Accidental falls are the number one reason for non-fatal visits to the emergency room in the United States. According to recent data from the CDC, unintentional falls were the reason behind a staggering 8.1 million emergency department visits in 2018.
While most people can get up having only suffered minor scrapes and bruises, one in five falls results in a serious injury for older adults. If the injury was the result of another entity’s action (or inaction), you might have grounds to file a lawsuit.
Here are a few of the most common slip and fall injuries that could entitle you to compensation in a court of law.
Even if you catch yourself before you hit the ground, tripping often causes you to twist or extend a limb beyond its normal range of motion. When a ligament (the tissue bands that hold your bones together at a joint) is damaged, the injury is known as a sprain. Many sprains heal on their own with rest and ice, but some require surgery to repair.
Aside from cuts and bruises, fractures may be the most common injury from falling. Elderly individuals with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are at the highest risk of major fractures including broken hips, shoulders, and femurs. Because people often try to stop themselves from falling with outstretched arms, wrist and elbow fractures are also frequent.
You don’t have to slip off a roof or ladder to suffer a head injury from a fall. A fall of any distance can lead to a concussion, skull fracture, or subdural hematoma if your head strikes a hard surface with enough force. In some cases, head injuries from a fall can cause permanent brain damage or death.
If you slip and fall and land on your back or neck, you risk damaging the delicate bones and nerves that make up your spinal column. Spinal injuries are dangerous, costly, and can lead to permanent nerve damage or paralysis. Even minor spinal injuries like herniated disks can leave you in severe pain for months or years.
When Should You Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney?
If your slip and fall injuries were the result of an entity’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. These signs will let you know if you need to contact a personal injury attorney:
- others have been injured in the same way
- the injury caused serious damage
- the area was dangerous due to poor maintenance (objects left out, poor lighting, etc.)
- lack of safety warnings (such as “wet floor” signs)
A lawyer can help you sort through the facts, file an accident report, and determine whether another party is at fault for your injuries.
If You’ve Sustained an Injury From Falling, Seek Medical Attention and Contact a Lawyer
Slip and fall injuries can have lasting consequences, so don’t ignore the pain and hope it will go away on its own. Seek prompt medical attention, document the details of your injury and the circumstances under which it occurred, and contact a personal injury attorney right away.
Did you suffer a fall injury at your job? Head over to this article to learn more about your rights after getting injured in the workplace.