A slip and fall can cause serious – and long-lasting – injuries. It’s common for people to suffer for weeks, months, or even years after the accident. If you’re one of them, you could be eligible for financial compensation.
First things first, though: Slip and fall injuries need immediate medical attention. Once you’ve been seen by your medical provider, it’s a good idea to talk to a slip and fall lawyer who can help you determine whether you should file a lawsuit.
In order to file a lawsuit, you must have been injured – you can’t just file one because the property owner should have maintained his or her property to prevent your fall.
5 Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Some slip and fall injuries are minor, and your physician may tell you that you’ll recover quickly. However, others are far more severe. These are the five most common slip and fall injuries:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injury
- Shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
Head Injury and TBI After a Slip and Fall
Head injuries, which often cause traumatic brain injuries, are common when you slip, fall and hit your head on a hard surface, such as the ground or a wall. Unfortunately, head injuries aren’t always visible – and sometimes you won’t even show symptoms for a few hours or a few days.
Head Injury and TBI Symptoms
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Impaired hearing, smell, taste or vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent headache
- Vomiting or nausea
If you fall on your side, your shoulder might take the brunt of your weight. Even if you don’t fall on your side, you may reach out to catch yourself and injure your shoulder. Either way, you may dislocate your shoulder, break a bone or strain your muscles on the way down.
Shoulder Injury Symptoms
- Feeling as if your shoulder could slide out of its socket
- Lack of strength in shoulder
Soft Tissue Injuries
When you suffer a soft tissue injury, you can’t see it from the outside. In fact, you might not even notice any symptoms for days – or even weeks – after your slip and fall. Soft tissue injuries include sprains, which are usually considered minor medical issues, and more severe tears in tendons and ligaments that can be devastating to your mobility. If you don’t treat soft tissue injuries, they can lead to chronic pain and make you more likely to injure yourself again in the future.
Soft Tissue Injury Symptoms
- Bruising or discoloration
- Pain with or without movement
Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is fragile, and a jarring slip and fall can cause serious damage. A spinal cord injury can occur when you have direct trauma to your neck or back, when your spine stretches out as you fall, or from a severe cut. In some cases, spinal cord injuries cause permanent disability.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Numbness, tingling or a loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
- Pain or pressure in your neck, head or back
- Weakness or paralysis
Bone Fractures as Slip and Fall Injuries
When you fall on a hard surface, something has to give – and if it’s not the hard surface, it’s your bones. There are several types of bone fractures, ranging from hairline cracks that you can only see through X-rays to severe fractures in which part of your bone sticks out from your skin. Broken bones take a long time to heal, and they can put you out of commission for weeks or months.
Bone Fracture Symptoms
- Bone protruding from skin
- Inability to bear weight
- Loss of function in the injured area
- Pain in the injured area, when the pain gets worse when the area is moved or someone applies pressure
- Swelling or bruising
What to Do About Slip and Fall Injuries
If you’ve fallen anywhere, your first step is to seek medical attention. Because many slip and fall injuries aren’t immediately obvious, like soft tissue injuries and traumatic brain injuries, it’s essential that you talk to a doctor about what happened.