accident resulted from their negligence.