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You were walking into a nearby store and had to go up a wet path to get to the main entry. You didn't think anything of it, but you were cautious when stepping on the walkway. It seemed like there was enough friction for you to be able to walk without slipping, but you didn't imagine that you'd end up tripping instead. The path was a little uneven, and as you went to take a step onto the main walkway, your heel got stuck. That caused you to twist your ankle and fall.

You would have been okay if not for the nearby concrete planters. You hit your head on one of them as you fell, leaving you dazed and confused. The owner of the building quickly called 911, and you soon found yourself spending the afternoon receiving a battery of tests to see how serious your brain injury was.

Falls can cause traumatic brain injuries in an instant

Falls are often to blame when people end up with traumatic brain injuries. Hitting your head on concrete, wooden stairs, a table or other object can be quite serious. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 1.7 million individuals suffer from traumatic brain injuries yearly, and tens of thousands of those injuries are fatal.

In a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that the number of fall-related traumatic brain injuries has actually increased over time since 2008. In 2008, 3.86 deaths from fall-related TBIs happened per 100,000 individuals. Today, that number has jumped by 17%.

While fall-related deaths were most common among the elderly, anyone could die if they hit their head hard enough and severely damage their brain. When the brain swells, it doesn't have much room. If you don't seek medical care immediately, the brain can be badly damaged before you can get help. Once the brain is damaged, it's very difficult for it to recover. The brain cells die, and it takes a long time for information and processes to be relearned and rerouted.

If you fall and hit your head on someone else's property, they may be liable. Business owners have to keep their premises safe, so if you fall while walking inside because of walkway hazards, you may be able to file a claim against them to get compensation that you can use toward your care and recovery.

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