Personal Injury Lawyer
Falls can happen to anyone, at any age, and they often lead to various injuries. Understanding the most common injuries resulting from falls can help raise awareness about the importance of fall prevention. Here are five of the most prevalent injuries suffered during a fall according to a personal injury lawyer with our friends at MartinWren, P.C.:
Fractures and Broken Bones:
Fractures and broken bones are among the most common injuries in fall-related accidents. The impact of a fall can put significant force on the bones, leading to fractures in the wrists, arms, hips, ankles, and other vulnerable areas. Elderly individuals, in particular, are at higher risk for hip fractures during falls. When you fall, you tend to stick out your arm to try and catch yourself, and this is where most broken bones occur.
Head Injuries and Concussions:
Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious concern during falls, especially if the head strikes a hard surface or object. Concussions occur when the brain collides with the skull, leading to temporary impairment of brain function. Even mild head injuries should be taken seriously, as they can have long-term effects if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
Sprains and Strains:
Sprains and strains are injuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When someone falls, they may twist or stretch their joints, leading to sprained ankles, wrists, knees, or other areas of the body. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility. This especially happens if someone is tripping over an object.
Cuts, Abrasions, and Bruises:
During a fall, individuals may come into contact with rough or sharp surfaces, leading to cuts, abrasions, and bruises. These injuries may range from minor cuts and scrapes to more severe lacerations that require medical attention.
Dislocations occur when the bones in a joint are forced out of their normal positions. Falls can lead to dislocated shoulders, hips, elbows, or kneecaps, causing intense pain and immediate loss of joint function. Dislocations may also show up later, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately after falling.
Prevention is Key:
- To prevent these common injuries, it’s essential to take proactive measures to reduce the risk of falling. Some preventive strategies include:
- Keeping Walkways Clear: Remove clutter, cords, and obstacles from walkways to reduce tripping hazards.
- Using Handrails: Install handrails along staircases, ramps, and in bathrooms to provide support and stability.
- Non-Slip Surfaces: Use non-slip mats or rugs on smooth surfaces, especially in areas prone to getting wet or slippery.
- Proper Lighting: Ensure adequate lighting in and around the house to improve visibility and reduce the risk of tripping.
- Wearing Appropriate Footwear: Choose shoes with good traction and a supportive fit to help maintain balance and stability. Flip flops are fun until they cause you to trip.
- Exercise and Strength Training: Regular physical activity and exercises that improve balance and strength can reduce the risk of falling, especially in older adults.
- Medication Review: Certain medications can cause dizziness or affect balance. Discuss any concerns with a healthcare professional and consider medication adjustments if necessary.
- Vision Checks: Regular eye exams are essential to maintain good vision, which is crucial for avoiding obstacles and hazards.
- Fall Alarms and Assistive Devices: For individuals at high risk of falling, using fall alarms or assistive devices like canes or walkers can provide added safety and support.
If a fall does occur, it’s essential to seek medical attention, especially if there is a head injury, loss of consciousness, or severe pain. Prompt medical evaluation can help identify and address any potential injuries and prevent complications. If you or a loved one suffers a fall, contact an attorney near you for help.