Many people who live in Pennsylvania find themselves at risk for a slip-and-fall injury due to the state’s long, cold winters. Wet floors, melting snow and ice and sudden sleet storms can all make for icy conditions. The National Safety Council notes that falls are listed among the top three injuries that cause death or long-term medical issues. While not every victim suffers the same type of trauma, two are common: nerve damage and brain injuries.

According to the Mayo Clinic, nerve damage may affect the brain, and this type of injury is usually independent of most types of cranial trauma. Nerve damage can affect almost any part of the body and is usually the result of fall victims landing on their backs, shoulders or twisting their necks after landing on a hard surface, such as an asphalt driveway. The fall can pinch or stretch certain nerves, which often results in problems like numbness, pain and limited range of motion.

Unlike nerve damage, brain injuries are typically the direct result of the head striking a hard surface during a fall. The brain can suffer a contusion, a concussion or some other type of closed injury that may result in memory or cognitive loss, some of which could be permanent if the impact was severe.

Brain injuries and nerve damage may be closely related, especially in slip-and-fall cases. However, the fibers that comprise the body’s nerves have a greater ability to heal than the brain does in individuals who suffer this type of injury.