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Head Injuries Caused By Slip and Falls

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Accidents are unpredictable and can occur anywhere, anytime. A frequent kind of accident leading to head injuries is slipping and falling. Despite their seemingly harmless nature, slips and falls can cause serious head injuries with long-term effects.

A slip and fall head injury can involve damage to the scalp, skull, or brain. During slip and fall accidents, head injuries often occur when the head hits hard surfaces like floors, tables, countertops, furniture, or other solid objects. The severity of these injuries can vary from a minor bump to a serious traumatic brain injury, leading to over a million emergency room visits each year.

If someone like a property owner or employer is responsible for injuries sustained from a slip and fall, the attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help. Our skilled Michigan slip and fall attorneys can assist you in pursuing compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

There are no upfront fees for our services, so contact us today for a free case review and learn how we can help you.

Connection Between Head Trauma and Slip and Fall Accidents

The repercussions can be grave when a fall leads to a head injury. Falls rank as the second most common cause of death related to traumatic brain injuries. This high incidence of head injuries in slip and fall accidents is due to several contributing factors, including:

  • Ground impact. When a person slips and falls, the impact with the ground is often sudden and forceful. The head is a vulnerable part of the body, frequently the first to make contact with the ground. This direct impact can result in various head injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • Body positioning. The way the body falls during a slip and fall accident can influence the likelihood of head injuries. Most people instinctively try to break their fall by extending their arms or bracing themselves with their hands.
    While this may prevent injuries to other parts of the body, suddenly stopping your body with your hands can cause the head to snap forward forcefully and can lead to a head-first impact, resulting in trauma.
  • Environmental factors. Slip and fall accidents often occur in hazardous environments, such as wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, or poorly maintained walkways. These conditions can make it easier for individuals to lose their balance and fall or trip over obstacles.

Common Head Injuries Due to Slip and Falls

Slip and fall accidents can result in a wide range of head injuries, each with varying degrees of severity. The most common head injuries due to slips and falls include:

  • Concussions. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) characterized by temporary confusion, loss of consciousness, and memory problems. Concussions often result from the head suddenly impacting or rapidly decelerating (when the head continues to move while the body stops suddenly), which is common in slip and fall accidents.
  • Contusions. A contusion is a bruise on the brain caused by the impact of the head against a hard surface. It can lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and cognitive impairment.
  • Skull fractures. In more severe cases, slip and fall accidents can result in fractures of the skull bones. These fractures can cause bleeding on the brain, leaking cerebrospinal fluid, and brain swelling that may require surgical intervention.
    Patients with a TBI and accompanying skull fracture have a 1.7 times higher mortality rate than those without fractures.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs are the most serious head injuries that can result from slip and falls. They can lead to long-lasting cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. TBIs can range from mild to severe, with severe cases causing permanent disabilities or even death.
  • Hematoma. A hematoma forms when blood vessels are injured, creating a blood clot that applies pressure to brain tissue. Without immediate medical attention, this pressure can lead to a loss of brain function.
  • Closed head injury. Individuals might suffer from bruised brain tissue, ruptured blood vessels, increased pressure inside the skull, or swelling of the brain. This condition can result in permanent brain damage. This type of injury is called a closed head injury because it occurs without penetration of the skull.
  • Diffuse axonal injury. A Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) is a severe form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results from rapid deceleration or rotational forces, such as blunt force from a ground impact.
    It involves widespread damage to axons, the nerve fibers responsible for transmitting information within the brain. DAI often leads to unconsciousness and neurological deficits due to extensive brain disruption.
  • Brain edema. Cerebral edema is swelling in the brain that can impair vital functions, such as cognition, consciousness, motor skills, and sensory perception. The increased intracranial pressure may lead to headaches, seizures, coma, and, in severe cases, can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of a Slip and Fall Head Injury

Symptoms of head injuries can vary widely depending on the severity and location of the injury. It’s important to seek medical attention if symptoms are present after a head injury, even if they seem mild. Some head injuries can be more serious than they initially appear. Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Difficulty in thinking clearly, remembering, or concentrating
  • Loss of consciousness, ranging from a very brief loss of consciousness to a
  • longer period of unconsciousness or coma
  • Nausea or vomiting repeatedly after the injury
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Blurred vision or seeing double
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Mood changes or unusual behavior like increased irritability, sadness, or other changes in personality
  • Difficulty remembering events before or after the injury
  • Sleeping more or less than usual or having difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding others
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Clear fluid draining from the nose or ears
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs or on one side of the body
  • Dilated pupils or a single pupil

Who’s Most Likely to Suffer a Slip and Fall Head Injury?

Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone, but certain demographics are more vulnerable to suffering head injuries in these incidents. While the risk is not limited to a specific group, the following factors may increase the likelihood of head injuries:

  • Age. The elderly are particularly susceptible to slip and fall accidents due to age-related factors such as reduced balance and slower reflexes. Over 60% of hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries in those over the age of 65 are from falling at standing height.
  • Occupational hazards. Certain occupations, such as construction or jobs requiring frequent use of ladders or scaffolding, carry a higher risk of slip and fall accidents. Workers in these industries may be at an increased risk of head injuries.
  • Preexisting medical conditions. Individuals with preexisting medical conditions affecting their balance or coordination may be more prone to slip and fall accidents. These conditions can include neurological disorders, vision problems, or musculoskeletal issues.
  • Environmental factors. Poorly maintained premises, inadequate lighting, and slippery surfaces can increase the risk of falls and head injuries.

Slip And Fall Head Injury

The Long-Term Impact of a TBI Due to Falling

Falls resulting in traumatic brain injuries can have long-term effects on your physical and mental health. These consequences can often prevent you from doing your job, socializing, and participating in daily activities, impacting your quality of life.

  • Cognitive impairment. TBIs can lead to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and impaired decision-making skills. These cognitive impairments can affect your ability to work and perform daily tasks.
  • Emotional and behavioral changes. TBIs can cause mood swings, depression, anxiety, and even personality changes. These emotional and behavioral changes can strain relationships and affect social functioning.
  • Physical disabilities. In severe cases, TBIs can result in physical disabilities, such as paralysis or loss of motor skills. This can require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and assistance with daily activities.
  • Financial burden. The cost of medical treatment, therapy, and ongoing care for a TBI can be substantial. Additionally, individuals with TBIs may be unable to work or face reduced earnings capacity, adding to the financial burden.

Validating a Claim for a Slip and Fall Injury

When pursuing compensation for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident, you need to establish the extent and legitimacy of your injuries. There are several ways you can validate your claim, including:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, seek medical attention immediately. This is important for your health and well-being and establishes a tangible record of your injuries. Medical professionals will document your condition, the extent of your injuries, and the treatment prescribed, which will be invaluable in validating your claim.
  • Maintain detailed medical records. Your medical records should include diagnoses, treatment plans, medication prescriptions, and further medical care or rehabilitation recommendations. Ensure you keep copies of all medical bills related to your treatment.
  • Obtain doctor’s notes. Request detailed notes from your healthcare provider documenting your injuries, their cause, and the anticipated recovery process. These notes offer additional evidence supporting your claim.
  • Undergo imaging tests. Head injuries may not be immediately visible or apparent in many slip and fall cases. Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans can reveal hidden injuries like fractures, soft tissue damage, or internal injuries.
  • Document the accident scene. Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including any hazardous conditions that contributed to your fall. This visual evidence can help establish liability and demonstrate that the property owner or responsible party failed to maintain safe conditions.
  • Gather witness statements. If your slip and fall incident had witnesses, obtain their contact details and gather statements about what they saw. Having witness testimonies can reinforce your claim, as they provide support and confirmation for your account of the events.

Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to Discuss Your Claim for Compensation

Slip and fall cases can be challenging to prove, which is why you need an experienced attorney by your side from consultation to resolution. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we understand how a head injury can impact your and your family’s lives. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive legal support.

Attorney Eileen Kroll, a nurse and lawyer, uses her combined medical and legal knowledge to effectively advocate for your slip and fall head injury case, ensuring thorough and successful representation.

With a track record of securing substantial settlements for our clients, our lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have dedicated decades to assisting injury victims in Michigan, achieving millions in compensation for them.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at  1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Alistair MacDonald holds a bachelor’s degree in History and minors in Classics and Economics from Hamilton College. He writes about complex financial and legal topics, explaining them in a reader-friendly way.



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