Falling is one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the US, resulting in about 9 million visits to the emergency room each year. While many victims suffer from injuries that are easily remedied, some do result in more severe conditions that need long-term treatment. The following are the most common slip and fall injuries:
1. Head injuries – According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A TBI may be a small concussion that can resolve by itself after a few weeks of rest. Or it could be a severe injury that would cause significant impairment, ongoing seizures, mood swings, cognitive lapses, and other debilitating symptoms.
2. Hip Fractures – More than 95 percent of hip fractures occur during a slip and fall according to the CDC. A hip fracture usually requires surgery to correct the condition and about a week-long hospitalization. Typically, a patient also needs to be admitted to a nursing home for extensive rehabilitation.
3. Back and spinal cord injuries – Slip and fall accidents can fracture the vertebrae or cause herniated disks, which results in severe pain. The patient can become immobilized after suffering back and spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other neurological and sensory impairments.
4. Shoulder injuries – A slip and fall accident may result in what is known as “brachial plexus injury” or shoulder dislocation. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves connecting the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. These nerves can be torn or stretched when your shoulder is forced downward by a violent blow. These painful injuries require surgery to correct. A patient will also need extensive physical therapy to rehabilitate the injured limb or joint, sometimes failing to recover full function.
5. Sprains and fractures – Slipping and falling can cause a person to twist a knee or ankle and sprain the connective ligaments at those joints. The impact of landing on the floor or hitting something hard while falling can break bones. The most common fractures suffered when falling are those on the hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand. Older people who slip and fall are even more likely to suffer fractures due to their bones weakening with age.
If you or someone else you know has suffered any of these immediately after a slip and fall, it is best to seek medical treatment immediately. It would also be best to contact an attorney experienced with slip and fall cases to help you recover your damages.