Injuries suffered in slip-and-fall accidents lead to about 9 million emergency room visits every year.
Slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S.
Recovering from a serious injury suffered in a slip-and-fall accident typically requires extensive medical care and physical rehabilitation.
In the worst-case scenario, a fall victim dies or is disabled, requiring around-the-clock care.
Slip-and-fall injuries are particularly harmful to older adults.
Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Falls are also a common hazard in nursing homes, where between half and three-quarters of residents fall each year.
That's twice as often as older adults living at home.
So what are the most common types of slip and falls? They can range from minor to severe and even deadly.
We'll take a look at a few of them below.
Broken bones occur when there's more pressure on the bone than it can withstand.
A fall can often result in a stressful force being placed on the bones throughout the body.
In slip and fall accidents, hip, wrist, and ankle fractures are some of the most common types of broken bones.
The older you are, the more likely you are to break a bone as a result of a slip and fall.
But keep in mind that your age or health at the time of the injury doesn't matter from a legal standpoint.
Even if you're more fragile than someone else, you still have a right to recover financially for your unique injuries if they were caused by the negligence of someone else.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries aren't outwardly visible, so you might not even realize that you have a soft tissue injury until days, or even weeks, after the initial fall.
Soft tissue injuries can range from minor ankle and wrist sprains to devastating tears in tendons and ligaments.
If left untreated, soft tissue injuries can cause chronic pain, and may also make you more vulnerable to subsequent injuries.
Even if you feel fine after a slip and fall accident, it's important to seek medical care since soft tissue injuries don't often produce immediate symptoms.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs happen when a person hits their head on the ground or another object or surface when they fall.
TBIs can range from minor injuries like small concussions, bumps, and bruises to major injuries like skull fractures, hematomas, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
TBIs can be absolutely devastating to a person's quality of life because severe TBIs can impact brain function, cause seizures, and loss of bodily control.
More than 95 percent of broken hips are suffered in falls, according to the CDC.
Hip fractures typically require surgery and hospitalization for about a week, followed by admission to a nursing home for extensive rehabilitation for elderly victims.
Surgery may include implantation of an artificial hip.
Sprained Ankles or Wrists
A slip and fall accident might force you to make an unusual or uneven step.
People also usually put their arms out in front of them to try to cushion the fall.
If the ligaments in your wrist or ankles tear during a fall, you are likely to receive a sprain or a strain.
And because ligaments don't receive a lot of blood, sprains and strains can take a long time to heal.
Even though it may not seem like a severe injury, an ankle or wrist injury can interfere with your life in a big way.
You may not be able to type, cook, or button a shirt. With an ankle sprain, you may not be able to walk.
Sprains are a common problem after a slip and fall, and they can affect the quality of life of the victims.
Cuts and Abrasions
Slip and falls that produce cuts and abrasions can look quite severe, but the injuries are often less extensive than other sorts of slip and falls.
Leg and arm abrasions are common, as are wounds to the head and hips.
More often than not, these injuries only require superficial treatment, and maybe some stitches.
But if the impact of the fall is sufficiently hefty, cuts and abrasions may rest atop more serious injuries, such as concussions and broken bones.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact on the body in a slip-and-fall accident can fracture vertebrae or cause slipped or herniated discs, which cause significant pain and limited mobility.
An injury to the spinal cord can lead to permanent paralysis, temporary paralysis, other neurologic and sensory impairments, and even death.
The Mayo Clinic says falls cause more than a quarter of spinal cord injuries overall and the majority of spinal cord injuries among adults age 65 and older.
Shoulder Or Neck Injury
Shoulder and neck injuries result from landing on your shoulder or neck from a fall.
They can also happen from overexertion while trying to catch yourself during the fall.
Neck injuries can range from muscle sprains to spinal injuries to even paralysis.
Shoulder injuries from falls typically result in shoulder dislocation, torn nerves, or collarbone breaks.
Even the most minor neck and shoulder injuries are incredibly painful and often require surgery.
Knee damage can result from a slip and if you twist as you fall.
Knees are a complicated collection of bone and ligaments, so when you hurt your MCL or your ACL, it can take a long time to heal.
In addition to ligament tears, you may also dislocate your patella, and you may need knee reconstruction immediately or in the future.
Have You Been Injured In A Slip and Fall Accident?
If you've been injured in a slip and fall, you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system while you focus on healing your injuries.