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Premises liability: Typical consequences of accidental falls

A slip-and-fall accident frequently hurts much more than the victim's pride. Many premises liability lawsuits filed by consumers in Georgia follow trip-and-fall accidents. Although these two types of accidents seem similar, the physics differ, and the kinds of injuries they cause are entirely different. When someone slips, he or she typically falls backward, while a trip over an object or a loose rug usually causes the victim to fall forward. The fall direction and the victim's age typically plays a role in the severity of the injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a significant number of traumatic brain injuries follows falling backward, and spinal cord injuries are also common consequences of trip-and-fall accidents. Different fall directions can cause different fractures as grabbing a railing or putting out the hands to stop a forward fall can fracture wrists, arms and elbows, while falling backward or sideways can break hips. Shoulder and rotator cuff injuries, which are excruciating and can cause long-term problems, can follow a fall in any direction.

Forward falls can damage the knees that, considering that every step anyone takes puts the body weight on the knees, can cause severe pain. While most people may think whiplash injuries occur only in car accidents, they are fairly common in both slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents. A fall can cause a sudden, severe jerking of the head that could lead to neck pain, headaches, limited motion range and tingling and numbness in the hands and arms. Backward falls can cause similar symptoms in the feet, legs and buttocks as the result of a compression fracture or a herniated disc.

Although the prospect of taking legal action against a negligent property owner might seem daunting, that should not stop a fall victim from seeking financial relief. Medical expenses, pain and suffering and other adverse consequences can continue for years, and no one should endure such suffering without recovering damages when appropriate. Fortunately, the support and guidance of a Georgia personal injury attorney can ease the entire legal process that will ensue.

Source: bisociety.org, "The Level of Pain & Injury from Slip and Fall Accidents", Jacob Masters, Accessed on May 24. 2018

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