The potential for slip and fall accidents exists whenever stairways, sidewalks, aisles, and other common foot traffic areas aren’t properly maintained. A number of potential injuries can arise from a hard fall, but back and spinal cord issues are often particularly devastating.
Common Back Injuries and Their Effects
Back injuries can occur during a fall in a private residence, a parking lot, any SEPTA property, or a commercial building like a grocery or retail store. These injuries typically have a bigger impact on the elderly or people with pre-existing conditions but can result in extreme repercussions even for young and healthy victims if the fall is serious enough. Specific back injuries from a Pennsylvania slip and fall accident may include:
- Coccyx (tailbone) bruising or breaking
- Herniated disc (also called a slipped disc)
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Nerve damage or pinched nerves
- Spinal cord fracture
In some slip and fall accidents, the symptoms from these types of injuries may be short-term and go away on their own in a number of weeks as the body heals. You might spend a short time in the hospital or simply stay at home to deal with minor aches and pains. In these less serious falls, a patient can expect to eventually return to normal activity.
In other cases, however, a slip and fall victim may deal with long-term symptoms that continue for months or even indefinitely. After hurting your back in a slip and fall, you may experience:
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness or tingling in the back and extremities
- Pain in the back or radiating down the legs, which is often worse while walking
- Stiffness and difficulty walking or moving
Recovering Damages After a Slip and Fall Back Injury
Obviously, a back injury may lead to a major disruption to your daily life, interfering with leisure activities you used to enjoy and your ability to act as a parent or caregiver. Ongoing pain in the back or permanent effects like leg paralysis can prevent you from returning to work. Even if you can continue to work, the injury may force you to move into a different line of employment with less physical movement.
After any fall, even if you don’t immediately feel hurt, it is critical to see a doctor for a complete checkup. This step is crucial to protecting your legal right to compensation, as well as determining if any internal back or spine injuries occurred that may not have been immediately visible. You may require additional treatment or surgeries in the future that should be considered when dealing with insurance or attempting to recover damages through a court case.
It’s also important to understand that your medical costs may not be limited just to a back injury. When the spinal cord is impacted in a fall, it's possible to also experience traumatic brain injuries that can have their own serious effects. The fall itself may have additionally caused broken bones in other areas of the body, and soft tissue damage to the knees or wrists is common after falling.
If You’ve Suffered a Back Injury in a Fall, You Need an Attorney
Regardless of the extent of your injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney is necessary to help you recover the full amount you are owed. That amount may include medical costs, loss of wages, and the effects of the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
A lawyer can assist you by investigating the circumstances around the accident to prove the property owner or other negligent party was aware of the problem and didn’t resolve the issue before it caused you harm. If someone behaved negligently and caused your fall, that at-fault party should be held responsible, and you should be compensated for the disruption to your daily routine.
Let Gary Heslin know about the details of your case today. Set up a consultation to discuss the next steps, which could include seeking an insurance settlement or filing a lawsuit.