People fall in public locations for all sorts of reasons. Often, the person who falls isn’t the one to blame for the incident. There could be a leak in the ceiling that causes a puddle on the linoleum at the local supermarket. There could be power cords that are that employees have failed to properly secure that trip someone. Spilled merchandise, water tracked in from messy weather outside and even wrinkled rugs can lead to people slipping and falling when visiting a business or similar public building.
Although many people think of slip-and-falls as minor incidents, the truth is that some people suffer debilitating injuries when they slip and fall in public. Over a million people every year go to the emergency room due to same-level fall incidents.
What kinds of injuries might result in someone needing emergency trauma care after a fall?
The worst-case scenario in a slip-and-fall situation is that someone hits their head on the floor or on nearby furniture or fixtures. Brain injuries can drastically alter someone’s life or even kill them. The symptoms can range from memory issues and sensory perception changes to problems with balance and changes in personality.
What’s worse is that brain injuries often don’t show concerning symptoms right away, so people who hurt themselves at a store might leave without ever reporting the incident and then need medical care the next day.
A significant portion of people who suffer noteworthy injuries in a slip-and-fall will break a bone. The efforts that people make to avoid hitting their heads or falling at full speed can easily result in broken arms, fingers, legs or even collarbones. Adults over the age of 65 are at particularly high risk for fractures in a fall, and they may take longer to heal from a broken bone as well.
Soft tissue injuries and in rare cases spinal cord injuries are also possible when people fall after slipping. There may be premises liability insurance available for the person who got hurt. If the business does not have adequate insurance, then a civil lawsuit could be necessary for the person hurt. Recognizing the possible consequences of a slip and fall incident may motivate you to pursue a premises liability claim after getting hurt.