Slip and fall accidents do not only cause minor bumps and bruises. According to statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents account for over one million emergency room visits per year. A victim may end up in the emergency room after a fall for a serious injury such as a broken bone or head trauma. In the most severe cases, a slip and fall accident could inflict long-term physical injuries.
Bone fractures are one of the most common serious injuries related to slip and fall accidents. Bone fractures can occur in any part of the body in a fall, but the most frequent places injured are the wrists, arms, knees and hips. Out of all bone fractures from falls, hip fractures are the most dangerous – especially for the elderly. At least half of all seniors over the age of 65 who are hospitalized due to hip fractures from falls cannot live independently after the injury.
What makes a hip fracture a potential long-term injury is the risk of severe health complications. A hip fracture from a slip and fall accident can keep a victim immobile for a long period of time during the healing process. This can lead to additional health issues, such as bedsores, urinary tract infections, blood clots and the loss of muscle mass. Even after a hip fracture heals, a victim can continue to suffer from the effects of related complications. Elderly victims may not survive their hip fractures due to the risk of secondary conditions.
A slip and fall accident can cause severe knee damage, as the victim may twist his or her knee during the fall. The kneecap may also break or shatter upon impact with the ground. Knee injuries can be difficult to heal. The knee is a highly complex part of the body that consists of many different bones, muscles and ligaments. A torn ACL or MCL can be especially difficult to repair and may cause long-lasting pain or immobility. Many victims require knee reconstruction surgeries and ongoing physical rehabilitation after fall-related knee injuries.
A traumatic brain injury can occur in a slip and fall accident if the victim strikes his or her head in the fall. If the head hits the ground or a sharp object on the way down, it can cause brain trauma, with or without a skull fracture. Brain trauma can mean bleeding or swelling in the brain, as well as damage to the cells in part of the brain.
Severe brain injuries can cause long-term symptoms that last weeks or even months, such as cognitive challenges, trouble communicating and headaches. In the most severe cases, a victim can have permanent brain damage from a fall accident.
If a slip and fall accident causes damage to the spinal cord, a victim can suffer long-term pain or disability. The spinal cord is a fragile column of vertebrae, nerves and disks. If any part of the spine gets injured in a fall accident, the victim may not be able to make a full recovery. Nerve damage may cause chronic back pain, while a more serious spinal cord injury in a bad fall could cause permanent paralysis (loss of feeling and movement from below the point of injury).
These are only a few examples of many different injuries that could cause long-term pain and other symptoms from a slip and fall accident. These are serious accidents that often lead to premises liability lawsuits in Texas. If you or a loved one has a long-term or catastrophic injury from a slip and fall accident, consult with an attorney about recovering compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. A lawyer can help if the property owner or another party owes you financial compensation.