Why are brain injuries common after a slip-and-fall? When many Pennsylvanians think about slip-and-fall accidents, they generally imagine suffering sprains, strains, or fractures. Some slip-and-fall accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries that can range from concussions to permanently disabling injuries. Understanding how brain injuries can be common after beincaused by slip-and-fall accidents is important. If you or your loved one has suffered a serious brain injury in an accident while visiting the property of someone else, talk to DiCindio Law for a free case evaluation.
What are traumatic brain injuries?
Fluid surrounds the brain inside of the skull to cushion the brain and to prevent it from contacting the bones surrounding it. However, when your head is jarred, it can cause your brain to bounce into your skull and cause injuries. The severity of your brain injury will depend on the severity of the blow to your head and can range from a mild injury to a severe TBI with lifelong impacts.
What are the symptoms of a TBI?
Mild TBIs generally will not be life-threatening, but you should still get treatment from your doctor. Some of the types of symptoms that you might expect from a mild concussion include the following:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Sleep disturbances
- Blurred vision or ringing ears
- Trouble concentrating
The symptoms of moderate or severe TBI will include the same symptoms listed above as well as the following additional symptoms:
- Headaches that grow worse
- Seizures or convulsions
- Longer loss of consciousness
- Difficulty waking up
- Numbness of the toes and fingers
- Slurred speech
- Behavioral changes such as combativeness
- Difficulty with motor control
If you have slipped and fallen and experience any of these types of symptoms after hitting your head, you should get medical attention immediately.
Why TBIs can happen in slip-and-fall accidents
Most people instinctively break their falls with their hands and arms. However, you can still hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident. For example, you can hit your head on a nearby object during your fall, including a countertop, shelf, chair, or table. You can also slip and fall backward and be unable to break your fall with your arms or strike your head on stairs when you fall down a staircase. Any of these types of scenarios can cause a serious blow to your head and a traumatic brain injury. Getting immediate medical attention can improve your chances of fully recovering from your injuries.
How are traumatic brain injuries treated?
The treatment for a TBI will depend on the severity of the injury. For a mild concussion, a doctor will likely recommend bed rest and over-the-counter pain medications. Most mild concussions resolve themselves in about 10 days. Moderate to severe TBIs require intensive treatments, however. Since behaviors, speech, and motor control are controlled by specific regions of the brain, injuries to those areas will cause problems with these functions.
People who have suffered TBI’s commonly need the following interventions:
- Occupational therapy to help them return to work
- Physical therapy to rebuild motor skills
- Speech therapy for communication
- Behavioral therapy because of behavioral changes that can occur
Around 50% of people who suffer severe TBI’s will require surgery to repair ruptured blood vessels and to relieve pressure on the brain caused by contusions. While some types of disability might respond to therapeutic intervention, many people who suffer severe TBI’s will be disabled for the remainder of their lives.
When can people sue for TBI’s in slip-and-fall accidents?
Many people fall, but not all falling accidents will form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. You will only have grounds to file a legal claim against people or entities that were responsible for causing your fall. Pennsylvania property owners and businesses must maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for their customers and guests. For a property owner or business to be liable for your slip-and-fall accident and injuries, they must have fallen below the expected standard of care.
Some examples of situations that might form the grounds for a valid slip-and-fall claim include the following:
- Mopping floors of a business without putting up cones or warning signs for customers
- Failing to inspect and repair stairs that become loose over time
- Failing to replace loose tiles or torn carpets
- Leaving debris or objects in the floor
- Failing to clean up spills
To prove that the property owner or business was negligent, you will need to prove they either knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. This might include showing that the condition existed for a sufficiently long time that the owner or business should have discovered and repaired it.
For trespassers, the duty of care owed by property owners is very low. Most trespassers will not have grounds to file a claim after slipping and falling on the property of others unless the property owners intentionally set traps or engaged in willful or wanton negligence to cause harm to them. There is an exception for cases involving trespassing children, however. Landowners must take steps to prevent children from entering their property because of attractive nuisances like swimming pools.
Damages for traumatic brain injuries in slip-and-fall accidents
Because of the nature of traumatic brain injuries, the treatments can be expensive. Some people will be unable to return to their jobs and might need round-the-clock care.
When a property owner is at fault for the slip-and-fall accident, some of the types of damages that might be recoverable include the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to earn income in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
The amount of compensation that might be available will depend on several factors, including the defendant’s insurance coverage, the extent and severity of your injuries, whether you were partially to blame for your accident, and others. An experienced personal injury and premises liability attorney at DiCindio Law can review what happened and value your claim so that you might know what to expect.
Call DiCindio Law today
Suffering a traumatic brain injury in a slip-and-fall accident can negatively impact your life and relationships. We hope this has provided you with all the information you need for why are brain injuries common after a slip-and-fall. DiCindio Law helps the victims of slip-and-fall accidents to recover damages from the liable parties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535.