Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common types of accidents that occur on personal, commercial, or public property. While any kind of accident can cause injury, there are some types of injuries that are more prevalent in slip and fall accidents.
Slip and Fall Statistics
Slip and falls are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms and spinal cord injuries for individuals aged 65 and over. It is estimated that up to 87 percent of all fractures in this age group are caused by slip and fall accidents. Additionally, slips and falls account for more than one million emergency room visits annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one of the most severe consequences of a slip and fall accident. When an individual slips and falls, they very likely may hit their head on nearby objects like tables, desks or even the floor. Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech,
- Memory problems,
- Vision issues,
- Balance problems,
- Hearing loss or ringing in ears.
TBIs can range from mild to severe depending on the force with which the head hits the ground or other objects during a fall.
Slipping and falling onto one’s side can cause a hip fracture. Hip fractures are very painful and make it difficult for people to walk without assistance. As such, they often require a hospital stay for treatment followed by physical therapy for recovery. Surgery may also be required if the fracture is severe enough.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), approximately half of all people ages 65 or older cannot live independently after suffering a hip fracture from a slip and fall. Additionally, the risk of hip fractures increases ten times for people over the age of 85 compared to those aged 65. Hip fractures for elderly victims are known to be life-threatening, as the injury immobilizes them and makes them vulnerable to blood clots, infection and decreased muscle mass.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A slip and fall accident can also cause a spinal cord injury which affects nerve communication between your body parts and your brain. Symptoms vary depending on where on the spinal cord the injury occurs but generally include weakness in arms or legs along with pain or tingling sensations in areas below where it occurred. In the most severe cases, paralysis may occur as a result.
How Property Owners Can Safe-Proof Their Premises
Property owners can take certain measures to reduce the chances of slip and fall accidents. This may include ensuring that all indoor and outdoor surfaces are well-maintained, secure and free from debris or any other hazardous objects; installing easy-to-see signs around wet floors or other potentially dangerous areas; providing adequate lighting, especially in dark areas of the property; having proper safety equipment and guards for staircases; ensuring that any carpets or rugs are firmly secured to the floor.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident and sustained serious injuries, call us today at (775) 227-2280.