A slip-and-fall incident occurs when someone suddenly loses their balance and falls. Most slip-and-falls are same-level falls that occur because of unclean floors and other items in the path of someone walking. Given that the person involved in a slip-and-fall does not tumble from a significant elevation, people tend to assume that slip-and-fall injuries are usually minor. However, businesses and homeowners alike carry specialized premises liability insurance in part because of the possibility of someone falling while at their property and sustaining a major injury.
A slip-and-fall that leads to significant injuries could put someone in the hospital and potentially even prevent them from maintaining a job to support themselves and their family members. What is the most severe injury commonly reported after a same-level fall?
People can injure their brains
Many slip-and-falls only lead to bruises and scrapes. The person who falls might have short-term pain symptoms but can continue with their daily life as though nothing significant has changed. Occasionally, the people who fall when they lose their balance in a public space have more serious injuries.
Slip-and-fall statistics indicate that about a million people every year require emergency medical care because of a same-level fall. Broken bones and soft tissue injuries are possible, especially among older adults. However, even those were broken bones eventually recover and go back to life as normal in most cases.
Not everyone who gets hurt in a slip-and-fall is that fortunate. The worst injury possible in a slip-and-false scenario is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Someone who falls can strike their head on the floor, their shopping cart or nearby store fixtures. The blunt force trauma to their head can cause swelling and bleeding inside the skull. That, in turn, can lead to TBI symptoms.
Left untreated, TBIs worsen over time. They can leave people unable to work and in need of lifelong medical support. People often don’t realize that they have a brain injury immediately after they fall. It can take multiple days for the injury to the brain to reach a point where it produces noticeable symptoms.
Those who slip and fall in a public location can protect themselves against the future development of symptoms by reporting the incident to the property owner or business manager and seeking medical evaluation. Particularly when people lose consciousness when they fall or experience a headache, proper treatment could make all the difference.
Understanding the worst injuries possible can help people see the value in reporting a slip-and-fall incident when it occurs.