Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. While true for individuals of all ages, falling can be especially dangerous for older adults.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.” The CDC also reports that “more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor.”
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Olympia, Tacoma, or another area of Washington, it is extremely important that you seek medical treatment. Falls can cause various types of injuries, and many of these injuries can increase your risk of falling again.
It is also important that you consult with a lawyer. The economic and non-economic damages associated with traumatic injuries can be substantial, and in many cases property owners may be held liable for slip and fall accidents.
5 Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
From cuts and bruises to brain trauma and broken bones, slip and fall accidents can lead to all types of traumatic injuries. According to the CDC, five of the most common types of injuries in these accidents are:
1. Head Injuries
“Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI),” as reported by the CDC. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are hospitalized with concussions and other brain injuries. Many of these injuries are sustained in slip and fall accidents.
While many traumatic brain injuries result from an impact with the ground or another object, it is not necessary to hit your head in order to suffer a head injury. When you fall, the forces of the fall itself can cause a head injury even without a direct impact.
With this in mind, even if you did not hit your head in the fall, you should not rule out the possibility of a head injury. You should see a doctor promptly for a complete diagnosis.
2. Wrist and Arm Fractures
When we fall, our natural reaction is to brace for impact. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to injuries to the hands, wrists, and arms.
In particular, many fall victims suffer wrist and arm fractures. The bones in the wrists and arms often are not strong enough to withstand the force of the body falling on top of them, and attempting to brace for impact can cause the bones in the arms and wrists to break even without the full weight of the body above them.
While bracing with your hand or arm can help to prevent other injuries, it can lead to injuries that require intensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation and recovery.
3. Ankle Fractures
Ankle fractures are also common injuries in slip and fall accidents as well. Slipping can force the ankle into an awkward position, which can result in a fracture.
Even if the ankle is not fractured, twisting or “folding over” of the ankle can lead to sprains, strains, and tears. These injuries can be debilitating, requiring extensive treatment and lengthy recovery.
The symptoms of ankle fractures and soft tissue injuries can be similar. Any pain, swelling, or bruising is a sign that you should see a doctor right away.
4. Hip Fractures
According to the CDC, “Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures,” and “[m]ore than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling.” Not only are hip fractures serious injuries on their own, but they can also present risks for potentially serious complications and permanent disabilities.
While hip fractures are a particular risk for older adults, anyone who slips and falls can suffer a hip fracture. The costs of treatment and recovery can be substantial, and hip fractures can lead to loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages.
5. Emotional Trauma
As the CDC explains, “Many people who fall . . . become afraid of falling. This fear may cause [them] to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling.”
Following a slip and fall accident, emotional trauma is a very real concern. You may be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional anguish, for the psychological injury associated with a fall.
Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Contact Fuller & Fuller Today
If you or an aging loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Attorney Marya Fuller can assess your legal rights and advise you of the compensation you may be able to recover.
Please call (800) 570-4878 today for an initial consultation. Fuller & Fuller serves clients in Olympia, Tacoma, and nearby areas of Washington.