Slip and fall accidents happen more often than you may think. They are the second most common cause of accidental death in the United States, accounting for over 42,000 fatalities in 2020. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent slip and falls from occurring in the first place. This blog will provide an in-depth look at the common types of injuries stemming from slip and falls (from least to most severe) and how property owners can help prevent them.
The Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Bruises & Abrasions
Bruises occur when a person slips and falls on a hard surface, such as concrete or tile flooring. The force of the impact causes blood vessels beneath the skin to break, resulting in discolored patches on the skin, known as bruises.
Abrasions are scrapes or cuts sustained when a person slides along a rough surface after slipping. These injuries may be minor or severe, depending on the intensity of the impact. If left untreated, some bruises can result in scarring or other lasting damage.
Sprains & Strains
A sprain is an injury that occurs when ligaments (connective tissues) are stretched beyond their normal range of motion due to slipping or falling. Sprains typically affect:
- Knees and other joints
Strains occur when muscles or tendons (tissues connecting muscles to bones) become overextended due to slipping and falling. Both sprains and strains can range from mild discomfort to intense pain, depending on their severity. In some cases, surgery may be required if these injuries do not heal properly without medical intervention.
Fractures & Dislocations
Fractures occur when bones break due to excessive force caused by slipping and falling onto hard surfaces such as pavement or concrete floors. Dislocations occur when bones move out of their normal positions within joints due to extreme force resulting from slipping or falling onto hard surfaces such as pavement or concrete floors. In addition to immediate pain upon impact, fractures and dislocations can also cause long-term physical disabilities if they are not treated promptly by medical professionals.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is a type of closed head injury caused by an external force. It occurs when the head strikes an object or surface after slipping and falling, causing the brain to move inside the skull and potentially leading to long-term neurological damage. Symptoms of a TBI typically include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Memory loss
- Vision problems
- Difficulty speaking or understanding language
- Behavioral changes
- Depression and other psychological issues.
In extreme cases, a person may even be rendered unable to care for themselves without assistance.
How to Prevent Slip and Falls
Slip, and falls can be prevented by taking some simple safety precautions. Here are a few tips property owners can keep in mind:
- Keep walking surfaces clean and dry at all times, especially in wet or icy weather conditions.
- Wear proper footwear with good grip when walking on potentially slippery surfaces such as tile or hardwood floors.
- Install non-skid mats and other anti-slip products on potential danger areas such as stairs, ramps, and entryways.
- Make sure that any loose carpets or rugs are properly secured to the floor to prevent them from becoming tripping hazards.
- Use adequate lighting throughout your home or business space to ensure visibility in dark areas.
How a Slip and Fall Attorney in St. Louis, MO, Can Help
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights following the incident and advise you on your best course of action for seeking compensation. At Kolker Law Firm, our St. Louis slip and fall attorneys provide knowledgeable legal representation for those who have suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence. We are committed to helping our clients seek justice after being injured in a preventable accident.
Call us today at (314) 684-8285 or fill out our form online for a free initial consultation.