Slip-and-falls are arguably the most notorious of all premises liability injuries. Many movies about criminals or conmen may make use of the slip-and-fall trope, with people fabricating injuries or staging a space so that someone else ends up injured.
The representation of slip-and-falls in the media has unfortunately made some people quite flippant about these incidents. However, when someone slips and falls in public, whether they slip on a wet section of tiling or over-waxed floors, they could end up suffering serious injuries.
Not only may they need hospitalization, but they could find themselves unable to continue working. What kinds of serious injuries are possible if someone has a slip-and-fall incident while out in public?
Fractures occur when pressure on a bone breaks it into two or more pieces. A slip-and-fall can easily lead to someone breaking multiple bones or suffering multiple breaks in one bone. Those over the age of 55 are at elevated risk for serious fractures when they fall. When people try to catch themselves or slow their fall, they may end up doing real damage to the body part that they try to use to protect themselves.
While most fractures are relatively easy to treat, some may require surgery. Even simple fractures will leave some people unable to work for weeks until they can have medical professionals remove the cast of mobilizing the affected body part. In rare cases, broken bones can be so severe that they leave someone unable to work for months because of surgery or they cause secondary medical issues that affect someone’s work abilities.
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can easily occur during a slip-and-fall situation. Although trying to catch yourself on the way down might mean breaking bones in your wrist or arm, failing to slow your rate of descent might mean that you strike your head on the floor or on nearby furniture or fixtures.
The TBI that results could create all kinds of symptoms, including memory issues, problems with balance and even changes in your personality. Brain injuries may get worse over time if someone does not receive a quick diagnosis and treatment.
Those injured in a slip-and-fall incident often have the right to pursue a premises liability claim. Typically, businesses carry premises liability insurance for exactly that sort of situation. Occasionally, when injuries are severe or insurance isn’t available, a slip-and-fall might also lead to a personal injury lawsuit. Recognizing how much of an impact the injuries you suffer could have may help you better respond after a slip-and fall incident in a public place.