We can all agree that a slip and fall can be embarrassing, painful, and traumatic. Did you know, in some cases, a slip and fall could lead to brain injury? If you hit your head when you fall, brain injury is a critical risk. In fact, a leading cause of brain injury is indeed by falls.
There are many everyday conditions that cause these risk-laden accidental falls. People of all ages are subject to the dangers. A slippery floor or icy sidewalk present great danger for falls. Uneven pavement and curbs on aging sidewalks throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island could cause a trip and fall. The household is filled with slip and fall hazards – bathtubs, corded outlets, and stairs to name a few.
Conditions that can lead to slips and falls include:
- Loose carpets
- Uneven surfaces
In the very unfortunate case of brain injury due to a slip and fall, there are three categories for the effects a victim suffers. These include physical effects, cognitive effects and emotional effects.
In terms of physical effects of brain injury due to slip and fall, other parts of the body (other than or in addition to the brain) can experience distress. This all depends on the location of the brain injury and its severity. While some people may not experience any outward impact, some victims may suffer from numbness or even complete paralysis of extremities.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), physical changes that can occur due to a brain injury include:
- Muscle coordination problems
- Full or partial paralysis
- Changes in sexual functioning
- Changes in the senses (hearing, sight, touch, etc.)
- Seizures (also called traumatic epilepsy)
- Sleep problems
- Speech difficulties
Brain injury frequently affects the cognitive area or thinking process. This impacts learning ability and memory. Different parts of the brain connect to different mental abilities. Victims may experience trouble concentrating, short term memory loss, an inability to understand as well as loss of verbal skills.
Cognitive changes include:
- Difficulty learning new things
- Inability to understand abstract concepts
- Language problems, including communication deficits and loss of vocabulary
- Memory problems
- Partial or complete loss of reading and writing skills
- Poor judgment
- Problem-solving difficulties
- Shortened attention span
Emotional effects are a devastating effect of brain injury caused by a slip and fall. Emotions and behavior changes can be dramatic and often make coping more difficult for family and caregivers than the injured person.
Emotional changes to brain injury include:
- Depression (individuals with TBI are considered high risk for depression)
- Difficulty with social skills
- Extreme mood swings
- Inability to control one’s emotions
- Inability to empathize with others
- Inappropriate and/or aggressive behavior
- Increases in irritability and frustration
- Tendency to be more self-centered
When it comes to brain injury, awareness and prevention are vital ways to avoid dangerous falls that could lead to brain injury.
In a residential setting, make sure walkways and surfaces are clear, dry, and well lit. In public, pay extra attention while walking during inclement weather or on sidewalks with uneven pavement. In business or retail establishments, be aware of possible hazards like spilled food or drink, misplaced electrical cords, or anything that may have dropped.
To learn more about your rights after you or a loved suffers a traumatic brain injury in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, contact us to schedule a free consultation with attorney Mike Bottaro. Call (401) 777-7777 or tell us what happened online and get started on your recovery today.