Slip & Fall Injuries
The kinds of injuries a person sustains in a slip-and-fall accident will depend on a host of factors specific to each case. They can range from mild (bruising, cuts and sprains) to severe (spinal cord and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, death). Most people are surprised at how serious a slip-and-fall injury can be.
Veteran injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, know the extent of injuries will depend on, among other factors:
- How fall happened
- The type of ground surface material
- The height at which the fall occurred
- Whether the plaintiff was able to break the fall in any way
- The age and physical fitness of the plaintiff
- The extent to which defendant was prepared with emergency response.
Severity of one’s injuries won’t affect whether a plaintiff has a valid case, but will factor into the value of a case. Just because a person suffers severe and permanent injuries on another’s property doesn’t automatically entitle the injured party to damages. A person with far lesser injuries may have a much stronger case for liability than someone with more serious injuries. It just depends on the facts.
However, if liability is proven, a person with greater injuries is likely to receive a higher amount of compensation.Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slip-and-fall injuries result from a person slipping on either a transitory substance on the floor or some other defective condition that makes a walking surface hazardous. Because most people avoid injuring themselves whenever it’s possible, the condition is usually unexpected. Loss of balance occurs quickly, and people have little time to react beyond basic instinct. That usually means slip-and-fall injuries are quite severe, as there may be little or no opportunity to break a fall.
Slip-and-fall injuries most frequently reported include:
Injuries to the arm, wrist and hand: These often include fractures, sprains, torn ligaments, and lacerations. This is common when people attempt (usually involuntarily) to reach out and brace themselves with their hands in order to avoid more serious injuries to the head or face. Many times, these injuries require one or more surgeries. It may mean the injured person has to wear a cast for several weeks or months. It could lead to extensive therapy. And meanwhile, he or she may be unable to work, especially if, as many people do, they relied heavily on their hands and arms to effectively perform their jobs. Even once a cast is removed, plaintiff might still be on restrictions for lifting, pulling, stretching or even typing.
Injuries to the feet, ankles, legs and knees: Common injuries are fractures, sprains, cuts and bruises. Often, a person’s ability to walk or otherwise be mobile is severely curtailed. Plaintiffs may be confined to a wheelchair or required to rely on crutches for weeks or even months. Recovery time for these injuries is often extensive, and in some instances, disabilities may be permanent. These kinds of injuries can delay one’s return to work, exacerbating the overall losses suffered as a result of the fall.
Pelvis and hip injuries: This is an especially serious risk for older adults in slip-and-fall cases. Elder adults are not only more prone to suffer pelvis and hip fractures, but more likely to experience severe and permanent damage when they do. Because the pelvis protects many vital organs, a fracture to this area can also result in serious internal bleeding. In some cases, those who suffer fractured hips and pelvis bones may never regain full mobility. That can result in a severely-diminished quality of life.
Back and neck injuries: These kinds of injuries frequently include muscle strains, bone fractures, ligament tears and nerve damage. Specific diagnoses include: compression fractures, whiplash, slipped or herniated discs, sciatica and spinal cord injuries. Depending on the angle and force of the fall, injuries to the neck and back can require surgery, rehabilitation and medication, and could result in long-term chronic pain and possibly even some degree of disability.
Head injuries: While bruising, cuts and scaring shouldn’t be taken lightly after a slip-and-fall, the greatest worry with a head injury is the possibility of a traumatic brain injury. Sometimes, the damage will be immediately obvious. Other times, true scope of injuries won’t be clear for several days or weeks. A traumatic brain injury can result in anything from chronic headaches to permanent cognitive disabilities and even death. If you hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel that bad. Symptoms of concussion or even bleeding on the brain might not be readily apparent. Yet if not treated immediately, the consequences could be devastating. Pay particular attention to whether you feel dizzy, if you have a sudden and intense headache and whether you feel listless or nauseated. Any of these could be a red flag of a more serious head injury.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a slip-and-fall in Southwest Florida, contact Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There are no fees or costs unless we win. Offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples and Port Charlotte.