Slip-and-fall accidents can be the result of someone else’s carelessness. Whether it’s a slip and fall while on the job, on the property of a hotel or resort during a vacation, or in Aisle 3 at your local grocery store, there are numerous hazards that can cause you to lose your footing. The resulting injuries can be just as varied.
Common Injuries From Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Injuries from slip and fall accidents can range in severity from mild – like a small cut that heals quickly – to severe. The most common injuries people suffer during slip and fall accidents include:
- Broken arms
- Broken legs
- Dislocated shoulders
- Broken hips or pelvis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Pulled muscles, stretched tendons and torn ligaments
Here’s a closer look at each.
Sprains After a Slip and Fall
When experiencing a fall it’s a natural impulse to extend the hands in an attempt to prevent or break the fall. Doing so can put sudden intense pressure on the wrists and result in a sprain.
Broken Arms or Legs From a Slip and Fall Accident
Trying to break a fall can cause a broken arm, and depending on the nature of the fall, a broken leg. If you’ve experienced a bad slip and fall, and you feel extreme pain in an arm or leg, you should go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
Related: What bones are most likely to break in a car crash?
Suffering a Dislocated Shoulder After a Slip and Fall
When you fall and your shoulder hits the ground first it can become dislocated—a condition known as a brachial plexus injury. When a shoulder is dislocated the upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket that’s part of the shoulder blade. Because the shoulder is the most mobile joint on the body it’s prone to dislocation.
Promptly seek medical attention if you think you have a dislocated shoulder. Although most people regain full function in a matter of weeks, after a shoulder has been dislocated once the joint may become unstable and susceptible to future dislocation.
Related: Punitive damages vs. compensatory damages in a lawsuit
Broken Hip or Pelvis Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Over 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling sideways, and each year at least 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for hip fractures, according to the CDC. Three million seniors are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries every year.
Fractures of the hip and pelvis almost always require surgery and may involve a long recovery. A broken hip or pelvis can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mobility.
Related: What is the personal injury statute of limitations in California?
Spinal Cord Injuries Due to a Slip and Fall Accident
If an individual falls on their back the impact to the spine can result in many injuries, including a slipped disk, a chipped vertebra, nerve damage, and possibly permanent damage to the spinal cord—which can cause partial or total paralysis. If you have a hard fall on your back, even if it may not seem serious, it’s best to seek medical attention.
Head Injuries After a Slip and Fall Accident
When people slip and fall they often hit their heads and may, at first, only feel a slight headache. But they could have sustained a mild or severe traumatic brain injury, or TBI, and it may not appear until hours or even a couple of days after the fall.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More severe TBI, however, can result in bruising, torn brain tissues, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain, which can all cause long-term complications or even death.
The physical symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or a loss of balance, fatigue or drowsiness, and sleeping more than usual. Sensory symptoms of mild TBI can include blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in your mouth, changes in the ability to smell, and sensitivity to light or sound.
When it comes to moderate to severe TBI physical symptoms include a loss of consciousness that can last from several minutes to hours, a persistent headache, convulsions or seizures, a loss of coordination, vomiting or nausea, clear fluids that drain from your nose or ears, and an inability to awaken from sleep. Cognitive or mental symptoms may include profound confusion, slurred speech, agitation and combativeness, and coma.
Related: TBI symptoms after an accident
Pulled Muscles, Stretched Tendons or Torn Ligaments From Slip and Fall Mishaps
Although you grab and reach to try to break a fall, your efforts may not prevent pulled muscles, stretched tendons, or torn ligaments. These injuries can prove to be debilitating. Pulled muscles may need weeks of rest, and stretched tendons and torn ligaments can have long recovery periods because they heal slowly.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer After a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you or someone you care about has been injured because of a slip and fall accident, we can help. Give us a call at 818-230-8380 as soon as you’re able. We’ll be happy to give you the legal advice you need.