Injuries suffered in slip-and-fall accidents lead to about 9 million emergency room visits every year and are the second leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S., the National Safety Council says. Recovery from a serious injury suffered in a slip-and-fall accident may require extensive medical care and physical rehabilitation. In the worst cases, a fall victim dies or is disabled and requires around-the-clock care.
Slip-and-fall injuries can be particularly harmful to older adults. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. Falls are also a common hazard in nursing homes, where between half and three-quarters of residents fall each year – twice as often as older adults living at home.
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Injuries That Occur in Slips, Trips and Falls
Among the more common injuries suffered in slip-and-fall accidents are:
- Head injuries. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), the CDC says. A TBI may be a minor concussion that heals with rest, or a severe injury that causes ongoing seizures, mood changes, cognitive impairment and other debilitating symptoms. Falls cause 40 percent of all TBIs in the United States that require emergency room treatment or hospitalization, or lead to death, the CDC says. TBI from falls disproportionately affect the youngest and oldest age groups.
- Hip fractures. More than 95 percent of broken hips are suffered in falls, the CDC says. A hip fracture typically requires surgery and hospitalization for about a week followed by admission to a nursing home for extensive rehabilitation. Surgery may include implantation of an artificial hip. One in five hip fracture patients die within a year of their injury, according to the CDC.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. The impact to the body in a slip-and-fall accident can fracture vertebrae or cause slipped or herniated discs, which cause significant pain and limit mobility. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis and other neurologic and sensory impairments. The Mayo Clinic says falls cause more than a quarter of spinal cord injuries overall and most spinal cord injuries among adults age 65 and older.
- Shoulder injuries. A slip-and-fall accident may result in a shoulder dislocation or an injury known as a “brachial plexus injury.” The brachial plexus is a network of nerves connecting the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand. These painful injuries are treated with surgery followed by physical therapy to rehabilitate the injured limb and joint.
- Sprains and fractures. Slipping, tripping and falling can cause the victim to twist a knee or ankle and sprain the connective ligaments at those joints. The impact of landing on the ground or floor or hitting something while falling can break bones. Falls cause most fractures suffered by older adults, whose bones are weakened by age, the CDC says. The most common fractures suffered in falls are of the hip, spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.
Contact an Experienced NY / NJ Slip-and-Fall Injury Attorney
Regardless of the injury you have suffered in a slip-and-fall accident, if your fall was caused by a property owner or manager’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, income loss during your recovery and for your pain and suffering.
The experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyers of the Ginarte law firm can help you obtain justice if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence in New York or New Jersey.
- Falls, National Safety Council
- Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Falls in Nursing Homes, CDC
- Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet, CDC
- Hip Fractures Among Older Adults, CDC
- Spinal Cord Injury – Causes, Mayo Clinic
- Dislocated Shoulder, Mayo Clinic
- Brachial Plexus Injury, Mayo Clinic