An Accidental Fall Can Be Fatal

Old Man

The most terrifying aspect of an accidental slip and fall for an elderly individual is knowing that the fall could result in a nasty injury that could forever afterward limit his or her mobility. The accident could cause the individual to have to forfeit his or her independence if a serious injury occurs, such as a broken hip or a traumatic brain injury. What’s even worse is that he or she could die from a fall. If the fall itself is insufficient to cause the loss of life, the aftermath of the fall could. There could be a latent, but yet very serious head injury, or a fractured bone could harbor an infection, which could turn fatal if not diagnosed and treated immediately.

Older Individuals are More Likely to Fall

The elderly have a higher risk of suffering from an accidental fall because they have many underlying problems that make them more prone to falling. A few common issues elderly people can have include: visual impairments, inner ear problems, balance and gait disorders, dizziness and/or confusion, limited mobility, and even certain medications and combinations of medications that can make an elderly person more likely to accidentally fall.

Some of the More Serious Injuries Related to Falls

Traumatic Brain Injuries. When a person falls from a standing height, he or she can generate enough force to cause a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, upon the impact of his or her head with the ground. A TBI is a closed head injury, that may not look like much externally, but inside the skull, there could be a very serious bleed that can cause serious brain damage. TBIs can have a significant life-altering effect on the victim. Some victims are left with cognitive deficiencies or even partial paralysis after a TBI. Being the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, accidental falls can seriously hurt an individual.

Broken Neck. As much as this sounds like a freak accident, broken necks do result after accidental falls in the elderly. Usually, neck injuries related to falls happen on stairways or involve falling over or on top of a walking assistance device. A neck injury could be minor, could leave the victim partially paralyzed or completely paralyzed, or could even kill the victim.

Other Broken Bones. In addition to the possibility of breaking one’s neck in an accidental fall, what is far more common is the breaking of a bone, often a hip or wrist. In fact, broken hips are one of the more common injuries that result from an accidental fall. Bones break more easily in older individuals because as we age, we naturally lose bone density. Medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, can exacerbate the frailty of bones, making them even more susceptible to breakage. While breaking of the bones is bad enough since it limits resident mobility, is painful, and takes a long time to heal, things can get very complicated very quickly if an infection forms in the broken bone.

Contact an Accidental Fall Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured in a nursing home by an accidental fall, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced accidental fall lawyer. Please contact the attorneys at Rooth Law Firm online or by phone at (800) 598-4348 today.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Alejandro Street Photography via Compfight cc

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