Many people assume slip and falls are minor accidents that can cause a few bumps and bruises, at most. Victims of serious falls, however, can attest to the potentially catastrophic nature of these accidents. A slip and fall accident that injures a senior citizen, or one that involves dangerous circumstances such as a long drop, can cause many long-term injuries.
Hip Fractures and Related Complications
Falls are a common cause of serious injuries and deaths in the elderly population. One in five fall accidents causes serious injuries, such as broken bones (source: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Hip fractures are one of the most common fall-related injuries that hospitalize victims – especially the elderly. Falls cause more than 95% of all hip fractures in the US. Falling once as someone 65 or older doubles your chances of falling again.
A hip fracture can become a long-term injury for a senior citizen by keeping him or her immobile for a long time. The lengthy healing process can lead to the victim becoming stagnant, along with related health problems such as blood clots, bed sores, urinary tract infections, other infections and muscle atrophy. The injured senior may then be more prone to other injuries and illnesses, as well as an overall decline in health that could lead to death. A senior citizen may never fully recover from a fall-related hip fracture. Other broken bones in the body can also take a long time to heal, resulting in damages such as lost wages and reduced quality of life.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A common long-term injury related to a fall accident is brain trauma. It can be easy for a victim to hit his or her head on an object or the ground during a slip and fall accident. Blunt force trauma to the head could cause a skull fracture and/or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI may cause symptoms for the victim for weeks, months or life. Long-lasting symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, loss of motor skills, trouble sleeping and behavioral changes. Brain cell damage is irreversible in many TBI cases. Some TBI victims overcome their injuries with treatments and medications, while others have to live with the effects of their brain injuries for life.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Aside from the brain, the spinal cord is the area of the body most sensitive to serious injuries in a fall accident. If a slip or trip and fall accident impacts the back or spinal cord, the victim could suffer long-lasting consequences. Nerve damage to the spinal cord, for example, could cause the long-term or permanent loss of feeling and function below the place of injury (paralysis). Even a more minor back injury, such as a slipped or herniated disk, could cause chronic pain and suffering for the victim. Many serious spinal injuries from falls require surgeries and long periods of rehabilitation before the victim feels normal again.
Recovering Fair Compensation for a Long-Term Slip and Fall Injury
A slip and fall accident could change the course of your life. A fall that causes serious injuries, such as to the brain or spine, could inflict lasting symptoms. You may have to quit your job, for example, or pay for long-term medical care because of a permanent disability. A broken bone could also put you in a cast or make you immobile for months at a time, potentially causing related injuries and damages.
If you or someone you love has long-term injuries from a slip and fall accident in Omaha, do not accept less money from an insurance company than you require. Work with an Omaha slip and fall attorney for assistance pursuing maximum compensation for your past and future damages. A lawyer can make sure you do not settle for a low-ball offer that does not fully cover your life-changing injuries. Your lawyer can negotiate a better result on your behalf while you concentrate on healing.