Slip and fall incidents are some of the most common types of accidents in the United States, and falls account for 8.9 million visits to emergency rooms every year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
While some slip and fall accidents only cause minor injuries, such as bruising, others can cause serious physical harm. Back injuries from falls are some of the most serious and potentially life-altering injuries a person can sustain.
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident that someone else caused, an attorney can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. For more information regarding the type of back injuries that can be sustained from a slip and fall, refer to the following.
Tailbone injuries are common back injuries from falls, and occur when the victim lands on his or her buttocks as a result of a slip. When falling at a certain angle, the tailbone – medically known as the coccyx – is often bruised. Additionally, the ligaments that surround the bone often become pulled as a result of blunt force to the tailbone, resulting in a painful injury that can take weeks to heal.
Fortunately, tailbone injuries are usually temporary, and those injured may ice the area and sit on a soft cushion to find relief. Occasionally, tailbone fractures can occur. In the case of a fracture, healing can take longer, sometimes up to eight weeks, according to MedLine Plus.
Strains, Sprains and Herniated Discs
Equally as painful as a tailbone injury are strains, sprains and herniated discs. When falling, people often try to catch themselves to prevent or lessen the impact of the fall.
However, doing so can strain the lower back, and result in serious back pain. While heating, icing, and resting the back are typically enough to alleviate a muscle sprain or strain, severe pain that won’t go away could be the sign of something else.
If the pain is consistent or intense, the sprain may actually be a herniated disc. A herniated disc can be a very painful back injury from a fall. It occurs when the inner portion of the disc between the vertebrae starts pushing through the exterior.
This can put pressure on the surrounding nerves, leading to weakness and discomfort in other areas of the body. While some herniated discs can be corrected on their own without invasive procedures, a herniated disc may require surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries after Falls
Perhaps the most serious of all back injuries from falls are spinal cord injuries. When the tissue of the spinal cord is damaged, a variety of physical consequences may result. The severity of a spinal cord injury is usually determined by where in the spinal cord the injury occurred, as well as the severity of the damage.
While some people who suffer from spinal cord injuries are not affected by long-term physical consequences, others lose complete or partial motor function, complete or partial sensory function, or even pass away.
Who is liable for your back injuries from a fall?
In New York, premises liability law requires that all property owners maintain a standard of safety for their properties, ensuring that the property is reasonably free from harm for those who enter it.
Below are some examples of negligent property owner actions.
- failure to remove ice from a sidewalk or parking lot.
- left debris in a walkway.
- failed to install a handrail where one was needed.
- and didn’t repair broken walking surfaces.
Compensation may address damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
At Gacovino, Lake, & Associates, P.C. our attorneys know how traumatizing and life-altering back injuries from falling can be. For help filing your claim, call us today at 800-550-0000 or use our contact form.