For many people, slipping and falling down results in little more than a few bruises and momentary embarrassment. Some slip and fall accidents, however, cause severe trauma, even catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Some of the potentially life-altering consequences of falling down on someone else’s property follow below.
Potential Physical Injuries From Falls
Slip and fall accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones. An impact with a hard floor or with other objects in the way can break bones, especially in the face, hands, arms, legs, and feet. Broken bones may make it difficult for victims to continue with their daily responsibilities or to take care of their usual job tasks.
- Sprains and strains. Sprains and strains often occur when a fall forcefully twists a limb or joint in unnatural directions, causing tears and ruptures of soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons, and muscle tissue.
- Traumatic brain injury. A blow or jolt to the head can damage the brain within the skull, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Consequences of a TBI can include cognitive and motor deficits, memory loss, comas, and death.
- Spinal cord injury. A fall can also damage the spinal cord, leading to back and neck pain, numbness, and partial or total paralysis. These injuries can occur when a victim falls on the tailbone or sustains an impact directly to the back.
These are just a few examples. Any injury caused by a slip and fall accident can cause significant pain and suffering. A fall can severely limit a victim’s life by inflicting lasting pain and compromised mobility. In some cases, victims may never fully heal from their injuries.
Potential Financial Consequences of Falls
Along with the physical pain and suffering that accompany most injuries, many victims suffer financial consequences related to those injuries, such as:
- Lost time at work. Many injuries from falls can prevent victims from working in their former capacity. From workers who must complete heavy labor each day, yet have suffered damage to their back or limbs, to office workers who have suffered spinal cord trauma or damage to their hands and wrists, injuries can significantly limit victims’ income-earning abilities.
- Medical expenses. Many people fail to realize how fast medical expenses can mount following even a minor accident, even if they think they have good health insurance coverage. A slip and fall, for example, may result in an immediate trip to the emergency room, hospitalization, surgeries, and long-term physical therapy, all of which place significant financial burdens on victims once they’ve exhausted insurance benefits or because their insurance does not cover some of those treatments.
- Lifestyle alterations. For individuals with severe injuries or those who will suffer lifelong consequences from their slip and fall accidents, alterations to their homes, vehicles, and lifestyles can help them overcome some disabilities, but they cost lots of money. For example, victims may need to widen doorways or purchase special vehicles to accommodate wheelchairs, or to install special equipment in cars or vans to enable them to drive.
Were You Significantly Injured by a Slip and Fall?
If you were seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, Virginia law may entitle you to recover significant compensation. Contact Emroch & Kilduff today at (804) 358-1568 to learn how we might help.