The type of trip and fall accident injury generally depends on the height from which the individual falls. Same level slips, trips, and falls typically result in less serious injuries than elevated falls.
However, the extent of harm and severity of the injuries may play a factor in determining whether or not a victim has the right to pursue legal action against a property owner – private property and commercial property owners may be liable – with help from a Long Island slip and fall injury lawyer.
Same Level Fall Accident Injuries
Slips, trips, and falls are common examples of same level falls. This can be the result of slipping on a wet floor, or stumbling over debris, torn carpeting or some kind of obstruction which causes the person to catch his or her foot or shoe.
A typical reaction is to attempt to catch oneself by extending the arms. If the person lands on an arm or hand, the force and impact could cause injuries. One example is a broken wrist.
If the break is particularly severe, it could also include:
- torn ligaments;
- fractures in multiple places;
- broken bone protruding through the skin;
- the break extending into the wrist joint;
- pain in the wrist; and
- it could even look crooked.
As a result, treatment might be more complicated.
Sometimes a physician will need to reset the break. Or surgery might be required in severe cases, which may lead to screws, pins or plates holding the bones in place. Other forms of treatment may include a cast, splint, medication for pain, icing and elevating the wrist.
Physical therapy could be necessary in some cases, too. Special exercises might help in strengthening and stretching the wrist. The recovery could be as long as a couple of months for some patients.
Another common same-level fall accident injury is a torn rotator cuff. This can happen if a person trips and falls on his or her shoulder. There may be a snapping sound when the shoulder is moved or difficulty moving it. Pain, tenderness and weakness are other symptoms that patients may experience.
Minor rotator cuff tears will heal on their own. In the meantime, treatment may include:
- range-of-motion exercises;
- physical therapy; and
Elevated Fall Accident Injuries
Falling from any height, even a few feet, can cause serious injuries. Of course, the higher the fall the more severe the injuries are likely to be.
Broken bones are common injuries to sustain in an elevated fall. They can include fractures of the ankles, elbow, pelvis, or even the thoracic and lumbar spine (middle and lower back, respectively). Multiple breaks are not uncommon.
Spinal cord injuries could be especially catastrophic. The impact will depend on where the injury occurs. Damage below the neck could result in paraplegia, while above the neck it could cause quadriplegia. If there is paralysis, there may be other complications. Examples include breathing (may require a ventilator), chronic pain and difficulties regulating blood pressure.
Head trauma is another potential injury in an elevated fall:
- skull fractures; and
- traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are examples.
The severity of a TBI can range from mild to very severe. Damage may be temporary or permanent. There could be limited damage to brain cells or widespread damage. It may also cause bleeding and/or swelling in the brain.
Recovering Damages for Trip and Fall Accident Injuries
To file a premises liability claim against a property owner, it will need to be proven that the trip or fall was caused by the property owner’s negligence. Your Long Island slip and fall injury lawyer can help evaluate and establish owner negligence. This could stem from a failure to inspect and maintain the property, fix something that is broken or causing a hazardous condition to exist.
Compensation for damages is often sought in slip, trip, and fall cases in which injuries are serious. It could help cover medical expenses, lost wages and address other losses such as pain and suffering and more. Those who are injured may consult Long Island slip and fall injury lawyers regarding their fall accident injuries and whether recovery of damages may be a viable option.