Trumping many well-known killers, such as heart disease and cancer, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death for individuals below the age of 44. Each day, an estimated 138 people die from traumatic brain injury-related incidents in our country alone. Annually, 1.7 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury, and 52,000 suffer TBI-related fatalities.
Traumatic brain injury is a disruption of the normal functioning of the brain caused by a blow or penetrating injury to the head – such as after a car accident or slip and fall. Effects of TBI may include impaired memory, vision, hearing, movement, emotional functioning, and death. Survivors of traumatic brain injuries often suffer disabilities for the rest of their lives.
While there are many different incidents that can result in a traumatic brain injury, there is one particular type of accident that causes far more TBIs than any other—slip and fall accidents.
An estimated 35 percent of all TBIs are caused by a slip and fall accident, according to a recent study from BrainLine, a national project dedicated to providing information on prevention, treatment, and living with a TBI. Trailing behind falls as major causes of TBIs were traffic incidents, at 17 percent, and head striking-related events, at 16.5 percent.
Generally, slip and fall accidents occur when a person slips, trips, or stumbles because of obstacles or dangerous conditions in their surrounding environment. Traumatic brain injury often occurs when a victim strikes their head during this type of accident.
As aventura personal injury lawyers, we see many slip and falls. Below we have listed some of the most common causes of trip and fall accidents that can lead to TBI. Common causes of slip and fall injuries are also discussed here.
Hazardous walking surfaces. More than half of slip and fall accidents are caused by wet or uneven flooring and hazardous surfaces, including cluttered walkways, torn carpeting, and recently mopped and waxed floors. In businesses, rented homes, and public spaces, it falls to the property owner to recognize and correct hazardous walking conditions.
Unaddressed weather conditions. Rain, mud, ice, and other weather-related hazards are major causes of slip-and-fall accidents, particularly when they are not addressed by property owners in an appropriate or timely manner. Landlords and property owners have a responsibility to keep walkways and staircases clean, dry, and clear of dirt and debris.
Inadequate lighting. When there is inadequate lighting around walkways, stairwells, parking lots, and alleyways, the likelihood of sustaining a slip and fall injury increases as it becomes difficult to see potential hazards. Again, the responsibility lies with property owners to provide sufficient lighting for residents and guests in common areas.
Unsafe senior living facilities. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall accidents, and more than 81 percent of TBIs in adults aged 65 or older are caused by falls. Senior living facilities should have appropriate safety measures, as well as monitoring and assisting residents closely to prevent this type of accident.
Malfunctioning escalators and elevators. Slip and fall accidents are particularly common on escalators and elevators, when feet, fingers, or articles of clothing are caught in equipment or there are unexpected jerks in the machinery. Because these machines often carry many passengers, owners and operators of elevators and escalators are held to a high standard of safety.
These are only a handful of the many causes of trip and fall accidents that can lead to a traumatic brain injury. If you were injured in any kind of trip and fall accident due to the negligence of a landlord or business owner, you should seek medical attention to determine the severity of your injury.
After seeking medical attention, your next step should be to contact a Florida personal injury attorney with experience in traumatic brain accident cases. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can investigate your case to determine the cause of your injuries, and help you hold the responsible parties liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to your recovery.