The anatomy of a slip-and-fall injury

On behalf of: admin | Posted in: Slip & Fall Accidents on: Thursday, August 27, 2015

According to the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association, the most common causes of falls are slipping and tripping. Below is an explanation for how the events unfold.

— Trips. Differences in surface elevation stop the foot from completing the swing-through segment of a pedestrian’s gait cycle. As most people attempt to break their fall with their arms, wrist and hand injuries commonly result. Other potential injury sites from trips are to the knees and shoulders. When reaction time is slowed, as with elderly, disabled or impaired individuals, the person can land on the face.

— Slips. Walking generates force both vertically and horizontally where the feet impact the surface. There must be sufficient friction to combat horizontal forces that are generated by walking to keep from slipping. When a pedestrian loses their balance, they can fall to the side, backwards or on their buttocks.

The ankles and knees can twist with the weight of the body landing on the joints, causing connective tissue injuries. Foot fractures also are consistent with slips and cause more tailbone fractures than other falls usually do.

Most slips happen while the heel strikes the surface. An elevation or slope changes the proportion of vertical and horizontal forces when compared to those on level surfaces. A downward sloping surface will be more slippery than a level one. Walking from a level surface to a sloping one alters the effective traction and may greatly increase the slipping risk. However, stepping up onto an incline decreases the slipping risk.

The owner of the property where the slip or trip accident occurred may bear liability for the injuries a person suffers. Seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer is advisable for those intending to file a claim for damages.

Source: Claims Canada, "Recognizing Red Flags In Slips And Falls," Jeff Archbold And Maja Rehou, accessed Aug. 27, 2015

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