Why are slip-and fall-injuries so dangerous?

Slip-and-fall injuries are one of the most common types of accidental injuries that can bring someone into an attorney's office, but most people still don't realize just how serious they can be.

Here's what can happen to the human body during a simple slip and fall:

Your spinal cord can be seriously damaged

Your spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae in your back. During a fall, those vertebrae can be pushed out of place, which may cause them to end up pushed against the spinal cord. That can cause pain, numbness and weakness in your limbs and back. An injury high against the spinal cord can even end up causing full paralysis.

You can break your bones

Broken bones are common problems after falls. Depending on how you land, you may get lucky enough to walk away with nothing more than a broken arm or broken leg. However, anyone with any sort of fragility in their bones -- like older people with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis -- may end up with broken vertebrae in their back and broken hips as well. That can lead to life-long pain and disability.

You can get a traumatic brain injury

Falling is the second most common source of brain injuries -- which makes falls serious indeed! Even a minor head injury can result in major trauma to the brain if there is swelling or a loss of consciousness. What's even more alarming is that you can suffer a serious head injury without realizing it because the symptoms may not show up immediately.

You can wind up in a nursing home

Older individuals, in particular, suffer terribly from slips and falls. A fall is behind 40 percent of admissions into nursing homes -- and that's often a permanent loss of the victim's independence. Also, the long-term mobility problems caused by a bad fall can cause other health issues to spiral out of control.

If you're injured in a slip and fall, take it seriously. Even if you aren't sure that you're seriously hurt, it's a wise idea to have yourself checked out by a doctor -- just in case you end up needing to file a personal injury claim later.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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