elderly woman falling in bathroom because slippery surfacesSlip and falls are the second leading cause of serious injuries and accidental death after motor vehicle accidents. Whether attributed to poor lighting, uneven pavement or lackluster maintenance, slip and fall injuries can range from minor bruising and torn ligaments to permanent brain damage. The nature of injury and degree of severity will depend on a variety of circumstances, but when negligence factors in to the equation, it’s time to consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green.

Our attorneys have a thorough understanding of common injuries from slip and fall accidents and have secured large damage awards for clients throughout New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Long Island. Schedule a complimentary case evaluation to learn how we can help you recover and move forward with your life.

Slip and fall injuries types

Slip and fall incidents affect the young and old alike, but no two people will suffer the same kinds of injuries. The following factors will play a large role in the type of injury sustained:

  • Age and overall physical condition– the victim’s age, gender and overall health will have some impact on the injury sustained.  For example, women over the age of 55 are more likely to suffer pelvis or hip fractures compared to men of the same age.
  • Position at landing– most people will reflexively attempt to break a fall with an outstretched hand or arm. A fall that may have resulted in a fractured tail bone could result in broken wrist or arm instead.
  • Impact on floor surface– slips, trips and tumbles can result in debilitating injury depending on how fast and hard the body impacts the ground surface. Someone who slips on an icy sidewalk could easily crack their skull on the pavement.

Common slip and fall injuries

The following are some of the common types of slip, trip and fall injuries:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft tissue injuries, which involve the muscles, ligaments and tendons, do not always produce noticeable symptoms. Days or weeks may pass after the fall before you notice your neck is stiff, your knee hurts to bend, or you have a bad ankle sprain. Unless there is swelling, pain or bruising present, some soft tissue injuries can go undetected and untreated, adding more risk to later complications. Some of the more serious soft tissue injuries seen in falls are torn knee ligaments.
  • Broken bones– Fractures of the ankle, knee and leg are some of the most prevalent slip and fall injuries. Depending on the location and severity of the break, this may require a cast, surgery to stabilize the bone with metal rods and screws, and months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Compound fractures, in which the bone pierces through the skin, are much more dangerous, as there is an immediate risk of infection, tissue damage and internal bleeding.
  • Back injury – More serious back injuries can lead to a life of chronic pain. Falling on your back or in a twisted position can cause the discs between the vertebrae to slip out of place (herniated disc) or become compressed. In addition, the bony vertebra can suffer compression fractures. Numbness or a tingling ache that radiates down the legs are classic slip and fall back pain symptoms.
  • Head, skull and brain injuries – Even minor bumps on the head should be treated as a medical emergency. Concussions are a prime example, since this type of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have lasting implications both physically and emotionally for years to come. More serious TBIs can permanently impair cognitive abilities, motor coordination, and affect vision and speech. Traumatic brain injury cannot be diagnosed on symptoms alone, which is why it’s imperative to seek medical attention after any slip and fall accident.
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI) – Falls are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injury, which can be life-threatening in nature. Any damage to the spinal cord or nerves can produce what are known as “complete” or “incomplete” injuries. The location and severity of the damage will determine the prognosis. In worst case scenarios, victims may be paralyzed from the waist down (paraplegia) or lose all feeling and movement throughout the body (quadriplegia).

Slip and fall injuries – symptoms to watch for

Here at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, we cannot stress the importance of seeking prompt medical attention after a slip and fall. While bleeding, swelling and acute pain are obvious signs of injury, there are many cases that have no outward signs and must be diagnosed by a medical professional.  Be your own advocate and pay attention to subtle symptoms of a possible concussion, herniated disc, soft tissue injury or other kind of physical harm.

Signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Localized or radiating pain
  • Pain worsening with specific movement
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Nausea
  • Persistent headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Visual disturbances

Treatment for slip and fall injuries

Fully recovering from a slip and fall accident can take weeks, months or even years. Medical professionals will design a slip and fall injury treatment plan according to individual needs. Depending on the injury, this may entail surgery, medications, ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, chiropractic care, spinal decompression therapy or rehabilitation exercises.

NYC slip and fall injury lawyers

The Law Firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green provides tenacious advocacy for slip and fall victims throughout New York. Explore your options for legal recourse by reaching out for a no-obligation consult today. There is no financial risk, since we operate on a contingent-fee basis and only collect compensation if we win or settle your claim.

Additional Resources on Slip and Fall Injuries:

  1. SpinalCord.com – The Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries, https://www.spinalcord.com/blog/the-most-common-slip-and-fall-injuries
  2. U.S. Department of Labor, Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics, https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/work.html