“You’re really going to sue someone just because you slipped and fell down?”
Most people don’t really understand how serious slip and fall accidents can be. They think, “I’ve fallen down before. Sure, it didn’t feel great, but mostly I was just embarrassed. It’s nothing to go to court over.”
This attitude is perpetuated in popular culture by the media reporting on how big some payouts are while minimizing the seriousness of the pain and injuries that the victims were forced to deal with due to (and here’s the important part) someone else’s negligent actions.
Well, below we hope to set the record straight and destroy the myth that injuries resulting from falls can’t be serious. We’re going to cover some of the most common ways that people get hurt when they fall down and why it is important to take these types of injuries seriously if you slip – even if you don’t immediately think the issue is that bad.
How can a bruise possibly be serious? Good question. The vast majority of the time, they’re not. You’ll probably feel sore and tender for a few days – or possibly weeks – but then the issue will fade and eventually go away.
However, some bruises can be so severe that letting them heal on their own won’t work. Your symptoms won’t go away without medical help, and you can even suffer permanent damage to the soft tissue impacted by the bruise.
Because of this, it is always wise to seek medical treatment after a fall. Your doctor will be able to ascertain the severity of the bruise – or any other injuries – and make sure that you get the treatment you need to recover. Speaking of other injuries…
Sprains and Strains
If you fall and get a bruise, that doesn’t mean that the bruise is the only injury you receive – it’s just the most visible one. Quite often people suffer other soft tissue injuries that they just can’t see, and may not feel right away due to the presence of adrenaline and other brain chemicals that kick in whenever something bad happens to us.
Two of the most common soft tissue injuries related to falls are sprains and strains. Again, as with bruises, most of the time these tend to be fairly minor issues. If your muscles, tendons, or ligaments got stretched a bit too far in the fall, they’ll probably heal on their own with a little bit of help from the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, elevation.
However, sometimes the problem is more than a mere stretch. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can also suffer partial and even complete tears. This can prevent the affected area from functioning normally, and in some of the most severe cases may even require surgery to fix the issue.
Most people know that broken bones are serious and require medical attention. Here’s something you might not know, though: the idea that a bone isn’t broken if you can move the joint is a myth.
In other words, even if you can move, say, your finger after it takes a strong blow, it could potentially still be broken. The only way to truly know for sure is to have an x-ray done.
This is important to note because holding off on medical care can result in swelling which makes a broken bone more difficult to treat. That’s a big deal, because often broken bones also result in tissue damage, and some of the worst breaks can require multiple surgeries to fix.
Concussions and other TBIs
Our culture has finally started to wake up to the fact that every single head injury is potentially serious. Yes, it’s true that minor concussions typically clear up on their own, but it’s impossible to know if a concussion is truly minor without getting checked out by a medical professional. You might think that you can simply wait and pay attention to any symptoms that develop, but this is a bad idea. Some of the more serious symptoms may not be present initially – even in very serious head injuries.
Here’s the rule of thumb:
- If you suffer a head injury, see a doctor.
- If your head injury includes bleeding, loss of consciousness, or swelling, see a doctor immediately.
Bottom line? It’s always better to get checked out. Remember, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause permanent damage to your ability to function. Simply put, head injuries aren’t something to mess around with.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuring your spinal cord from a mere fall may seem strange, but it happens more than most people realize. All it really takes is landing hard the wrong way and you can potentially compress or even sever your spinal cord.
If that’s not terrifying enough, remember that the spinal cord is how the various parts of your body communicate physical action. Injury can result in anything from mild loss of feeling or ability in your extremities to partial or complete paralysis.
This type of injury not only necessitates immediate emergency care, but also continuing treatment. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the most expensive injuries to deal with, and may cost upwards of a million dollars for the first year of treatment alone.
Fight for the Compensation You Deserve Using Florida’s Slip and Fall Laws
Hopefully by now you’re convinced that slip and fall injuries aren’t just a joke or something to take lightly. If you or someone you love has been in a fall-down accident, make sure to seek treatment as soon as possible to determine whether or not there are any issues.
If there are injuries, your next call should be to our office. We have successfully handled countless Florida slip and fall cases, and we understand what it takes to prove negligence and help you to get the compensation you need and deserve. Set up your free initial consultation now.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.