Types Of Falls

construction slip and fall accident

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25% of older persons fall every year. Falls also cause millions of injuries, and more than 800,000 fall victims require hospitalization. The CDC also reports that over 42,000 people died from falls in 2020. 

Learning about different types of slip and fall accidents can help you prevent falls. It’s also beneficial to understand your legal options if you’re injured by a fall.

What are the different types of falls?

All falls involve someone dropping to the ground or floor. Three types of falls categorize the types of falls in hospitals. 

Accidental Falls

Accidental falls occur when an environmental hazard causes a low-risk person to fall. Suppose a healthy person walked into a hospital, tripped on a loose doormat, and fell. This is an accidental fall. 

Anticipated Physiological Falls

Anticipated physiological falls affect people with medical conditions that increase their likelihood of falling. These are common types of falls in elderly patients with mobility issues or people taking medications that cause dizziness. 

Unanticipated Physiological Falls

Sometimes, unexpected medical issues cause even low-risk persons to fall. Strokes, heart attacks, and other medical emergencies can cause falls.

Common Causes of Different Types of Falls

Legal experts consider the fall’s cause when classifying falls into four categories. The cause can impact your legal options if you’re injured in a fall.

Slip and Fall

Losing traction and slipping on a floor can cause a slip and fall. This could happen if you step on a wet surface.

Related: Miami Slip and Fall Attorney

Step and Fall

A step and fall occurs when the height of the floor or ground changes. An example would be falling after stepping into a hole. 

Stump and Fall

A stump and fall occurs when an object causes you to lose your balance and fall. These objects are anticipated objects, such as stairs. Stairs don’t cause a step and fall because the person should expect a change in height. 

Trip and Fall

A trip and fall refers to stumbling over an obstacle. Tripping on clothes, dog chew toys, or other items can cause you to fall.

What injuries can you get from a fall?

Some may recover quickly without medical treatment after a fall. Others may need hospitalization and ongoing medical care for their injuries.

Broken Bones

Broken bones include wholly broken bones that puncture the skin and broken bones that don’t break through the skin. Partial fractures refer to cracks in the bone that don’t break the bone into two or more pieces.

Cuts and Lacerations

Objects can slice or penetrate your skin when you fall. Minor cuts may produce light bleeding, but severe cuts and lacerations can damage your skin, muscles, and nerves. Some people can treat their cuts themselves, while others may need stitches.

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)

SCIs impact your entire body because the nerves connected to your spinal cord transmit messages from your brain to your nerves. SCIs can cause paralysis and are often painful. Some people with SCIs need surgery and long-term physical therapy. Severe SCIs may be permanent.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs vary in nature and severity but carry a high risk of permanent disability. Consequently, TBI victims should discuss their injuries with a traumatic brain injury lawyer. These lawyers can identify grounds to pursue a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the TBI. 

Four main classifications for TBIs: 

  • Anoxic brain injuries. Anoxic brain injuries stem from oxygen deprivation. People submerged under water or those who stopped breathing may have an anoxic brain injury.
  • Concussions. Concussions refer to head trauma caused by hitting or shaking your head. In some cases, people lose consciousness when they get a concussion. Other symptoms include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
  • Contusions. Contusions refer to bruised brain tissue. Minor contusions may cause fatigue or confusion. Severe contusions can cause disabilities or death. 
  • Penetrating injuries. This category includes injuries caused when a foreign object penetrates the skull and cracks the skull. 
  • Subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma involves bleeding inside the head that applies pressure to the brain. Minor subdural hematomas may have no symptoms, while others with this condition may have slurred speech or headaches. Severe subdural hematomas can cause coma or death.

What can you do to prevent falls?

Many types of falls are preventable. Taking steps to improve safety can reduce the number of people affected by falls each year.

Environmental Hazards

Remove fall hazards from indoor and outdoor spaces. Keep floors clean and install surfaces that enable people to get traction to prevent slipping. Ensure carpets have non-slip matting and attach linoleum and other surfaces to your subfloor. Fill in holes to prevent step and fall accidents outdoors.

Safety Features

Install safety features to reduce falls in bathrooms and other indoor spaces. You can prevent falls in the bathroom by adding a grab bar in the shower. Installing non-slip strips in the bathroom will also prevent people from slipping on wet surfaces. 

Personal Health

Staying active helps maintain muscle strength and bone density. Consuming a healthy diet and getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D will help you maintain bone mass. 

When should you consult an attorney after a fall?

Whether you’ve suffered severe or minor injuries, you should consider consulting a slip and fall attorney to discuss your situation. Slip and fall attorneys understand the law and can identify factors that may impact your ability to claim compensation after a fall. Even minor falls can lead to bills for riding in an ambulance or emergency room treatment. In addition to medical costs, you may be impacted by lost wages if you cannot work due to physical injuries. 

Hiring a Slip and Fall Attorney

Slip and fall attorneys offer services on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t incur any financial risk when you contact a slip and fall attorney. Hiring an experienced slip and fall attorney ensures you have a legal expert fighting for you to receive compensation after your accident.


Accidents or Unintentional Injuries. (2022).

Facts About Falls. (2021). 

Parker-Pope, Tara. (2011). The Most Dangerous Room in the House.

About the Author

attorney Jack Bernstein standing in front of a blurred background

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

Jack Bernstein is a hard working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you've been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.