A trip, or slip and fall, can happen to anyone at any time. If you are in immediate severe pain, have a serious visible injury, or lost consciousness after an accident, seek immediate treatment for your injury.
However, you might not know that your fall injured you. You may think you are fine only to discover later that something is wrong after all. What may first appear to be a minor slip and fall can end up being a serious injury. Many serious conditions can arise from a fall. Early detection and intervention can help ensure you get the help you need as soon as possible and prevent your condition from worsening.
If you have suffered a recent fall there are some warning signs of serious injury that you should look out for after an accident.
Warning Signs of an Internal Injury
When you suffer a fall your entire body is at risk of injury; internal injuries can result from a serious fall and may not always be apparent immediately after an accident. Internal injuries can pose a great risk to your health and require immediate medical attention.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you could have internal bleeding and should seek immediate emergency care:
- Worsening abdominal pain;
- Severe headache;
- Shortness of breath;
- Faint or dizzy feeling;
- Digestive issues including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- Severe bruising;
- Blood in vomit, stool, or urine;
- Low blood pressure; and/or
- An overall feeling of sudden or severe weakness.
Indications of a Possible Concussion
A concussion can occur during a fall if you hit your head on the ground or an object as you fall. Surprisingly, you can also receive a concussion even if your head did not actually hit anything; a jolt or during a fall can also cause your brain to bang against your skull, resulting in a concussion. Concussion symptoms can come on suddenly or take time to develop; sometimes they can take hours or even days.
If you notice these symptoms after a fall you could have a concussion and should seek medical care as soon as possible:
- Persistent headache;
- Tinnitus (ringing or noise in the ear);
- Feeling tired or drowsy;
- Blurred vision; and/or
- Confusion or trouble concentrating.
Possible Broken Bones or Fractures
In many cases, a broken bone is immediately apparent after a fall and accompanied by severe pain and the inability to move or bear weight on the affected area. There are circumstances, however, in which a break may not be immediately obvious. What may begin as a small fracture with little pain can worsen over time and cause a larger break or serious complications without proper treatment.
These symptoms may indicate a broken bone or fracture and you should seek medical care as soon as possible if you notice them:
- Severe pain in a specific bony area of your body;
- Pain when pressure is applied or when you move;
- Swelling and/or bruising that worsens over time;
- Deformity or abnormal appearance; and/or
- Inability to bear weight on the injured limb.
Signs of Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue injuries are quite common after a fall and include damage to ligaments, muscles, and/or tendons. Signs of an injury may not always appear immediately after a fall, or you may feel as though it is just a minor bump or bruise at first.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you could have a soft tissue injury and should seek prompt medical attention, then call a lawyer for help paying for it:
- Prominent lump or change in the appearance of the injured area;
- Difficulty bearing weight on the injured limb;
- Loss of stability in joints;
- Weakness or limited range of motion; and/or
- Pain, swelling, or bruising in the injured limb.
A General Feeling That Something Is Not Right
At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else. If you recently suffered a fall and are feeling unwell or in pain but cannot identify the exact location or cause, you could have sustained an injury. Slips or falls are sudden and often you may react quickly to get back up and move on with your day. Due to the adrenaline of the moment, you might not realize you are injured, but symptoms can develop slowly in the coming days and weeks. If you do not feel like yourself and sense that something is wrong after a fall, seek medical care.
What Four Steps Should You Take if You Have Symptoms After a Fall
An accident can happen anywhere, any time.
Taking these four steps following a slip and fall accident can help you protect your health and legal rights.
- Seek medical care. The most important thing you must do following a fall is to seek medical treatment for your injuries. As soon as it becomes apparent to you that you have suffered an injury because of your fall you must contact a medical provider or visit an emergency room and follow through with the necessary treatment and rehabilitation your care provider recommends.
Notify the property owner. When you suffer a fall you should make an effort to report it immediately. A fall or injury that occurs on another person’s property should be reported to the owner, manager, or employee associated with the location. If you can’t report the incident immediately, write down as many details of the incident as you can remember and report the information as soon as you can.
- Document and gather information. Keep track of all information pertaining to your fall and injuries. Record notes about events as they happen and include as many details as possible to preserve evidence and information about the incident. You may think you will remember the events later on down the line, but it can be difficult to pinpoint exact details as time passes. Keep all available evidence, records, and information related to your injury including photographs, videos, witnesses, and medical records.
- Contact a slip and fall attorney near you. If a fall injures you on someone else’s property, contact a slip and fall attorney for help and guidance with your case as soon as possible. Any slip and fall can result in unexpected financial and physical impacts. If someone else is responsible for causing your accident, they may also be responsible for reimbursing you for the financial and personal impacts that accident has had on your life.