A Fort Lauderdale attorney breaks down what happens when you have a slip and fall accident
You’ve had a great day and everything is going well … then suddenly you slip or trip and fall and now you’re in a daze. What just happened?
An abrupt slip and fall accident in Fort Lauderdale can cause numerous health problems – don’t ever think you’re going to be OK, even if the incident was a mild one. Here are some of the physical symptoms you could face, according to WebMD:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
- Dizziness or loss of balance
Needless to say, a slip and fall accident could alter your life, from your ability to work to your ability to do everything you do as part of your lifestyle. You could experience pain and may be forced to see numerous doctors for the correct diagnosis and treatment, which could cost thousands or millions of dollars.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common of personal injury cases and can cause numerous types of injuries; among these are:
Soft tissue injuries – These may not be visible, which means proving your case in the event of a lawsuit could be more difficult. Soft tissue injuries are injuries that range from ankle or wrist sprains to more complicated tears or breaks in tendons and ligaments. These injuries often can be so subtle or hidden that you may not even realize you’ve been injured until long after the accident, which is why seeking immediate medical attention is imperative. Any injury to soft tissue that is not treated could worsen over time.
Head injuries – Any type of injury to your head should be treated immediately, even minor concussions. According to WebMD, a concussion “is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of brain injury.” But concussions can cause serious problems with movement, learning or speaking. “Even an apparently minor head injury is a medical emergency. If you fall and hit your head—especially if there is swelling, bleeding, or even a brief loss of consciousness—you need immediate medical care,” the website cautions. Best advice: Always see a doctor, even if you don’t think the fall was serious.
Cuts/Abrasions – You could slip and fall and cut yourself or experience an abrasion to the head or face, hurt or wound your knees, elbows or legs on the way down. These may not be as serious as other types of injuries, but should still be looked at for treatment, or in more severe cases, stitches. There could be underlying serious injuries, however, such as a concussion, that need medical attention, especially if you hit the ground hard enough. While a cut is superficial, what lies underneath is not.
Spinal cord injuries – Among the costliest injuries from slip and fall accidents, and the most devastating, are those that occur to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury – damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal – often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Your ability to control your limbs after spinal cord injury depends on two factors: the place of the injury along your spinal cord and the severity of injury to the spinal cord.” If almost all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) are lost below the spinal cord injury, your injury is called complete. If you have some motor or sensory function below the affected area, your injury is called incomplete.
There are varying degrees of incomplete injury. Moreover, spinal cord injuries may result in symptoms that include loss of movement, loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch, loss of bowel or bladder control, exaggerated reflex activities or spasms, pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord, and difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs. A spinal cord injury can be life-threatening and should be diagnosed and treated immediately after the accident. Such an injury could cost upwards of a million dollars in treatment in the first year alone.
Broken bones – Broken bones, whether these are minor fractures or intense breaks – can be extremely painful. If you ever fall suddenly, and fall hard, and feel a sharp pain in a bone or joint, get to an emergency room.
What caused your slip and fall accident in Fort Lauderdale? There could be any number of reasons, from debris left on the floor, a floor that is wet or is freshly waxed, an uneven surface, or an unsafe area without proper signage, such as a work area or construction zone.
If you have suffered a slip and fall accident that caused injury in Fort Lauderdale, seek medical attention so you can receive a diagnosis, list of medications and treatment options in writing from a doctor and then seek counsel from a qualified and respected personal injury litigation attorney. You have a limited timeframe in which to file a lawsuit – in the meantime, your treatment costs are mounting. Do yourself a favor, seek the help you need, and give yourself some peace of mind.