Every year, millions of people are injured in Slip and Fall Accidents that result in back and spinal injuries. These accidents can happen at any location, including at home. The incidence of becoming injured due to a slip, trip or fall accident is very high in people who are over age 65. About one third of that population falls, although most of these people do not report their fall to their doctor. Adding to the injury damage is that once you fall, your chance of falling again doubles, according to the CDC.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and Fall Accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Falls generally will affect some part of the skeletal system, usually the spinal column, hip region and limbs. Motor vehicle accidents account for most spinal cord injuries. Other accidents that damage the back and spine occur while a person is playing sports, when they are injured at work, or by a violent attack.
Slip and Fall Accidents can occur anywhere you are likely to be:
- In the Home – People are injured at home on stairways or by tripping on loose rugs or mats. Another factor may be casual footwear or going barefoot. Older people may fall getting in or out of a tub or shower.
- Outdoors – Debris on walkways, snow and ice buildups, and bumpy or broken concrete are typical outdoor hazards.
- On Commercial Property – Floors, sidewalks, stairs, escalators, elevators and parking lots that are not kept free from debris or that function improperly can precipitate a slip, trip or fall accident. People may be injured when objects fall from heights or around construction sites. Workers are at risk when safety violations are allowed to occur, especially when working on ladders or scaffolding.
- On Private Property – Visiting friends, attending gatherings or even on your own property may result in injuries if hazards exist there.
10 Common Back/Spinal Injuries
The effects of this type of accident can result in a variety of problems, with varying symptoms. In some cases, surgical repair is required, while time can heal other wounds. All will result in pain and suffering, including possible paralysis. The spinal column encases the spinal cord, a main nerve conduit that runs from the brain to other areas of the body. An injury to any point along this pathway will result in symptoms or dysfunction in the area of body that region serves.
- Twisting of the Spine – a common sports injury and also may occur in vehicle accidents
- Compression of Disc/Slipped Disc – an impact to the spine may cause discs between vertebrae to become damaged, compressed or slip out of place
- Broken Bones – falls often result in broken bones in arms, hands, legs or the skull
- Head Injury – closed/open wounds – accidents or attacks that injure the head are always serious
- Spinal Cord Injury or Cut – may result in paralysis
- Whiplash Injury to Neck, Discs, Spine, Spinal Cord – commonly caused from motor vehicle impact as the head whips forward and backward
- Nerve Damage – could be aggravated by future trauma as well as the current incident
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – long term rehabilitation and future issues with mobility, memory, behavior and cognition
- Broken Hips/Pelvis – may require hip replacement, common in older adults when they fall
- Torn Tendons and Ligaments – in feet, knees, wrist
The seriousness of an injury depends upon the actual event, impact and forces involved in the accident. Minor injuries also may occur from tripping, falling a short distance, or excessive twisting of the spine. Severe back injuries may result from car accidents or falls from significant heights. Other injuries to the back and spine can affect more distant areas of the body, such as causing pain in the ankle, wrist, hand, arm, knee, foot, or leg.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
There are some precautions to be taken that can reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents. At all times, it is best to wear sturdy footwear, rather than loose casual styles or going barefoot. Shoes offer support and a firm platform that can help you avoid tripping on minor objects or rug bumps.
Keeping clutter cleared from pathways and stairs is a must for homeowners and commercial business owners. Install and use railings on stairs, and use non-skid floor tape on throw rugs or mats. Grab bars are helpful in the bath area, for toilet, shower and tub use. Placement of items you use frequently in convenient places that are easy to reach will help you avoid the need to use ladders or step stools. Have adequate lighting available, especially after dark in commercial parking lots and walkways.
When someone is injured and suffers back or spinal injuries, medical attention, work loss, incapacity and other physical damages may be compensable with a Personal Injury lawsuit. Placement of liability is an essential element in this action. Liability generally rests with the owner or lessee of property where the accident occurred. If someone is injured on their own property, there still may be a course of action available when liability can be assessed upon an equipment manufacturer if failure of that equipment is the cause of the accident. Commercial property owners and those who rent facilities for gatherings should purchase premises liability insurance coverage to address liability issues.
Main points to consider with liability issues is whether or not the accident was reasonably foreseeable, if the property owner knew about the condition and failed to fix it, or if the condition was evident for a length of time in which the owner should have seen the problem. In some cases, there will be no responsible person; each user needs to take care for their own safe use of or travel on property or buildings.
Personal Injury Attorney
There are many ways a person can suffer back or spinal injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in this manner, consult with our Personal Injury Attorney to determine if you have a case for legal action to recover fair compensation for your expenses and possibly also suffering. Contact our law firm, (insert law firm name), at (phone number) today for a consultation.