Falls, particularly falls down a flight of stairs, are among the most common causes of serious and debilitating injuries in the United States. They are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. According to a 2016 study, between 7% and 36% of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents occur on stairs. About 1 million people have been treated in emergency departments each year for stairway accidents between 1990 and 2012, according to a 2017 report.
Studies have shown that a majority of stairway falls affects people between the ages of 11 and 62 years. However, the most serious injuries from these accidents affect young children and older adults. A number of falls involving stairways result in head injuries or hip fractures that require emergency treatment.
While the signs of injuries are often obvious, there are some specific serious symptoms that require immediate attention. For example, if the victim is unconscious, it is important that he or she gets emergency treatment. Headache, nausea, vomiting confusion, bleeding and difficulty walking or speaking are also serious symptoms that should receive attention right away.
Five Common Injuries Caused by Stairway Falls
Here are the five most common injuries that occur due to a fall down the stairs:
1. Traumatic brain injury or TBI: A traumatic brain injury is a sudden injury that may potentially cause brain damage. It happens when there is a blow, bump or jolt to the head. A TBI can also occur when an object penetrates the skull. Symptoms of TBI may range from relatively mild to severe. However, even so-called “mild” brain injuries such as concussions may have long-term effects. More severe traumatic brain injuries may lead to serious physical and psychological symptoms, coma, seizures and even death.
2. Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury may also range in severity. A complete injury of the spinal cord means that the spinal cord has been severed. This results in paralysis from the point of injury downward. A complete injury of the spinal cord in the neck region may also disrupt automatic functions such as breathing. In such cases, victims will require a breathing tube. An incomplete injury to the spinal cord refers to a superficial cut to the spinal cord, which means that an injured person might retain more motor function and sensation, and may potentially respond to rehabilitative treatment and therapy.
3. Disc compression: Stairway falls may also cause trauma to the walls of spinal discs causing them to bulge or compress. This leads to chronic and debilitating pain for victims as well as numbness and muscle weakness. Often, the pain is not localized at the point of injury but radiates to the arms and legs as well. Extensive physical therapy and even surgery may be necessary forms of treatment for these types of injuries.
4. Nerve damage: Damage to nerves from a sudden trauma such as falling down the stairs can be significant. Nerve damage may result in pain, numbness, tingling, burning, headaches, impaired motor function and other issues. Nerve damage is often difficult to treat and long rehabilitation periods are necessary.
5. Bone fractures: The human body has 206 bones and when a person falls down, bones in different parts of the body are at risk of breaking, depending on how the person falls. A number of people, especially older adults, end up breaking their hipbone. Those who use their arms for support while falling may end up breaking the bones in their arm. As mentioned earlier, the vertebrae in the spinal column are also at risk.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Property owners and/or property managers may be liable for stairway accidents. They may also be held responsible if tenants, visitors or guests to their property are injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident. If you were involved in a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall accident as a result of someone else’s negligence (carelessness), please remember that you have rights. Some of the damages that victims of such accidents can claim include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, loss of wages and benefits, cost of hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, past and future pain and suffering, permanent injury, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For almost 50 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims.
Our law firm recovered $1,700,000 for a woman who slipped and fell and received no hospital or medical treatment for one month after the accident. Our law firm also recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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