Slip & Fall Accidents: Leading Cause of Brain Injuries
Slip and fall accidents that result in a sudden or violent blow to the head are a leading cause of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
Falls and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of head trauma and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Slip and fall accidents account for more than eight million injuries every year in the United States, second only to motor vehicle accidents.
Slip and falls are common causes of injuries in the workplace, in the home, and outdoors in public spaces. Although lawyers commonly see injuries such as bruises, cuts and abrasions, sprained wrists and ankles, and broken bones, they also see a large percentage of life-altering head and brain injuries with tragic consequences.
A concussion is a type of mild brain injury that is usually not life-threatening. Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, sleepiness, and blurred vision usually go away within a few weeks as the injury heals. Victims who suffer moderate or severe brain injuries usually have more serious symptoms that require immediate medical treatment or hospitalization. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries often include:
- Severe migraine headaches
- Convulsions and seizures
- Slurred speech
- Inability to wake up
- Mental confusion and amnesia
- Combative and aggressive behaviors
Treating Brain Injuries
While concussions typically require bed rest and pain medications, traumatic brain injuries require more aggressive medical treatments. TBIs often affect parts of the brain that control speech, motor skills, cognitive functions, emotions, and mood. Treatment often includes speech and language therapy, physical and vocational rehabilitation, and psychiatric or psychological treatments. Approximately 50% of people who suffer severe traumatic brain injuries need surgery to repair ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue (contusions). Although some victims of TBIs may respond well to medical treatments and therapies, others may suffer long-term physical and mental disabilities.
Pursuing a Claim
If traumatic brain injuries are caused by a work-related slip and fall accident, the injury victim will likely be able to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim with his or her employer. Benefits usually cover costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation and therapy, and a portion of lost wages for time off from work.
If injuries occur outside of the workplace due to negligence, lawyers can recover damages through a negotiated settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company or through a personal injury lawsuit.