Devastating and Painful Trauma Sustained in Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the “slip, trip, and fall prevention experts” at the National Floor Safety Institute, your risk of seriously injuring yourself in a slip and fall accident increases significantly with every decade of your life.
When you were a child, trips and falls were commonplace but your resilience and quick-healing body helped protect you from serious long-term injuries. However, as you got older, you began to lose bone density, muscle elasticity, and pain resilience, causing even a small tumble to have disastrous effects. In fact, slip and fall injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits for people over the age of 65, and result in over 15,000 deaths per year.
So, why are slip and falls so dangerous?
Common Slip and Fall Injuries: The Dangers of Impact Force
When an object falls from a certain height and strikes the ground, the force that is exerted on it can cause a lot of damage, especially if it falls from a significant height. For example, if you drop an egg on the counter from a height of five inches, the egg probably won’t crack. However, if you drop it on the floor from a height of five feet, the egg won’t only crack, it’ll break open.
This same principle applies to the human body. When you fall over, your head, neck, spine, and other fragile areas of your body fall from a height of at least four feet, which exerts a lot of impact force when you hit the ground. This force can be so great that it can (and often does) cause the following injuries:
- Pulled muscles and stretched tendons. Reflexes such as tensing your muscles and twisting your limbs in anticipation of a painful fall could result in overextension of tendons or pulled muscles
- Sprained or broken wrists, ankles, and knees. Your wrists, ankles, and knees are the most fragile joints on your body as they have very little protection; they sacrifice stability in order to provide mobility. Unfortunately, these are also the joints used most often to catch yourself while falling. When you hit the ground, the delicate bones in these joints can easily twist, snap, and pop.
- Fractured collarbones. Slamming your chest into the ground when falling face first can cause massive impact force to crack, snap, or shatter your collarbone.
- Bruised or chipped tailbones. Much like your collarbone, when you fall backward the first things to make contact with the ground is your butt and back; it’s a natural reaction to push your butt out to absorb impact. The impact of hitting the ground can cause your tailbone to chip, while the residual force can travel up the tailbone and cause it to fracture.
- Head and brain trauma. The force of a fall in any direction can have a severe impact on your neck and skull. Your neck isn’t rigid, so when your body hits the ground your neck acts as a whip and allows your skull to continue to flail toward the ground. This produces the jerking action known as whiplash and can also damage cervical vertebrae or add extra force to your head as it strikes the ground. This force can cause skull fractures, bruising, and brain damage.
- Spinal cord injuries. If you fall on your back, the majority of the force may be exerted on your spine. The result: vertebrae that chip, break, or become compressed, and permanent damage to spinal discs, the spinal cord, and surrounding nerves.
The Helping Hand You Need to Pick Yourself Up and Dust Yourself Off
In addition to being extremely painful, severe slip and fall injuries can also be ludicrously expensive. Doctor’s visits, medication, and long-term care—not to mention workdays lost due to the injury—can cost you thousands of dollars. It can cause massive anxiety to watch your bank account drain away as you are literally paying for someone else’s mistake.
Don’t let negligence hurt you further. Get the help you need to pursue an injury claim and get the compensation you deserve for treatment. Call us today at 215-569-1455 or contact us now to see how we can help you secure your future recovery.
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