Falls are the leading cause of unintentional death and also the leading cause of serious injury among people over 70. These injuries cost almost $70 billion a year. Medicare and/or Medicaid absorbs most of these expenses. Some of the most common physical fall injuries are outlined below.
These incidents cause significant emotional injuries as well. Many older fall victims are so intensely afraid of another fall that they become very inactive. Ironically, this inactivity causes their muscles to atrophy, increasing their risk of another fall. Furthermore, a majority of elderly fall victims are unable to live independently again.
Most older people have pre-existing conditions which increase the risk of a fall or the severity of fall injuries. Age-related Macular Degeneration blurs the straight-ahead vision people need to maintain their balance. Arthritis and other conditions create physical vulnerabilities.
Because of all these things, a Lexington personal injury attorney may be able to obtain substantial compensation for these victims. These victims are also entitled to justice. Legal action shines light on a bad situation, so nursing homes and other defendants must change the way they do business.
Frequently, broken bones are essentially cracked or chipped bones. But serious falls normally snap bones in two. That’s especially true if the victim’s bones were already weak. As a result, doctors often use metal pins and other radical surgical techniques to set these bones. These victims must also undergo long term physical therapy to regain lost function. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned pre-existing conditions, full functionality often does not return.
Sprained Wrists and Ankles
Doctors can set broken bones, but there is not much they can do for muscle sprains, other than instruct patients to rest and take pain pills. The more older people rest, the more their mobility degenerates. Frequently, these losses are permanent. Additionally, older people are more vulnerable to pain pill addiction. In other words, when it comes to fall-related sprains, the cure is often worse than the disease.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The motion of a fall, as opposed to the impact of a fall, usually causes a brain injury. When people fall, their brains slam against the inside of their skulls. That’s because the brain does not snugly fit into the skull, like a hand into a glove. Instead, the skull is basically a water tank which suspends the brain in cerebrospinal fluid.
Bruises and Cuts
Once again, pre-existing conditions affect these injuries. When older people sustain cuts and bruises, these wounds often do not completely heal. As a result, these victims must endure permanent pain and suffering. It’s hard for many of us to understand how constant bleeding, or the possibility of sudden, unexpected bleeding, can affect your life.
The knee is a bundle of nerves and muscles. The kneecap is its only protection. If that shield breaks, these nerves and muscles are exposed to a risk of serious injury. Only intricate knee surgery can repair the damage, and many older adults are not good candidates for such a physically demanding procedure.
Shoulder Strains and Dislocations
These injuries are a lot like the sprains mentioned above. Typically, shoulder strains and dislocations do not require surgical correction. But they are very painful, and this pain often lingers. Additionally, these injuries often permanently restrict range of motion. So, most older adults never fully recover from such a shoulder injury.
Nerve and Spine Injuries
These wounds are perhaps the most serious consequence of a slip and fall. The medical bills from a serious spine injury could eclipse $4 million. These costs include not only surgical care and hospitalization, but also the medical devices which these victims need. A device is usually not enough. These victims usually need permanent professional care. On a related note, many victims must make expensive renovations to their living spaces in order to make them wheelchair friendly.
Older fall victims often must deal with permanent injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.