Can a Slip and Fall Accident Lead to Traumatic Brain Injury?
Slip and fall accidents happen with alarming frequency. As numbers from the National Floor Safety Institute show, more than a million emergency room visits each year can be attributed to someone slipping and falling.
Fortunately, most slip and fall accidents are not fatal. However, they can lead to short-term and long-term physical injuries such as head trauma. A traumatic brain injury can become a lifetime issue for a person who has fallen depending on whether a complete recovery is possible with time, treatment, and possibly therapy.
You may wonder how even a minor slip and fall could have a lasting effect on the brain. The answer is that although the brain is well protected within the skull, it is not immune to the damaging outcomes of a sudden force. The jarring impact from a slip and fall accident can be intense.
How Does the Force from Falling Affect the Brain?
When you lose your footing and you fall forwards, sideways, or backwards, you may not have time to put out your arms to cushion your fall. Also, you may hit an object as you slip. If you hit your head in the process, the full force will be transferred from your skull to your brain.
You do not have to break your skull to have a fall affect your brain. As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, you can wind up with closed brain injury. That is, you could suffer an injury to your brain even though your skull was not fractured, broken, or otherwise penetrated.
Once your brain has been bruised, you may suffer immediate symptoms such as a headache. You may also feel somewhat normal initially and only later realize you are having difficulties, such as remembering what happened recently or being able to stay upright without getting dizzy. Therefore, you should always go to an urgent care or emergency room facility after any slip and fall event that includes hitting your head. Being seen by someone immediately can help you get an early diagnosis and faster treatment.
What Are Typical Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury after a Fall?
Every person who experiences a traumatic brain injury after a slip and fall accident can have a unique response. After all, you may bruise your brain in a different area than another person does. Even if you both ended up with traumatic brain injuries, you could feel affected right away or years later.
However, doctors tend to see some of the same signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury in slip and fall accident patients:
- Headaches and migraines
- Memory loss
- Sleep disruptions
- Light sensitivity
- Sound sensitivity
- Vision problems
- Language problems
- Balance problems
- Personality changes
- Muscle weakness
In more severe slip and fall cases, patients may fall into a coma. Approximately five percent of those who slip and fall die of their wounds.
What Are Far-Reaching Consequences of Slip and Fall Traumatic Brain Injuries?
It can be frightening to hear that you have a traumatic brain injury after slipping and falling. However, not all traumatic brain injuries are so severe that they affect you for the rest of your life. Depending on the extent of your injury, you may be able to fully recover without any far-reaching consequences.
Some slip and fall patients must deal with problems associated with their accident for a long time afterward. For instance, some people with memory loss or communication problems may be unable to keep their current job. Others who have balance or mobility issues may need to modify their homes or relocate to a house with a different layout. Sadly, some individuals who are affected personality-wise may be unable to maintain their close relationships or foster new relationships after getting hurt.
Can I Get Financial Damages if I Slip and Fall?
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property or because of someone else’s negligence and suffer an injury to your brain, you may be entitled to compensation. An example of this would be if you walked into a retail store and slipped on a freshly mopped floor that was not roped off for your protection. In that case, you would seek monetary damages from the store’s insurance company.
This sounds straightforward. However, slip and fall lawyers know how complicated it can be to get an adequate settlement offer from insurance companies or, in the case of personal injury lawsuits, from third parties. Often, insurance providers will offer those who have had slip and fall incidents a lump-sum settlement that sounds attractive. Nevertheless, it might not be enough to compensate for the long-term issues that a slip and fall patient with a traumatic brain injury could have.
Consider a person who can no longer go to work at the same job because of a traumatic brain injury. An insurance settlement offer of $100,000 may sound appealing. But it may be inadequate to meet the person’s needs in the long run. This is where advice or representation from a lawyer can be helpful. Lawyers who handle slip and fall cases understand how much to request from insurance companies to fairly compensate the injured person.
What Should I Do after a Slip and Fall Accident?
Just because you take a tumble and hit your head does not mean you have a traumatic brain injury. However, you should always go to a doctor right away, the same day if possible. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better it will be for you if you file a claim against an insurance provider or start a lawsuit against a negligent party. The reason is your visit to a doctor will show that you were concerned enough to get evaluated by a professional immediately. Also, the diagnosis will indicate that any injuries were suffered from the slip and fall accident rather than during a different event.
If you are unsure how to make a claim after slipping and falling on someone else’s property, you can always contact a slip and fall lawyer who offers a free consultation. During your consultation, have as much information handy as you can. This can include images of the slip and fall scene, if you took them, or even video of you slipping and falling if you were able to obtain it. The names and numbers of witnesses willing to testify on your behalf can be valuable as well.
It is important not to delay treatment or wait to pursue your legal rights after a slip and fall accident that left you seriously hurt. The statute of limitations to file these types of personal injury claims in New Jersey is two years from when the accident occurred. Remember that it may take time to prove that the other party’s negligence led to your slip and fall injury. The quicker you begin a claim, the more time you will have to build a solid case.
Highland Park Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Defend Your Rights after Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury
If a slip and fall accident left you or a loved one dealing with the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury, reach out to the Highland Park slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. We will fight for your rights and help to secure the compensation for which you are entitled for your injuries. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.