Slip-and-fall injuries account for a significant percentage of serious injuries reported in the United States each year. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits each year, with more than 21% of patients reporting injuries from these events.
While the risk of a slip-and-fall injury varies from person to person, there are several different types that people may suffer in the aftermath.
Falls can cause serious bone fractures in the extremities, including those that cause the bone to protrude through the skin. Such fractures may include an increased risk of infection. Elderly individuals often fracture their hip or pelvis, which may require months of physical therapy afterward. Falling backward may result in a skull fracture, which can cause long-term injuries.
Traumatic brain injury
During a fall, a victim’s head may strike the ground with enough force to injure the brain. Such trauma can cause a variety of injuries, including:
- Bruising in the brain
- Fracture of the skull with penetrating injury
These events can cause memory problems, reduction of motor skills and a loss of cognitive skills.
When a slip-and-fall incident occurs and individuals land on their backs, they may suffer a spinal injury. This can include fractured vertebrae, which may result in partial or complete paralysis. Victims may also experience numbness or a loss of motor skills in their lower extremities, depending on the degree of the injury.
Individuals of any age may suffer a slip-and-fall injury. However, the risk of falling as an adult increases with age, making elderly people the most vulnerable age category.