October 15, 2016

Slip and Fall Accidents and Spinal Injuries

Step on a Crack, Break Your Back: Spinal Cord Injury Risks for Slip and Fall Accident Victims

When you think about slip and fall injuries, you usually think of minor bumps and bruises, or perhaps a sprained ankle or wrist. However, depending on the conditions of the fall, where it took place, what caused the accident, and where the impact occurred, a slip and fall injury could be extremely serious. According to slip and fall injury statistics provided by the National Floor Safety Institute, every year more than two million victims of slip and fall accidents are treated in emergency rooms for serious injuries. One of the most debilitating of these injuries is spinal cord damage, which has an unusually (and alarmingly) high risk factor.

Accidental falls account for nearly 30 percent of all spinal cord injuries, making them the second leading cause for all spinal cord injuries (second only to auto accidents), according to the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation. Although the majority of these injuries are caused by severe and direct impact of the spine, neck or head, injuries can vary from minor spinal cord bruising to life-altering and irreversible damage.

Typical Spinal Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents

When a person trips or slips on something, he basically has four options in which to fall: forward, backward, or onto his left or right side. If his momentum forces him backward, the impact force when his back, spine, neck, and head hit the ground can cause severe damage. This risk is further increased if he happens to land on any sort of debris, which could cause him to break his back: the force will concentrate in the area where the spinal column hits the object rather than be distributed across the back. If the object is large and strong enough, gravity can force the rest of the body to curve around it, causing the spine to snap.

Every type of back injury could potentially be catastrophic, leaving the victim with long-term pain or permanent health problems. Common effects of spinal injuries include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of communication skills
  • Seizures and tremors
  • Internal bleeding
  • Brain damage
  • Difficulty moving or partial to complete paralysis

This is why it is important to follow the safety guidelines below when you have suffered a potential back injury from a slip and fall:

  • Assess the damage. Identify the locations of possible injuries and how much pain they have caused.
  • Don’t attempt to move if it hurts or any part of your body is numb. Spinal swelling or bruising could’ve occurred and any additional movement might make it worse.
  • Call for help. If you can’t move or are worried you seriously injured your back, call for emergency help.
  • Protect your rights. Once you’ve received proper medical care, call an experienced injury lawyer for advice about your medical rights and instructions on how to pursue a slip and fall injury claim for treatment compensation.

Your Legal Representation Choice for Slip and Fall Accidents

Spinal cord injury treatments and recovery can be not only long and arduous but extremely expensive. Contact our slip and fall lawyers today for a free consultation about whether you’re entitled to damages and compensation for your slip and fall accident. We can help you get the money you need and deserve for your treatment. Call today!

Nationally Recognized Personal Injury Lawyers