Imagine getting out of the bathroom and walking toward your table in a restaurant. Suddenly, you slip on someone’s spilled drink, fall, and hit the back of your head on the floor. Not only is your night ruined, but potentially your long-term health too.
Continue reading to learn more about those injuries and how to deal with the legal opportunities that arise.
Slip and Fall Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents account for 12% of total falls. Based on these statistics, there are over 1 million hospital emergency room visits every year. 5% of all falls result in fractures, which hold serious consequences for people who suffer from them.
Death isn’t the leading consequence of slip and fall accidents, but they do occur, especially among people over the age of 65. However, such accidents often result in large hospital bills, missed days from work, and reduced quality of life due to pain.
Brain Injury Statistics
According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Every year more than 800 000 people are hospitalized because of a fall accident resulting in a head injury. People with impaired vision, difficulty walking, or on certain medicines that affect stability are more susceptible to slips and falls. Therefore, these people are more susceptible to brain injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident.
Spinal Injury Statistics
Over the past 40 years, there has been a significant increase in spinal cord injuries due to fall accidents, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Same-level slip and fall accidents are often due to environmental conditions, such as icy surfaces or wet floors. Such accidents can result in serious spinal cord injuries, especially among the older population.
Older patients often suffer from more significant life-threatening complications due to slips and falls. In addition to that, their hospital stay is longer, and hospital bills higher.
Types of Injuries after a Slip and Fall
Head injuries after a slip and fall accident can range in severity from a mild bump to more complicated head traumas, such as concussions, hematomas, or even skull fractures. However, symptoms of a head injury don’t always appear right away. Therefore, it is important that the victim is seen by a medical professional immediately after the accident.
Some signs of head trauma include lightheadedness, headache, nausea, and mild confusion. More significant head injuries can lead to vomiting, seizures, coordination problems, loss of consciousness, and memory loss.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are another possible outcome of a slip and fall accident. Such traumas are particularly severe because they are often associated with a lot of pain, discomfort, and even paralysis if the fall impacted the spinal cord.
Ligament injuries, muscle strains, neck fractures, and cervical dislocations are some types of neck injuries that might follow a slip and fall accident. Sufferers from neck and back injury most likely have to undergo prolonged physical therapy and miss out on work due to their debilitating condition.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are by far some of the most serious and debilitating injuries that occur due to a slip and fall. The reason for a spinal cord injury can be a fractured or dislocated vertebra.
Spinal cord traumas divide into two categories – complete and incomplete. Complete is when the cord can no longer send signals below the level of injury. This results in a total loss of sensation below the affected area. When the injury is incomplete, the victim is still partially able to move and retain some feeling below the trauma.
Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents happen every day due to uneven or elevated surfaces, wet floors, or defective areas. Such accidents cause serious injuries to victims but deciding whose fault it is can sometimes be challenging. To determine liability, one needs to prove whether the victim has been reasonable and careful when walking near the dangerous or defective area.
Additionally, it must be determined whether the owner of the property has been aware of the danger. If so, they must have done nothing about repairing or putting signs indicating that danger. However, one of the most crucial steps to take when a slip and fall accident occurs is to seek medical help.
Immediate medical attention can save your life and possibly prevent you from dealing with the long-term consequences of a slip and fall injury. Medical professionals will also determine the severity of the injury, which can influence the outcome of the claim.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. Seeking professional help can greatly increase your chances of settling the claim in your favor since there are many nuances to a case. Furthermore, each situation requires an individual approach.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our our attorney bios here.