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Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

A slip-and-fall could be more serious than you initially think

Although it will likely hurt when you slip and fall in a public place, you may try to downplay your injuries. Your instinct will likely be to brush yourself off and try to leave the area where you got hurt as quickly as possible.

Many people assume that they would know right away if there were any significant medical consequences to their falls. Unless you notice an obvious injury, like a broken wrist, you probably won’t report what happened to anyone or see a doctor. It might be the next day or even several days later before you realize that there’s actually something wrong with you after your slip-and-fall.

Even when you think that you didn’t suffer significant injuries, reporting a slip-and-fall to management at the place where you fell and seeing a doctor to check yourself for injuries is likely a smart move.

You could get hurt and not know it right away

More than a million people end up in emergency rooms in the United States every year because they slip and fall. Some of these people break bones, while others might hurt their heads. Traumatic brain injuries, severe fractures and painful soft tissue injuries are among the concerning medical issues people may develop after falling.

A brain injury could easily take days before it creates concerning symptoms. You could also suffer a hairline or stable fracture that only limits your motion or weight-bearing after you hit the gym or otherwise exert yourself. Many soft tissue injuries don’t cause noteworthy pain for hours or until someone wakes up the next morning.

When you report a slip-and-fall to the manager or owner of the business where you fell, you help create a permanent record of the incident that could help you make a premise’s liability claim later. You may also want to use your mobile phone, if it didn’t break, to take pictures or video of the issue that caused your fall, like a small puddle or overwaxed section of floor. Seeking medical evaluation quickly also helps because then there is very little time between when you fell and when a doctor diagnoses you.

Recognizing that slip-and-fall scenarios can lead to noteworthy injuries can help you better handle a premises liability situation.