The Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries

The risks of slip and fall accidents can cause serious medical issues and costs for victims. It’s important to know which areas of the body can be impacted the most for serious injury after a slip and fall accident.

Skeletal figure slipping and falling on staircase
Headshot of man in navy blue suit with pink tie

Slawomir Platta, Esq.

March 8, 2023 01:00 PM

Slip and fall accidents often leave victims with serious injuries that can put them out of work, and unable to pay for medical costs, or perform daily tasks. There are more than 52,000 annual emergency room visits from slip and fall accidents in New York state alone. A considerable number of them lead to bodily injuries that perform some of the most important functions:

The Two Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries After Slip and Fall Accidents

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s) occur when someone’s head hits the ground or a standing object on the way down from a slip and fall. There are two types of brain injuries that can both derive from a trip and fall accident:

Closed brain injury occurs when the moving head is stopped abruptly, such as hitting the pavement after tripping over a sidewalk, or by hitting the head with a blunt object, causing the brain to collide with the intracranial bony surface. They can also occur without direct external trauma when the brain is subjected to rapid forward or backward movement, such as when a person sustains a spinal cord injury from the erratic movement of a bus.

Penetrating brain injuries occur when a high-speed object, such as rubble or building facade, pierces the skull. Many trip and fall injuries occur as a result of getting hit by external objects. Both blunt and penetrating brain injuries can cause localized or diffuse damage to the brain.

Soft Tissue Injuries that Develop After an Accident

Soft Tissue Injuries involve the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround the bony structure of the body. These can be caused by impact injuries like slips and falls, and by the stress after these types of accidents. Ankles, wrists, and knees are particularly susceptible to soft tissue injuries that result from sprains or tears. Most minor sprains can be treated but often require a brace or time off from work. Severe sprains or tears may even necessitate surgical repair of the ligaments.

Inflammation of a tendon or the outside of a tendon is known as tendonitis. This is a common occurrence after a slip and fall accident due to the strain and stress placed upon the tendons. Contusions or bruises occur when blood collects where a muscle, tendon, or ligament has been damaged. Most bruises will heal on their own, however if they persist, medical attention may be required.

How Slip and Falls Can Injure the Body’s Most Important Skeletal Bone

Spinal Cord Fractures are the most common injuries experienced among older people from slip and fall accidents. The spinal cord is the main information pathway that transmits vital sensory signals and messages between the body and the brain. An injured spinal cord means limited movements of other body parts and a higher chance of paralysis.

What are the most common defects that cause slip and fall accidents?

Personal injuries from a slip and fall accident originate from a multitude of causes. For example, poor lighting can prevent you from seeing obstacles on the ground. A change in flooring or even a torn carpet can cause a tripping hazard. Defects that are left unattended due to neglect by another responsible party, it is worth pursuing a slip and fall legal case. According to the investigation carried out by the CNA Risk Control team, these incidents can be caused by various factors, such as:

  • Lack of slip resistance on walking surfaces
  • Poor walking surface conditions
  • Poor visibility, not pertinent to an individual’s level of vision
  • Missing or poor condition of handrails and railings
  • Bad stair design or unfinished renovation
  • Incorrect gateway transitions not suitable for pedestrians
  • Distractions, such as displays, lights, and advertisements
  • Poor housekeeping, such as messy hallways and improper material storage

Inherently, slipping is possible when the amount of friction between a person's shoes and the ground is insufficient to support their dynamic movement, such as walking. Slip and fall accidents are mainly caused by environmental factors brought on by smooth shoe soles, poorly maintained mats, moisture, ice, and new wax. These conditions facilitate minimal friction, which increases the risk of personal injury from slips and falls.

Slawomir Platta is the founding partner of The Platta Law Firm, PLLC. He earned his degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He’s been trying personal injury cases throughout the Courts of New York for almost 20 years and has been featured as a Super Lawyer consecutively since 2015.
Headline Image: iStock/solar22

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