A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere and to anyone and have life altering consequences. The injuries sustained as a result are frightening in their suddenness and are quite painful potentially worth millions of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. These accidents may happen anywhere even at home. The rates of a slip, trip or fall accident is exponentially high in elderly people throughout the country. Many people injured in a slip and fall often hesitate to report a slip and fall accident to their doctor. Slip and falls are the most common sort of accidental injury claim aside from auto accidents that is litigated. A slip and fall however is only a cause of the injury. It is not a type of injury. The types of injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident may be moderate and heal quickly or they may be very severe.
The injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident range from minor to severe, and sometimes potentially fatal in nature. The common types of injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident are:
Soft Tissue Injuries
These injuries are generally not outwardly visible and that makes it difficult to prove in a slip and fall claim. Someone who has been in a slip and fall might not even realize that they have a soft tissue injury until days or weeks after the fall. These injuries range from minor ankle and wrist sprains to devastating tears in tendons and ligaments. They cause chronic pain if left untreated and can make you vulnerable to subsequent injuries. It's important to seek medical care even if you feel fine after a fall because soft tissue injuries don't often produce immediate symptoms.
Spinal Cord/Back Injuries
Severe spinal cord injuries can occur if the spinal cord is either severed or compressed in a fall. Spinal cord or back injuries can be life-threatening and demand immediate medical care as well as continued treatment. These injuries are some of the most costly to treat and may cost up to a million dollars or more in the first year after the injury. The higher up in the spinal cord the injury the more severe the damage is expected to be. High cervical spinal cord injuries can result in quadriplegia, full paralysis whereas injuries lower in the spinal cord can result in paraplegia or paralysis of the lower limbs in the most severe cases.
Even minor head injuries should be treated as medical emergencies. If you hit your head and there is swelling, bleeding, or even a brief loss of consciousness then you need medical care immediately. Minor concussions can clear up on their own but if there is a traumatic brain injury, it can permanently alter your ability to function. These injuries cannot be diagnosed based on symptoms because some very serious head injuries produce only minimal symptoms initially.
Broken bones or fractures can be painful, scary, and range from minor fractures to severe breaks demanding multiple surgeries. The soft tissue surrounding the broken bones is also damaged which requires long-term care to prevent chronic pain and neuromuscular dysfunction. If you feel concentrated pain in a bone or joint after a fall it is advisable go to an emergency room because broken bones may result in extensive bleeding and the swelling that occurs initially can make the break difficult to treat and prompt medical intervention is vital for your treatment.
Cuts and Abrasions
Slip and fall accidents may result in severe looking cuts and abrasions, however the injuries are less extensive than other sorts of slip and falls. Abrasions on legs and arms are common, as are wounds to the head and hips. These injuries require simple superficial treatment and some stitches once in a while. If there is a strong impact of the fall cuts and abrasions may rest atop more serious injuries including but not limited to concussions and broken bones.
Although you may sustain a slip and fall injury through your own negligence; typically slip and fall cases are due to negligence on the part of a business or some other entity. The common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
Debris on the floor.
Excessively wet floor without appropriate warning.
Unsafe construction or working zones.
Those are generally the causes of slip and fall accidents. How can we avoid them? Some precautions that can be taken in this regard to reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents are to wear sturdy footwear rather than casual styles or going barefoot. Shoes offer support and a firm platform that prevents you tripping on objects or bumps. We can keep pathways and stairs clutter free and educate homeowners and commercial business owners in this regard. We should ensure that railings are installed on stairs non-skid floor tape on throw rugs or mats is used. Placing items of frequent use in convenient and easy to reach places can help you avoid using ladders or stools. Adequate lighting is necessary especially after dark in commercial parking lots and walkways.
In the state of California people are entitled to file a slip and fall accident injury claim if they have sustained an injury due to a slip and fall or a trip and fall. The essential element of this action is placement of liability. The owner or lessee of property where the accident occurred is generally liable for the accident. In the case that someone gets injured on their own property there still have a course of action available when liability can be assessed upon an equipment manufacturer if failure of that equipment is the cause of the accident. It is advisable for commercial property owners who rent facilities to purchase premises liability insurance coverage to address potential liability issues.
If you or someone you love sustained a slip and fall injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should talk to experienced legal counsel such as The Law Offices Of Jonathan C. Capp Esq. immediately to see if you have a case.