About fifteen percent of all spinal cord injuries result from falling accidents, and they are especially prevalent in the elderly. Some spinal injuries are fairly minor, while others have long-term lifestyle impacts. Regardless of the severity, though, they can often lead to pain, suffering, and high medical expenses.
For this reason, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a slip and fall accident, especially if you suspect there was some form of negligent action on the part of another.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents
Spinal cord injuries come in two forms: complete and incomplete.
- Complete spinal injuries involve a total loss of movement and sensation below the injury point. For example, if you were injured halfway down your back and couldn’t feel or move anything below that point, you’d have a complete spinal injury.
- Incomplete spinal injuries occur when you have a partial loss of movement and sensation below the injury point. For instance, if you suffered a lower spine injury in a fall and had numbness and tingling in your legs, but still retained limited movement, you’d have an incomplete spinal injury. These injuries occur in varying degrees of severity.
Depending on the level of your spinal injury, there could be long-term consequences. Often, legal recourse is necessary in these cases to make sure you’re able to recover as fully as possible.
Long-Term Impacts of Spinal Injuries
The effects of a slip and fall accident could be long reaching if it results in a spinal injury. Some permanent results of these accidents include:
- Lost mobility
- Inability to move certain limbs as precisely as you used to (if at all)
- Nerve damage, resulting in pain or stinging
- Altered sensation, such as numbness or lost ability to feel heat and cold
- Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
- Difficulty breathing
- Altered sexual function and fertility
- Lost bowel and bladder control
Severe spinal cord injuries may result in tetraplegia (quadriplegia) or paraplegia, in which some or all of your limbs are paralyzed.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most spinal cord injuries from slip and fall accidents won’t result in full paralysis, though the results can still be painful and require years of medical treatment and healing. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet and slippery floors
- Sudden changes in floor/ground levels
- Cracks or holes in the floor or pavement
- Exposed cables
- Torn carpets
- Unnatural ice accumulation
For property owners, failure to put up adequate warning signs or take measures to prevent or repair these conditions could make them liable for your injury.
Recovering Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries
When recovering damages for a fall-related spinal injury, you need to be able to establish negligence on the part of an offending party. That party is typically the owner of the property where your injury occurred. In order to prove negligence, you need to show that they had a duty of care toward you (such as a duty to provide a safe environment free of falling hazards) and failed to fulfill that duty.
In these cases, the assistance of an attorney will be vital to securing a favorable settlement. Hart David Carson LLP provides legal representation to those who have suffered spinal injuries from slip and fall accidents, so contact us today to evaluate your claim.