A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, from a neglected item on the floor at the grocery store, to a freshly mopped one at a friend’s house. We can try to practice caution in every aspect of our lives, but sometimes, unavoidable accidents can and do happen. Whether the liability is found from negligence from you or another party, the most important consideration is your health and getting your potential injuries treated promptly.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most reported slip and fall accidents are caused by unfavorable conditions on business properties with insufficient warnings or alternative routes. The most common causes of a slip and fall include:
- Debris on the Ground
- Excessively Wet Floor With No Displayed Warning or Signage
- Unsafe Working or Construction Zones
- Uneven Ground Level Such As a Hole or Indentation
- Protruding Features Such as Raised Door Sills
Although people can be clumsy and accidents do happen at home, most cases occur on other properties because people aren’t as familiar with the surroundings of these locations as they are with their own homes. It is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure safe conditions are met at all times to avoid accidents and guarantee the safety of their customers, regardless of the cause of the fall.
Most Common Slip & Fall Injuries
Second only to car accidents in frequency, slip & fall accidents are an incredibly common personal injury. They can cause physical pain, emotional suffering, and thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, depending on severity.
1. Head Injuries
Trauma to the head, neck, and skull can be the most devastating of all injuries. Any blow to the head should be treated like a medical emergency even if you feel fine and aren’t experiencing any symptoms. Minor concussions can occur and usually clear up on their own, but traumatic brain injuries can also happen and can potentially permanently affect your basic functioning and reasoning skills.
Symptoms of a TBI can include:
- Blurred Vision
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Trouble Concentrating
- Slurred Speech
Traumatic brain injuries cannot be diagnosed solely on symptoms, so a trip to see a medical professional should be your number one priority.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur any time your body takes a blow and the spinal cord is severed, compressed or bruised, and can also refer to the surrounding vertebrae and nerves. Any misalignment can cause severe pain and discomfort, and even permanent paralysis depending on the severity of the injury and force of the impact.
Spinal cord injuries that happen closer to the brain bring a higher risk of more permanent damage. Spinal cord injury treatment is proven to be more effective the sooner you seek treatment after the accident. Consulting with an experienced chiropractor as soon as possible is in your best interest.
3. Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue refers to tissues that connect, surround, protect, or support body organs or functions. They can include muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves. These injuries are not always visible or obvious, and you may not even know you’ve been injured until weeks, months, or years down the road.
Soft tissue injuries can range from a bruise, to sprained ankle, or even a visceral tear which can lead to further complications. Avoiding the use of the injured location, rest, compression, and heat therapy are useful first steps to treating a soft tissue injury until you can make it in to see a medical professional, who are the only ones that can determine if your fall was the cause of the injury.
4. Broken Bones
Broken bones can easily be the most painful and terrifying experience during a slip and fall accident. Hip bones, tailbones, arms, wrists, legs, ankles, and knees are the most common locations for fractures and breaks to occur, and can often be the most painful and debilitating considering their frequent need for use. Different kinds of injuries can include:
- Greenstick Fracture – most common in children where the fracture is incomplete and the bone is bent.
- Comminuted Fracture – fracture where the bone fragments into pieces.
- Compound Fracture – perhaps the most painful, this fracture occurs when the broken bone has pierced through the skin and can lead to severe infection.
- Impacted Fracture – fracture in which the two ends of the broken bone are forced and driven into each other.
- Complete Fracture – this fracture usually breaks the bone into at least two pieces, and is the most common fracture resulting from slip and fall accidents and car accidents.
- Single Fracture – the bone breaks at a single location.
Broken bones are not by any means a quick fix and need medical attention immediately. They’re not only injuries in themselves, but also cause additional injury to the surrounding soft tissues. Your healing time will depend on your personal attributes such as age and overall health.
What to do After a Slip & Fall Accident
First and foremost, and we can’t stress this enough, you need to seek medical attention. No matter if you don’t think anything is wrong, don’t recognize any symptoms, or think you can’t afford it, whatever the reason may be, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Get yourself checked out before further complications or injuries have the chance to happen.
Seeing a doctor or chiropractor will also provide you with legal documentation of your injuries in the event a lawsuit may be in the works. Contact a knowledgeable chiropractor to help with your neck and back pain and spinal cord injuries at Preferred injury Physicians. Call today to schedule an appointment to get your body and life back on track.