It is human nature to compare circumstances and create rankings. You have a favorite taco restaurant, and you may even have a list of which of your coworkers are most efficient at their jobs.
You may even have an internal scale that you use to judge different kinds of accidents, but what you believe about different sources of accidental injury may not accurately reflect the consequences possible in different situations.
For example, you likely think of car crashes as one of the worst possible accidents, and you may rank a slip-and-fall as one of the least concerning. However, many car crashes cause nothing but cosmetic damage to the vehicles involved, and slip-and-fall scenarios are sometimes fatal. Even when the situation isn’t that extreme, someone falling at a business could suffer an injury that completely changes their life. When would a slip-and-fall potentially be a life-altering experience?
When you are over the age of 65
Older adults are more likely to fall than younger people are. There are numerous factors that influence someone’s likelihood of a fall as they age, ranging from a change in their center of gravity to declining function in crucial inner ear systems.
As if that increased risk weren’t bad enough, falls are more likely to be severe for older adults. Thousands of older adults end up in the hospital every year due to broken bones or other major injuries suffered in slip-and-fall scenarios. Some of those older adults may require extensive rehabilitation or may end up in nursing homes after their falls.
When you hit your head
Falls are one of the top ways that people hurt their brains. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can affect someone’s sense of balance. The brain controls your sensory perception and your motor function, as well as your personality and your mood. TBIs can leave people permanently hospitalized or force them into early retirement because they can no longer do their jobs.
If you break bones
Compared to a brain injury or a hip fracture in an older adult, a broken arm for someone in their thirties may not seem like a life-altering injury. However, not every broken bone heals properly.
In a small subset of broken bone cases, people will develop complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) as the bone heals. They will experience worsening pain and a loss of strength. CRPS is often progressive and currently has no cure, meaning that it may eventually leave people disabled and unable to care for themselves.
Recognizing if you have a serious injury from a slip-and-fall can make it easier for you to take the right steps for your own protection after getting hurt at a business.