Experiencing a slip-and-fall often results in a rush of embarrassment, especially if you were in a crowded grocery store or the foyer of a professional establishment when it happened. Even though your slipping was the direct result of some external factor, like overwaxed tile or a small puddle on the floor, you might rush to assure everyone you're fine and move on. However, you should resist that urge. Failing to take the fall seriously could prove to be a serious mistake, particularly if you suffer a head injury or other serious injury.
If you fall at any place of business, one you patronize or work for, you should report the incident to a manager. Doing so creates a record of the event, and that record can be used in your personal injury/premises liability claim if you need to make one. Such a claim can lead to compensation for medical expenses and other costs resulting from the fall.
You may not have symptoms of a head injury right away.
It's quite common for people who slip and fall to strike their heads on nearby items or the floor. Injuries from such a fall range from minor bruising to severe traumatic brain injuries. In the moments immediately after your fall, you may not notice anything amiss, other than some sore spots. That could lead you to brush off the incident and move on, only to start developing symptoms over the next few days.
Common symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) include headache, changes in sleep habits, dizziness, mood swings, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, blurred vision, ringing ears and issues with memory or concentration. In many cases, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce some symptoms and speed recovery. If you struck your head, particularly if you lost consciousness for even the briefest moment, you should seek medical attention after reporting your fall.
Seeing a doctor after you fall can protect you in more ways than one.
In some situations, a doctor can successfully diagnose a TBI shortly after the accident that caused it. This helps ensure the person with the TBI receives speedy treatment to reduce the severity of symptoms and long-term impact of the injury. Left untreated, swelling, bruising or bleeding on the brain can worsen over time, causing new or worsening symptoms.
For those with a minor concussion or similar issue, a medical examination can provide peace of mind. For those who suffer a TBI due to a slip-and-fall accident, however, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to ensuring the best possible outcome. Medical records matching the date of your accident can also help if you need to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit to recover your lost wages and medical expenses.