Symptoms to Look for After a Fall—and How a Lawyer Can Help Seek Compensation for Them

Symptoms to Look for After a Fall—and How a Lawyer Can Help Seek Compensation for Them

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.

You need to know the symptoms to look for after a fall, as some symptoms could indicate a serious injury. If someone else’s negligence caused the fall, contact a personal injury attorney near you to learn of your rights and options for obtaining compensation from those responsible.

Warning Signs of an Internal Injury

Internal injuries are some of the most dangerous consequences of a fall, as they may not be immediately apparent and can worsen over time if left untreated. Some common signs of internal injuries include:

  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Blood in the urine or stool
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Headache or confusion

If you experience any of these symptoms after a fall, seek medical attention immediately. Internal injuries, such as organ damage or serious internal bleeding, can be life-threatening if not promptly addressed.

Indications of a Possible Head Injury

Head injuries are another serious concern following a fall. Even if you don't lose consciousness, you may still have sustained a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).


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 to the head or a violent head shake 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.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but not all TBIs are concussions. Traumatic brain injuries refer to a broader category of brain injuries caused by external forces, such as a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury. They can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. More severe TBIs may involve structural damage to the brain, such as bruising, bleeding, or torn tissue, which can show up on imaging tests. Symptoms of TBIs can be similar to those of concussions but may be more severe and longer-lasting. 

If you notice these symptoms after a fall you could have a concussion, TBI, or some other head injury and should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Persistent headache
  • Tinnitus (ringing or noise in the ear)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling tired or drowsy
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion or trouble concentrating

Recovery time for head injuries varies depending on the severity of the injury, and some people may experience long-term or permanent changes in brain function. Head injury symptoms may not present symptoms right away, so you should get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after a fall where you hit your head, even if you don't notice symptoms.

Possible Broken Bones or Fractures

In many cases, a broken bone is immediately apparent after a fall and is 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 began 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 or tenderness in the affected area
  • Pain when you apply pressure or move
  • Swelling, bruising, or discoloration
  • Deformity or misalignment of the limb
  • Inability to bear weight or move the affected limb
  • Numbness or tingling in the affected area

If you suspect you've broken a bone, it's important to immobilize the affected limb and seek medical attention promptly. Failure to properly treat a fracture can lead to long-term complications, such as chronic pain, reduced mobility, and arthritis.

Signs of Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions, are also common after a fall. These injuries can affect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body. Some signs of soft tissue damage include: 

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Bruising or discoloration
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion
  • Weakness or instability in the affected joint

While soft tissue injuries may not be as severe as fractures or head injuries, they can still cause significant pain and limit your ability to perform daily activities. 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 getting the compensation you need to pay for it.

Signs of a soft tissue 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. Don't take chances. Get a medical evaluation promptly after a fall whether you notice symptoms or not.

Back and Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

A fall can cause various types of back and spinal cord injuries, ranging from mild to severe. The severity of the injury depends on factors such as the height of the fall, the landing surface, and the individual's age and overall health. Here are some common back and spinal cord injuries that can result from a fall, along with their symptoms:

Herniated or Bulging Discs

  • Back pain that may radiate to the legs
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs
  • Difficulty walking or standing

Compression Fractures

  • Sudden onset of back pain
  • Pain that worsens with standing or walking
  • Height loss or spinal deformity

Spinal Cord Injury

  • Loss of sensation or movement below the level of injury
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Spasms or exaggerated reflexes

Spinal Contusions (bruising)

  • Pain and swelling at the site of injury
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area
  • Temporary loss of motor function or sensation

Sprains and Strains

  • Localized pain and stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms

If any of these symptoms occur after a fall, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve the chances of recovery. Even if the symptoms seem mild, it is still advisable to consult a healthcare professional to rule out any serious injuries.

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 embarrassing. You may react quickly to get back up and move on with your day. However, 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 prompt 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.

  1. 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.
Walter H Emroch
Slip and Fall Attorney, Retired Walter H Emroch

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.
  • How an Attorney Can Help You Get Compensation After a Fall Accident

    If you've been injured in a fall accident someone else's negligence caused, an attorney can be a valuable ally in helping you seek compensation for your losses. Here are some ways an attorney can assist you:

    • Case Evaluation: An attorney will assess the circumstances surrounding your fall accident to determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim. They will consider factors such as the cause of the fall, liability, and the extent of your injuries.
    • Investigation: Attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident to gather evidence supporting your claim. This may involve obtaining incident reports, interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance footage, and assessing the property where the fall occurred.
    • Establishing Liability: In fall accident cases, establishing liability is crucial. Your attorney will work to identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries, which could include property owners, managers, maintenance companies, or others. They will gather evidence to demonstrate that the liable party's negligence or wrongful actions led to your fall.
    • Navigating Premises Liability Laws: Premises liability laws govern cases involving injuries that occur on someone else's property due to negligence. An experienced attorney will have a thorough understanding of these laws and how they apply to your case. They will use this knowledge to build a strong legal argument in your favor.
    • Dealing with Insurance Companies: Attorneys can handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf. They will negotiate with insurers to seek a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
    • Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit for you and represent you in court. They will advocate for your rights during trial proceedings, presenting evidence and arguments to support your claim and seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
    • Maximizing Compensation: Ultimately, the goal of your attorney is to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries and losses. They will fight tirelessly to ensure that you are fairly compensated for the harm you've suffered as a result of the fall accident.

    By enlisting the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can significantly increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve after a fall accident. Their expertise, legal knowledge, and dedication to your case can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your claim.

    What Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer?

    When choosing an attorney, look for someone with a track record of success in handling slip and fall accident cases. Schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won't owe any legal fees unless they successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

    How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Virginia?

    Virginia's statute of limitations allows you only two years from the date of your accident to have an attorney file a lawsuit for you in court. If you fail to have an attorney file a personal injury lawsuit for you within that time, the court will probably dismiss your case, leaving you with no legal recourse to recover compensation. 

    Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Attorney

    Don't let a slip and fall accident derail your life. By seeking prompt medical attention, documenting the accident, and consulting with an experienced attorney, you can take the necessary steps to protect your health and financial well-being. Remember, you have the right to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

    Contact the Virginia injury lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff today. We have decades of experience handling personal injury claims for clients in Richmond and throughout Virginia, and we're ready to assist you in securing maximum compensation for your fall injuries in Virginia. 

    William B. Kilduff


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    Contact our offices today online or by calling (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation, discuss the details of your injury, and determine the best path forward given your individual circumstances.

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