Research from the Centers for Disease Control, the leading public health institute in the US, shows that more than one million people suffer a slip and fall or trip and fall accident in the United States every year. The results of these falls range in the extreme, from no harm to the person to as many as 17,000 deaths a year.
While there are many different types of injuries that a victim may sustain, here are four common back injuries that are reported:
- Misaligned Vertebrae (Spondylolisthesis)
Spondylolisthesis is an injury where one vertebra slides over the vertebra below it on the spinal column. This condition most often occurs in the lower back. The impact from a fall could cause this misalignment.
- Back Sprains (and Back Strains)
It might be difficult initially to distinguish between a back strain and a back sprain. This is because the immediate symptoms of both conditions are often similar: back spasms, limited mobility, and overall back pain may accompany both types of injuries.
The difference lies in the type of tissue that is injured:, while a sprain occurs when back ligaments are stretched beyond their normal limits, and a strain occurs when muscles have been overstretched (or “pulled”). Due to the relative strength of the back ligaments, a sprain can result in greater trauma and is considered a more serious back injury than a strain.
- Vertebral Fracture
A vertebral fracture occurs when one or more bones break in the spinal column. Although this occurs most often in the lower and middle portions of the spine, a fracture can occur anywhere and may be categorized as mild or severe.
- Pinched Nerves (Radiculopathy)
Many refer to radiculopathy as a pinched nerve. It can result when the bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons surrounding the spine are damaged. The trauma to one of these types of tissue causes the root nerve in the spinal cord to compress and become inflamed.
If you have experienced a fall, it’s important to know that the possibility of injury that does not immediately manifest itself; symptoms from latent injuries may take days, weeks or perhaps months to develop. This is particularly true when it comes to your back. Often some pain and stiffness will be immediately perceptible, but the more serious problems are masked and will not heal without specific treatment.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. If your slip and fall accident was due to an unsafe condition created by the owner or controller of some real property or the failure to correct or warn of the problem, you may be able to recover damages under a premises liability theory. It may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN to determine if you have a cause of action.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wiseman Bray PLLC for their insight into personal injury practice.