Although often depicted as punchline gags, a slip-and-fall can be a serious incident. People can and do suffer severe injuries as a result of losing their balance or footing while shopping at the store or walking in the mall.
Many times, a slip-and-fall will lead to bruising and possibly a profound sense of social embarrassment, but worse consequences are also possible. What are the three common and noteworthy injuries that can result from a slip-and-fall?
1) People can break a bone
Your momentum when you fall can cause blunt force traumatic injuries to the part of your body that absorbs the force of impact. Many people, frightened about hitting the ground, will swing their arms to try to catch or support themselves during a slip-and-fall.
The very stuff that you take to try to keep yourself from getting hurt might be what causes your injury. Striking the floor, furniture or other objects nearby can lead to fractures or broken bones. People can also possibly break ribs if they fall on their side or back with enough force.
2) Serious head injuries
You instinctively try to catch yourself when you fall even though doing so could break your arm because your body wants you to protect your brain at all costs. Unfortunately, people who fall might hit their head on the wall, the floor or another item nearby, like a piece of furniture or machinery.
A blunt force blow to the head, especially with the full force of a sudden fall behind it, could lead to bleeding or bruising on the brain that produces symptoms ranging from weakness and fatigue to loss of coordination and slurred speech. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, head injuries contribute substantially to the 800,000 people wind up in the hospital because of a fall.
3) Spinal cord injuries
There are multiple ways for someone to injure their spinal cord during a fall. There might be pinching of the spinal cord if someone twists or turns aggressively. They might cut or tear the spinal cord as well. Contact with objects could lead to a fracture and a complete spinal cord injury, although incomplete spinal cord injuries may be more likely in a fall not involving elevation.
Any of these injuries could mean thousands of dollars in medical bills and an extended leave of absence from work. Reporting the incident after it occurs and seeking medical evaluation early will help protect your right to compensation if you get hurt in a slip-and-fall incident.