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Common Brain Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents

A doctor holding a printout of a brain scan with a few different areas highlighted, indicating a brain injury.

Slip and fall accidents in New Orleans often occur in grocery stores, malls, apartment complexes, and job sites. Victims often suffer brain injuries by hitting the ground or other hard surfaces. This can lead to potential long-term complications, including behavioral changes, personality shifts, emotional disturbances, and cognitive difficulties.

Seeking legal help is essential

If you or a loved one suffered a head or brain injury in a slip and fall on someone else's property, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you explore your potential legal options. Contact the Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC in New Orleans today for a free conslutation.

What types of brain injuries can happen in slip and falls?

Various head and brain injuries can occur in slip and fall accidents, each with its own severity and complications. Brain injuries from slip and falls typically fall under two categories: closed head injuries (e.g., concussion or hematoma) and open head injuries (e.g., skull fractures and penetration injuries):

Brain Contusion

A contusion occurs when direct trauma to the head leads to a bruise on the brain. This bruising can result in bleeding inside the brain, with some cases being minor and others severe enough to require surgery. Contusions are classified based on their location in the brain, their cause, and the extent of the damage. Here are some common types:

  • Coup contusions: These occur directly under the impact site.
  • Contrecoup contusions: These happen on the side of the brain opposite the impact site.
  • Coup-contrecoup contusions: These occur at the site of the impact and on the opposite side of the brain.
  • Intra-axial contusions: These occur within the brain tissue itself. They can be more severe because they affect the brain substance directly.
  • Extra-axial contusions: These happen outside the brain tissue but within the skull, such as in the layers covering the brain.


Concussions, which are classified as "mild" traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), result from a jolt or blow to the head. While they're often perceived as minor, that's easy to say for someone not suffering from the consequences. Concussions often lead to serious complications, including prolonged recovery, high medical expenses, and loss of income. Severe concussions may even cause permanent brain function impairment.

Some people experience symptoms that persist for months or even longer after the initial injury. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, and cognitive difficulties. Although rare, a second concussion before the symptoms of a first concussion have resolved can lead to rapid and severe brain swelling. In some cases, this can be fatal.


Hematomas in the brain occur when the impact of a fall damages the brain's outer blood vessels. This leads to a blood clot that exerts pressure on brain tissue. Without timely intervention to alleviate this pressure, hematomas can result in loss of brain function. The types of hematomas caused by slip and fall accidents typically include:

  • Epidural hematomas: These form between the skull and dura mater, usually due to a skull fracture that tears the middle meningeal artery. Symptoms often include temporary loss of consciousness, headaches, and confusion.
  • Subdural hematomas: These occur between the dura and arachnoid maters. They result from venous tears caused by head trauma. Symptoms include headaches, confusion, and potential seizures.
  • Intracerebral hematomas: These occur within brain tissue from injuries or strokes. They often cause headaches and weakness.

Diffuse axonal brain injuries

These are among the most severe types of brain injuries sustained in slips, trips, and falls. They involve the tearing of the brain's long connecting nerve fibers (axons) due to the brain shifting and rotating inside the skull during a fall. Diffuse axonal injuries can disrupt normal brain function and lead to temporary or permanent brain damage, coma, or death. Symptoms can vary widely based on the severity of the injury and the areas of the brain that are affected, but they often include:

  • Loss of Consciousness from a few minutes to an extended period.
  • Difficulty thinking, understanding, or remembering.
  • Persistent or severe headaches.
  • Problems with balance and dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Feeling extremely tired, even with little or no activity.
  • Difficulty focusing, blurred vision, or seeing double.
  • Seizures.
  • Weakness, difficulty moving, or coordination problems.
  • Irritability, agitation, or sudden changes in mood.
  • Difficulty with memory, concentration, and attention.
  • Problems with sleep patterns, such as sleeping more than usual or insomnia.

How are traumatic brain injuries treated?

Head injuries from slips and falls require immediate medical attention. When you meet with a doctor, they may evaluate the severity of your head injury based on the Glasgow Coma Scale. This clinical tool assesses your level of consciousness after a brain injury by measuring eye opening, verbal responses, and motor responses. Scores range from 3 (indicating deep unconsciousness) to 15 (indicating full alertness).

This is often followed by a thorough physical and neurological examination to assess physical signs of trauma and neurological functions. Imaging tests may be used to look for abnormalities in the brain. For severe cases, intracranial pressure monitoring might be utilized to watch for dangerous swelling.

Brain injuries are often treated with the following methods:

  • Immediate stabilization.
  • Medications for pain and inflammation.
  • Rest and gradual return to activities.
  • Physical, occupational, and/or speech and language therapy.
  • In severe cases, surgery.

Contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer in New Orleans

Recovering from a head or brain injury caused by a slip and fall is often costly. However, you shouldn't have to pay because of someone else's negligence. At The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, our dedicated legal team can thoroughly investigate the cause of your slip and fall and build a strong case for the maximum compensation you deserve. Get a law firm that fights for what's right, what's fair, and what's just. Contact us online or call our New Orleans law office to schedule a free consultation.

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