Brian White | January 9, 2022 | Slip and Fall
Falls down a flight of stairs can cause serious injuries and even death. Falls are the leading cause of death in seniors. They are also a leading cause of emergency room visits for all age groups.
Slip and fall accident victims might be able to seek substantial compensation for their injuries. But these victims will need to explain what the property owner or occupier could have done to prevent the fall.
Here is some information about the injuries and compensation associated with falls down stairs.
How Falls Down Stairs Happen
Falls down a flight of stairs can happen in many ways, including:
- Slick surfaces
- Raised lips or thresholds
- Loose carpet
- Cracked pavement
- Liquid spills
- Poor lighting
- Broken railing
- Objects or debris on the stairs
Most falls fit into two categories.
Trip & Fall Accidents
In a trip and fall accident, something on or near the staircase catches your foot or leg. Since you cannot move your leg forward to support your body, you fall forward. You might throw your hands out to catch your fall.
Slip and Fall Accidents
In a slip and fall accident, you lose traction on the floor surface. As your leg slips forward, you fall backward. You might twist as you fall to protect yourself.
Common Injuries from Falling Down Stairs
When you trip, you fall forward. You tend to injure the front of your body. You might also suffer injuries to your upper extremities from trying to catch yourself.
Some common tripping injuries include:
- Broken fingers, hands, wrists, and arms
- Dislocated elbows and shoulders
- Broken or knocked-out teeth
- Fractured facial bones
- Bruised chest
- Broken ribs
- Sprained or strained knees
- Sprained or strained ankles
- Broken or sprained foot
- Broken or sprained toes
When you slip, you tend to fall backward. You will usually injure the back of your body. You might also injure your side if you turned while you fell. Some common slipping injuries include:
- Fractured hip
- Fractured vertebra
- Herniated disc
- Strained or sprained back
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
The seriousness of these injuries will often depend on the surface and whether you can slow your fall.
How Falling Down Stairs Amplifies Injuries
If you fall while ascending a flight of stairs, you could fall forward into the staircase or back down the stairs. When you fall while descending a flight of stairs, you will tend to tumble down the stairs.
In either case, you will likely suffer greater injuries than you would if you fell on a level surface.
When you fall down a flight of stairs, gravity will accelerate your body. You will also impact the stairs several times. Rather than a single fall, as you might experience on a level surface, you will experience several falls from a height as you tumble down the stairs.
This can result in many more injuries. Rather than hitting your knee in a fall on a level surface, you might hit your knee, and then your shoulder or back.
This can also result in more severe injuries. You could hit your head multiple times as you fall five or more feet each time.
Finally, as you tumble, you might lose the ability to stop or slow your fall. This could result in a hard impact on the staircase landing.
Recovering Compensation for Falls Down Stairs
Your compensation after a fall should include your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are designed to cover the financial impact of your injuries and include items like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
Since falls down stairs can cause more injuries of greater severity, you might have substantial medical expenses. You could also miss time from work for recovery and treatment. Finally, you might suffer permanent injuries that affect your ability to work at all.
More serious injuries will also support greater non-economic damages. Your pain, suffering, and inconvenience will likely increase with the duration and severity of your injuries. This can result in greater non-economic compensation.
Contact the Houston Personal Injury Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054