Slipping, tripping, and falling in public is generally embarrassing. Most people tend to brush off these types of accidents automatically, and claim to be uninjured or otherwise fine, to avoid further scrutiny. It’s understandable to want to put the incident behind you quickly, but if you just brush off your accident, you could run the risk of serious injury, especially if the symptoms are not immediately apparent after you fall.
Obviously, bleeding, dizziness, and disorientation are all serious and immediate side effects of falling. But less obvious are the strained muscles, bruises, soreness, and long-term head trauma that could have been suffered in a slip and fall accident. Some injuries may take a few days or even weeks to develop, and by that time, the opportunity for immediate action is lost.
Below are a few common injuries caused by a slip and fall accident, and a description of the effects a person who has fallen may suffer:
- Head injuries. If you trip and fall, and hit your head, you could suffer a concussion or a traumatic brain injury. In fact, falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, and these injuries can range from mild to very serious. Brain and head injuries can cause disorientation, dizziness, mood swings, and seizures, and they can also affect a person’s ability to remember things or concentrate.
- Back and spine injuries. A slip and fall accident can cause serious trauma to the back and the spinal cord. Even if you don’t land directly on your back when you fall, the bodily impact can fracture your vertebrae and cause a slipped disc in your back, both of which can lead to severe pain and limited movement and abilities. Spinal cord injuries often cause temporary or permanent paralysis, and can even result in neurological impairments.
- Fractured hips. An overwhelming majority of fractured hips are caused by falls, especially in older people. Hip fractures usually require surgery, and involve a lengthy recovery period in the hospital and at home, or in a nursing home. Most people who suffer a hip fracture have to undergo extensive physical therapy, and some require an artificial hip.
- Sprains, fractures, and broken bones. Tripping and falling forces the body to react in unnatural ways in an effort to break the fall—and this can cause a twist or a sprain to the ankle, knee, or wrist. A hard landing can break or fracture bones, typically in the arm, ankle, wrist, or hand.
With many of these injuries, the recovery process is long, and can be painful. The resulting medical bills can be expensive as well, especially if you require surgery, physical therapy or rehabilitation, or even a few follow-up visits. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could also be out of work.
If you have suffered from a slip and fall caused by someone else’s negligence, or unsafe conditions, you should get in touch with one of the experienced Chicago slip and fall attorneys at Jackowiak Law Offices today. We represent anyone who suffered injuries as a result of a trip or fall, and can help you with your case.