Slip and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere. Whether you are out shopping, on your way to work, on a military base, or visiting a neighbor, dangerous conditions on any type of public or private property can leave you suffering from life-altering injuries.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. If you can establish that (i) the property owner owed you a duty of care, (ii) the property owner breached this duty of care, and (iii) you were injured as a result, then you have a “premises liability” claim under Tennessee law. Slip and fall accident victims can seek compensation for all types of injuries – the key is to see a doctor right away so you can prove that your injuries resulted from the fall. You should also speak with a lawyer promptly, as it may be necessary to quickly gather evidence at the scene of the accident.
10 Common Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Regardless of how or why you fell, hitting the ground suddenly and unexpectedly can potentially cause a variety of severe traumatic injuries. Here are 10 of the most common injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents:
1. Broken Bones
The forces involved in a slip and fall accident are easily enough to cause broken bones. While the elderly are particularly susceptible to suffering bone fractures in a fall, all types of accident victims can suffer breaks in all parts of the body. Fractured hips are among the most dangerous types of breaks due to the potential for severe complications. However, broken bones in the lower legs, arms, rib cage, shoulders, and collarbone area can require long-term treatment and recovery as well.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) resulting from a fall can include fractured vertebrae, slipped and herniated discs, pinched nerves, and a variety of other types of painful and debilitating injuries. The symptoms and effects of SCI can vary widely, from pain and limited mobility to full or partial paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can be classified as either “complete” or “incomplete,” depending on the extent of the damage to the spinal cord. And they can also be classified by where in the spine they occur:
- Cervical SCI: Vertebrae C1 through C8 in the upper spinal cord
- Thoracic SCI: Vertebrae T1 through T12 in the middle of the spinal cord
- Lumbar SCI: Vertebrae L1 through L5 in the lower back
- Sacral SCI: The region where the nerves exit the lower spine
- Coccygeal (or coccyx) SCI: The single vertebra commonly known as the “tail bone”
3. Neck Injuries
Neck injuries can result from damage to the spinal cord or from damage to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the neck. The term “whiplash” refers to a condition in which the upper spinal cord and the soft tissue in the neck are damaged due to sudden and violent movement – as can occur with an unexpected slip and fall.
In the context of slip and fall accidents, concussions most often occur when the victim’s head collides with the ground. However, violent shaking can cause a concussion as well, even if the head does not make contact with a stationary object. Symptoms of concussions generally include (but are not limited to) headache, confusion, feeling “foggy,” dizziness, ringing in the ears, and nausea. Loss of consciousness may or may not occur.
5. Other Forms of TBI
While all types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are serious, a concussion is considered to be the most “mild” form of TBI. Depending on the circumstances involved, slip and fall accidents can cause other forms of TBI as well. These include:
- Epidural, intracerebral, or subdural hematoma
- Intraventricular or subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Basilar, depressed, and linear skull fractures
- Coup-contrecoup injuries
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
6. Severe Cuts and Lacerations
Falling on debris, broken glass, sharp metal, and other dangerous objects can cause severe cuts and lacerations. Not only can these injuries require stitches or sutures to heal (which will often leave permanent scars), but they can also cause damage to the nerves, muscles, and other soft tissue beneath the skin.
7. Knee and Ankle Injuries
Twisting a knee or ankle in a fall can cause injuries ranging widely in severity. Sprains and strains are common, as are broken bones, tears, and other more-serious injuries.
8. Shoulder, Elbow, and Wrist Injuries
Attempting to brace yourself during a fall (which is virtually everyone’s natural reaction) can cause injuries in the wrists and up through the elbows and shoulders. Broken bones are common, as are injuries to the nerves and soft tissue. Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment requirements can range from rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to surgery and rehabilitation therapy.
9. Facial Injuries
Injuries to the face can occur as a result of striking the ground or striking an object while falling. This includes severe cuts, broken teeth and jaw fractures, nose fractures, and eye injuries. In many cases, slip and fall accident victims will suffer facial injuries in addition to suffering a concussion or other form of TBI.
10. Chronic Pain
While not a separate injury in itself, chronic pain resulting from any of the injuries listed above (or any other injury sustained in a slip and fall accident) can have debilitating consequences. Many slip and fall accident victims live with chronic pain for years – if not decades – as a result of their injuries. This pain causes many victims to be unable to work, enjoy life, and spend meaningful time with their families. And these are all losses for which financial compensation is available under Tennessee law.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer for Free
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Clarksville, Springfield, or any of the surrounding areas, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. To speak with one of our injury lawyers in Tennessee in confidence, call 931-650-5484 or inquire online today.