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Why a slip, trip or fall can be more dangerous than you think

Hayley Devlin

|  8th December 2022  |

slip trip fall accident

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Most of us have slipped, tripped or fallen over at some point, often thanks to hazards such as wet floors, uneven surfaces or poor lighting. A slip, trip or fall can often be unremarkable and leave us red-faced but essentially unharmed. Sometimes, though, their impact can be more severe. Here, we discuss how a simple slip, trip or fall might be more dangerous than you perhaps think.

Fact 1: Slips, trips and falls can cause serious injury

Many slips, trips, and falls result in minor injuries like sprains, cuts and bruises. Still, some can sometimes cause serious injuries, such as spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury. In fact, according to the Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of major injury in the workplace and result in 2 workplace fatalities a year.

If your accident was someone else’s fault, you might be entitled to compensation. If you were injured at your workplace, the claim is usually made against your employer, who usually has employers’ liability insurance to deal with it. If an accident occurs elsewhere – in a supermarket or on the pavement, for example – a slip, trip or fall claim can be brought against anyone who has failed in their legal duty to ensure the area was safe and prevent slips.

Fact 2: Slips, trips and falls can lead to long-term problems

The potential long-term effects of accidents resulting in injuries such as brain or spinal cord damage are obvious. Brain injuries can leave a person permanently changed and incapable of living without daily or full-time care assistance. Many cannot return to work, and some suffer extreme personality changes. Even a fairly mild concussion can cause headaches, depression and memory recall problems which sometimes hang around long after the accident.

Some seemingly trivial injuries can also have wearying long-term consequences. Wrist injuries, for instance, can be surprisingly painful. Sufferers can experience ongoing difficulties with daily tasks such as writing, driving, and even making tea.

The impact of a slip, trip or fall can often be worse for those of us who are vulnerable. A minor slip could leave a young, fit, healthy person nursing nothing but a few scrapes and a bruised ego. However, the same accident might result in broken bones in someone elderly. This can impact their mobility and lead to problems, including thrombosis and pressure ulcers.

When you make a personal injury claim for a slip, trip or fall, your solicitor will consider any possible long-term effects of the accident and calculate damages accordingly. Compensation will include general damages for pain and suffering and special damages for monetary loss, such as medical and rehabilitation costs and loss of earnings.

Fact 3: Slips, trips and falls can lead to more serious incidents

We’ve seen how slips, trips and falls can cause significant injury in their own right, but they can also be the instigator of other, more severe, accidents.

The term ‘slips, trips and falls’ generally refers to incidents which happen on the same level; when you slip on water and land on the floor, for example.

Some slips, trips and falls can lead to falls from height, which can be catastrophic. According to statistics compiled by the Health and Safety Executive, falls from height were the most common cause of fatal accidents in the workplace in 2021/2022.

We often instinctively put out a hand to steady ourselves when we fall. This self-preservation reflex can, ironically, sometimes have devastating consequences.

One Health and Safety Executive case study discusses an incident involving a young girl working at a fast-food restaurant. When she slipped on water in the kitchen, she put her hand out to break her fall. In doing so, her hand was immersed in a deep fat fryer containing oil heated to 360 F. The girl sustained severe burns as a result.

Fact 4: Slips, trips and falls can lead to prolonged absences from work

You may be unable to work following a slip, trip or fall. In many cases, the effects are temporary and normal service can resume within a few days.

Sometimes, the injuries can be considerably longer lasting or even permanent. They can lead to prolonged periods of absence from work; you may even be unable to return.

Some injuries, which may be a mere inconvenience to some, can leave others sidelined. An ankle injury might not significantly impact a desk worker, but it could cause serious problems for firefighters working all day on their feet.

When calculating damages, your solicitor will include a claim for your lost earnings. If you don’t expect to be able to return to work quickly or at all, your solicitor will claim for future loss of earnings.

In some situations, damages could be calculated right up until retirement age. Loss of earnings comprises a large percentage of the damages awarded in many personal injury claims.

If you’ve suffered injury as a result of a slip, trip or fall accident that wasn’t your fault, contact Mooneerams Solicitors on 029 2048 3615 or contact us online. We are an award-winning firm of personal injury solicitors and we can usually handle slip trip or fall accident claims on No Win No Fee basis.

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