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Home » Slip and Fall Accidents Lawyer in California » What Happens When You Trip And Fall?

What Happens When You Trip And Fall?

What Happens When You Trip And Fall?

One very serious result of tripping and falling is becoming severely harmed or disabled. Depending on how you land, there are four different types of injuries that could occur. The aftermath of a trip and fall can be unpredictable; it’s best to see a physician even if the fall does not immediately appear to have caused long-term harm. A medical complication could develop later, so it’s wise not to delay receiving treatment for what may eventually become a prolonged health issue.

In addition to pain and reduced quality of life, a trip and fall could leave you with medical bills and a loss of income while you recover. In some cases, and depending on the type of injuries sustained, you could become permanently disabled.

Injuries to Soft Tissue Could Be Much Worse Than “Just” Painful

One of the most common injuries experienced during a fall is damage to soft tissue. Even if the distance is small, the impact will most likely harm those soft tissues caught under the body’s weight. Under the best circumstances, this may only cause soreness, bruising or minor sprains. The impact from the fall could, however, also cause tears in tendons or ligaments that require emergency surgery. In some cases, a lack of immediate symptoms can fail to bring attention to more serious issues such as nerve damage, long-term restricted mobility or chronic pain.

Head Injuries Can Become Life-Threatening or Long-Term Issues

Any head injury warrants a doctor’s evaluation; the harm caused could be worse than what it seems at first. In many cases, a head injury may only show immediate symptoms such as a headache, minor pain or swelling. A fall that caused an impact to the head can, however, result in a traumatic brain injury or concussion even if not apparent at first.

After an impact to the head, a blood vessel could have burst within the skull and caused an intracranial hematoma, which leads to blood collecting within or around the brain. As the blood collects over time and causes increased pressure on the brain, serious and irreversible symptoms can develop. Although several weeks may pass before any symptoms become noticeable, an intracranial hematoma can be life-threatening or become a permanent disability.

Fractures and Broken Bones Could Require Surgery and Extensive Recovery Time

Fractured or broken bones are not uncommon when a trip and fall accident occurs. Even a small fracture deserves immediate attention; it may not mend correctly and lead to long-term movement restrictions and chronic pain. One of the worst possible fractures that can result from a fall is a hip fracture.

Many hip fractures require a hip replacement, which could be life-changing, particularly in the case of older individuals. The procedure involves specialized surgery along with extensive hospital and recovery time. There is usually a great deal of pain that accompanies an injury to the hip.

Falling Forward Often Causes Shoulder Injuries

If you trip over something, you typically fall forward; it’s then a natural instinct to extend your arms to cushion the impact. The impact can, however, cause your outstretched arm to violently twist your shoulder. The result can be a torn rotator cuff, a dislocated shoulder or both.

A fall is one of the two main causes of rotator cuff injuries. Your ability to reach upwards and lift your arms is dependent on the tendons and muscles holding your shoulder in place, which are collectively referred to as the rotator cuff. When injured, a rotator cuff could require surgery and months to recover to resume full functioning.

What Are Some of the Causes of Trip and Fall Accidents?

The basic cause of a trip and fall accident is your foot hitting something and coming to an unexpected stop. Since most individuals only lift their feet about a half-inch from the floor while walking, anything taller carries the potential for a trip and fall, which means that any of the following could cause an accident:

  • Loose electrical cords
  • Uneven floors or sidewalks
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Bunched-up rugs
  • Obstacles, such as boxes or tools left where people are walking

Overall, poor housekeeping, whether in homes, offices, stores or public areas, can contribute to an accident. When there exists a duty of care to provide safe areas for customers, students or visitors, poor housekeeping could qualify as negligence. The issue of negligence is another outcome of a trip and fall accident; a legal action may be required for a harmed individual to recover the cost of medical treatment and lost wages. In many cases, the issue of pain and suffering arises along with a reduced quality of life when long-term disabilities develop.

Which Party Is Responsible — the Property Owner or the Business Tenant?

Based on the laws regarding premises liability, an individual harmed by a business or property owner’s negligence can file a lawsuit to recover damages. In order to pursue this type of claim, it must be shown that negligence on the part of either the property owner or the business occupying a property caused the harm. The suit must show that someone breached a duty of care to provide a safe environment for customers or visitors.

In cases involving businesses, an issue may arise regarding which party had the duty of care: the owner of the property or a business renting space on it. Overall, business owners must maintain an environment that remains reasonably safe. Their duty of care to customers and visitors requires them to maintain an awareness of any hazards and correct them when found. A property owner may, however, share responsibility with a business tenant for maintaining common areas such as parking lots and sidewalks. A review of the business owner’s lease agreement could resolve the issue of responsibility and enable a recovery action to proceed.

Can Damages Be Recovered Through the Negligent Party’s Insurance Carrier?

After a trip and fall accident, an insurance company may contact the harmed individual. The carrier may offer an out-of-court settlement for medical expenses and time lost from work. The settlement may not, however, take into account the pain and suffering endured or a long-term reduction in the quality of life.

Because California bases its premises liability laws on the concept of pure comparative negligence, an insurance company may attempt to shift some of the blame for the accident over to you. This would reduce the compensation offered by that percentage of your “contributory negligence,” such as allowing yourself to become distracted and only partially aware of your surroundings.

Although an insurance carrier’s settlement might seem attractive at first, a personal injury attorney can outline realistic options regarding a claim filed against the party or parties responsible for your harm. An attorney can also provide the court with evidence that shows how a duty of care was breached through negligence. The full extent of pain and suffering and emotional distress may otherwise not come under consideration.

A Personal Injury Attorney’s Case Evaluation Could Make a Major Difference

A do-it-yourself approach to recovering from an accident caused by another party’s breach of duty may leave you in the dark regarding the compensation you fully deserve. The Johnson Attorneys Group represents individuals harmed by falls and other accidents caused by negligence. Our no-fee case evaluation can show you the monetary amount your case deserves. You pay no fees for our representation unless we win your case. You can contact us 24/7 to learn how we can help you achieve the outcome you’re entitled to.

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