Slip and Fall and TBI: How They Connect

Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, remains one of the most costly and serious types of personal injury.  However, many people assume that deadly TBIs occur in things like vehicle accidents or from violence such as a gunshot wound or assault with a blunt object.  In reality, slip and fall accidents account for about half of TBI emergency room visits each year and cause a large percentage of long-term disabilities as a result.

The Connection Between TBI and Slip and Fall

TBIs can occur during a slip and fall accident in one of two ways:  either from a same-level fall or during a fall from a height.  These two types of slip and fall accidents are often segregated when accounting for the manner of injury that causes TBIs, but the results can be surprisingly similar.

While falls from great heights would obviously be more likely to lead to serious head and neck trauma, even a common slip or fall can account for serious brain injury.  In many cases, a difference is pointed out between falls from heights and same-level falls.  However, “fall from a height” may be a misleading category, as most of these falls occur with a differential of fewer than 10 feet.  Combining short-height falls and slip or trip same-level falls gives a much more accurate picture and accounts for the vast majority of traumatic brain injury fall statistics.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself From Falls and TBI?

The most important steps you can take to prevent slip or trip and fall cases and subsequent traumatic brain injury are fortunately the simplest as well.

  • Never climb or stand on any surface not designed to be used as a ladder. Standing on a chair, desk, counter or other surface is very dangerous and can lead to a serious slip and fall accident.  Use an approved ladder or step-stool,  or ask for help in reaching things that are higher than you can comfortably grasp.
  • Use only safe, approved ladders and step-stools. Be sure to use a ladder or step-stool according to directions, and be sure to avoid going higher than recommended.  You should also be sure your ladder or step-stool has non-slip feet and is firmly seated before you climb.
  • Keep stairwells clear of obstruction. Every year, people fall down stairs due to toys, clothing, or other objects placed there “just for a moment.”  Keep stairways clear of any and all clutter to avoid fall risks for yourself and others.
  • Keep floors clean and repaired. Pick up items that are on the floor, and make sure any loose areas that could cause a trip–whether by a loose floorboard or loose rug edge–are tacked down safely.  Loose edges account for many same-level trips and falls.
  • Watch where you are going. If you are outside, particularly in an area with walkways that are under construction or in bad repair, be sure to watch your step.  Avoid broken sidewalks or roadways if possible.

At Barber & Associates, we are ready to help you if you have been the victim of a traumatic brain injury or other personal injury accident.  Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you protect your rights and recover compensation for your injuries.