Slip and Fall Injury Overview: Broken Bones from Slip and Fall Accidents

When one thinks of slip and fall injuries, one might think of bruises or minor abrasions. But the severity may depend on the height of the fall, the surface on which the person lands, and even the manner in which the person lands. Broken bones are among the more serious injuries that fall victims might experience.

In addition to being a leading cause of hospital visits, slip and fall injuries are also among the most common reasons for someone to visit an attorney to visit a Huntley personal injury attorney to file an injury lawsuit. In many cases, slip and fall injury accidents could have been avoided, and if the person responsible is found negligent, he or she may have to pay the injured person compensation for damages.

Broken Bones from Slip and Fall Incidents

Broken bones are more likely to happen when someone falls from a height, which is why fractures are common for someone who has fallen from a ladder, a flight of stairs, an elevated walkway, or other high surface. But same-level falls can also cause fractures. The way the person falls also makes a difference; falling forward or sideways is more likely to result in a fracture than falling backward, for instance.

The most common breaks in your basic slip and fall accident – meaning one in which someone falls while walking on a floor or sidewalk – affect the upper extremities. Most people, when falling forward or to the side, will automatically put out their arms and use their hands to break their fall, leading to fractures in the hands, wrists and arms.

Breaks in the lower extremities are also fairly common, especially when a leg gets twisted in the fall. When the fall is from a higher height, the injury possibilities increase greatly; some people suffer fractures to the back, skull, or even facial bones.

There are some people who are more susceptible to fractures resulting from falls. The elderly, those with brittle bone disorders, and people with impaired balance or reflexes are especially prone to serious slip and fall injuries.

Treatment and Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries

Someone who sustains a break from a fall may have a long road of treatment and recovery ahead of them. Some breaks are simple and require the basic setting and healing process, while other breaks can be much more serious and lead to other side effects. For example, someone who falls on their chest and suffers broken ribs may sustain internal injuries to the lungs or other organs and require surgery to save their life. Sometimes, bones don’t simply break but shatter, in which case surgery to insert steel rods may be needed.

The recovery period for most fractures can last at least six weeks, but some fall victims may require physical therapy to reduce pain and increase mobility. Sometimes, the victim of a fall accident can suffer from chronic pain for months or years after the accident and become unable to hold down a job as a result.

Common causes of falls include slipping or tripping on things like: 

  • ice (such as on a sidewalk);
  • water (like in a public bathroom);
  • grease (in a work kitchen);
  • broken stairs (rental property); and
  • uneven surfaces (parking lot). 

If you have suffered a broken bone in a fall, you should look into your legal options; you may be able to sue an employer or a property owner or manager for damages if it is found that the responsible party created a hazard, knew of the hazard, or reasonably should have known of the hazard, but did not take steps to warn others and/or failed to fix the problem.

A Huntley personal injury attorney at Franks & Rechenberg can offer legal assistance to accident victims who wish to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent party. Call us at 847-854-7700 to set up a consultation to go over the circumstances of your slip and fall injuries and whether you may have a valid case (847) 854-7700.