A slip-and-fall can have a traumatic effect on your body, causing different types of injuries. The damage sustained in a fall varies from person to person. The nature of the fall along with the person’s age and health status all affect the injury’s severity.
Unfortunately, many slip-and-fall accidents go unreported because victims are embarrassed and may blame themselves for the incident. Instead of recognizing the property owner’s role in the accident, victims pin their injuries on their own clumsiness. The property owner then gets away without being held responsible for his or her negligence, and the injured party is forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses.
After being injured in a slip-and-fall, your health should be your top priority. Let Kiley Law Group handle your personal injury claim while you focus on your recovery. Call us today at (888) 435-1321 to schedule a free case evaluation. We promise No Fee Until We Win, which means you will not have to pay a cent until you get compensation.
How the Body Reacts to a Slip-and-Fall
As you begin to fall, your body will release a flood of adrenaline. This rush of adrenaline is the body’s natural response to stress and can cause increased heart rate, tensed muscles, sweating, and marked increase in respiration.
This automatic stress response makes you more alert to the fact that you are in immediate danger. If your body reacts fast enough, you may reach out and try to grab onto something to prevent your fall. Oftentimes, this does more harm than good, resulting in hand, wrist, and shoulder injuries.
If the fall results in a physical injury, pain sends a signal to your brain that your body needs protection and healing. After which, several chemical reactions may occur in your body, preventing you from further trauma. These chemicals include serotonin, neurotensin, bradykinin, and histamine.
Slip-and-Falls Can Cause Your Body Severe Injury
Slip and fall injuries can range in severity from minor to severe, with some leaving people with long-term consequences such as chronic pain or disability.
The following are some injuries commonly associated with slip-and-falls:
- Pulled muscles and torn tendons: As you begin to fall, your body braces for impact by tensing your muscles and extending your arms and legs. This tensing and twisting of your body can cause the painful stretching of muscles and overextension of tendons.
- Bruising and lacerations: Bruises can develop on any part of your body that suffers impact during the fall. Scrapes and lacerations can occur if you hit an object or had something fall on you on your way down.
- Wrist and hand injuries: Your instinctive reaction to a fall is to try to catch yourself. When you reach your arms out to protect your body from the fall, you may break the delicate bones in your hands and wrists.
- Fractured clavicle: Your chest may be slammed into the ground in a forward fall. If your collarbone hits the ground with too much force, it could shatter.
- Back injuries: A slip-and-fall can cause you to fall down hard on your back. The force of the impact can cause herniated discs, cracked vertebrae, pulled muscles, and other back injuries.
- Internal organ damage: If you fell from a great height or landed on an object, you could sustain damage to your internal organs. Symptoms of these types of injuries might not present themselves immediately, which is why it is important to seek medical attention after a major fall.
- Spinal cord injuries: When you land on your back, the impact of the force can injure the nerves in your spine. The result may be devastating, causing permanent spinal damage and full or partial paralysis.
- Head injuries: The force of you hitting your head on the ground could damage your skull and cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The symptoms of a TBI may not appear for hours or even days after an injury, which is why it is important to receive a medical exam after a fall.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible following a slip-and-fall. Receiving a medical check-up serves a two-fold purpose.
1. It protects your health
Depending on how your body lands and the nature of your fall, you may not immediately notice the extent of your injuries. Even if you think you are unharmed, going to the doctor should be your top priority following a fall. Your physician will be able to run tests to diagnose and treat any hidden injuries.
The following are symptoms you may have a TBI or other internal injury:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of memory
- Stomach pain
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
2. It provides essential evidence for your claim
If your slip-and-fall accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you might have the basis for a personal injury claim. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require long-term medical care and time off from work. By means of a personal injury claim, your attorney may be able to help you recover financial compensation for these losses.
One essential step of establishing your premises liability claim will be proving that your injuries directly resulted from the other party’s negligence. Medical documentation can serve as critical evidence to prove the severity of your injuries, the cost to treat them, and the impact they have had on your life.
The following medical records might be beneficial to your claim:
- Admission forms
- Diagnostic test results
- Discharge instructions
- Billing statements
- Follow-up care instructions
The Emotional and Psychological Effects of a Slip-and-Fall
A severe slip-and-fall accident can cause not only physical harm to a person’s body but emotional and psychological injuries as well. The trauma of a major accident can impact a person’s mental health for weeks or months afterward.
Mental health symptoms experienced after an accident may include:
- Difficulty concentrating
If you are suffering from PTSD or other psychological issues as a result of your accident, do not hesitate to reach out to your medical provider for help. Additionally, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney as you also have the right to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other damages.
The Elderly Are at Greater Risk of a Slip-and-Fall
While a slip-and-fall can affect anyone, the elderly face the greatest risk. If you or an elderly loved one have fallen, you are not alone. According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 adults in the US over 65 reports falling each year.
There are many reasons why older adults are more prone to falls, including:
- Health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease that affect a person’s balance
- Medications that cause dizziness or confusion
- Decreased bone mass, muscle tone, and strength
- Diminished eyesight, reflexes, and flexibility
- Foot issues that cause pain or numbness
The Effects of a Slip-and-Fall on Seniors
For seniors, an accident like tripping on the stairs or slipping on a wet floor can be life-altering. A trip, slip, or fall often results in a broken bone for an older adult. It takes longer for an elderly person to heal and a broken bone can be the beginning of more serious health problems and long-term disability.
Common injuries sustained by seniors in slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Joint injuries
- Head trauma
- Hip fractures
- Spinal injury
Oftentimes, falls involving the elderly occur in nursing homes. Negligent or overworked staff members may not take the time and effort they should when looking after the residents under their care.
Nursing homes are not the only locations where the elderly are prone to falls. Older ones are also at risk in restaurants, stores, medical buildings, public sidewalks, and other locations.
If a nursing home or another person or entity caused you or your elderly loved one to slip and fall, you may be able to hold the responsible party liable for damages. In a tragic situation where a slip-and-fall led to the death of your family member, you can take legal action to pursue damages for wrongful death.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today
If you suffered a slip-and-fall, your body may be undergoing physical and emotional trauma and injury. Be assured, you do not have to go through this difficult time alone. The compassionate legal team at Kiley Law Group can help document your physical, mental, and financial suffering and file a claim for damages.
Our law firm has been helping slip and fall victims recover maximum compensation for their injuries for over 40 years. When you entrust your case to the attorneys at Kiley Law Group, you are getting an experienced, knowledgeable, award-winning legal team on your side that truly cares about the people we represent.
We take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay anything out-of-pocket. Our law firm only gets paid if we win your case and you are awarded a settlement.
Call us today or complete the online form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Someone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to take your call.