Traumatic Brain Injury Caused by Slip and Fall
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most serious potential consequences of a slip and fall incident. Brain injuries can result in:
- Reduced mental capacity
- Impaired motor function and mobility
- Other serious impacts, both immediately following the incident and for the rest of your life
The following article looks at aspects of traumatic brain injuries caused by a slip and fall accident that are relevant to legal actions.
There may be a preliminary inquiry made following a slip and fall incident that results in traumatic brain injury. The inquiry would include an investigation into the cause of the accident. Identifying the cause of a slip and fall is among the most important elements of your claim. Liability for an accident involves establishing the responsible party and showing they knew or should have known about a dangerous condition.
The first place to look is at the ground where the fall occurred. Conditions likely to lead to a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Ice or water
- Oil or grease
- Power cords
- Loose carpeting or mats
- Uneven surfaces or loose boards
- Inadequate lighting
- Debris or clutter
What You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Besides noting and documenting any of the above conditions, the victim of a slip and fall accident should do the following, as soon as is practical (given any injuries sustained):
- Notify management or an employee at the premises of the incident
- Request first aid, emergency medical services, or the like
- Get an incident report from the owner of the premises
- Consult a personal injury attorney who can assess your claim and discover more information or evidence related to the slip and fall incident
Understanding the Medical Aspects of TBI
TBIs can lead to a range of medical conditions. The injury may result in bleeding in the brain or between the brain and the skull. This can cause blood clots, which can damage brain tissue and potentially lead to serious complications or even death.
TBIs may also lead to skull fractures, depending on the severity of the trauma. A skull fracture can put additional pressure on the brain and cause damage to brain tissue and blood vessels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prompt medical care following a TBI is crucial to prevent further damage and improve the individual's prognosis. This care may include:
- Surgery to relieve pressure on the brain
- Medication to prevent seizures
- Physical therapy to help regain motor skills
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of TBI?
The long-term effects of a TBI can be devastating not only for the injury victims but also for their loved ones. Severe TBI can result in:
- Physical disabilities
- Cognitive impairment
- Mood swings
- Personality changes, which can affect every aspect of a person's life, including their ability to work, their relationships, and their quality of life
In severe cases, a TBI may require the injured person to need round-the-clock care, either from a professional caregiver or a family member. This can put a significant emotional and financial strain on the injured person's family.
Owner/Occupant Business Premises Liability
Closely associated with the cause of a slip and fall is the question of liability. Where a traumatic brain injury was caused by a slip and fall incident (and determined that a dangerous condition was the cause), the plaintiff must also establish elements relating to the reasonableness of the risk and the owner/occupant's knowledge of its existence.
For liability to attach to a business owner or occupant, the plaintiff must establish that the owner or occupant of a business breached their duty of care because they:
- Knew of the dangerous condition but did nothing about it
- Would have known of the dangerous condition if they had exercised reasonable diligence
- Constructively knew of the condition, which requires that either the dangerous condition existed for an extended period of time such that the business should have known of the condition or that the dangerous condition occurs so regularly at the business that it was foreseeable
The dangerous condition must have presented a foreseeable and unreasonable risk to a person on the property that the injured party would not have reasonably anticipated. Most people understand that an ice-skating rink could cause a fall. They understand that it would be unreasonable to make the rink less slippery since its smooth surface is precisely the point. A claim arising from a fall in that situation would likely fail both requirements.
A grease spill in an optometrist's office would be much more likely to succeed, provided (a) the business owner knew or should have known about the spill and (b) failed to take action to remedy the situation or warn others of the spill.
How Should I Deal With Insurance Companies After a TBI?
When it comes to dealing with insurance companies after a TBI, things can get complicated. Insurance companies, whether your own or that of the at-fault party, may underestimate the long-term costs associated with a traumatic brain injury. These costs can include ongoing medical expenses, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any necessary modifications to your home or vehicle.
Given the complexity of brain injury cases, having a skilled personal injury attorney represent your interests can be hugely beneficial. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. They can help make sure you receive a fair settlement that covers your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
What if a Car Accident Caused Traumatic Brain Injuries?
While slip and fall accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, motor vehicle accidents are common causes of such personal injury cases. The sudden and forceful impact in a car accident can cause the brain to move within the skull, leading to a head injury or brain injury. A traumatic brain injury from a car accident can range from a mild concussion to a severe brain injury that can lead to long-lasting or even permanent physical and cognitive impairment.
Seek immediate medical attention following a car accident that results in a TBI or other serious injuries. Do this even if it seems like a mild TBI. Symptoms such as blurred vision, confusion, loss of consciousness, and mood swings can indicate a brain injury, but sometimes, these symptoms may not appear until hours or even days after the accident.
Research the Law
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Brain Injury Lawsuit FAQ
- The Small Business Owner and Slip and Fall Accidents
Get Legal Advice for a Traumatic Brain Injury From a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
The law relating to slip and fall accidents can vary significantly between jurisdictions. It also depends on the kind of property where the fall took place. Sometimes it can even be difficult to tell who, if anyone, is liable.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by a slip and fall accident, you'll want to speak to a personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your injury claim. A personal injury lawyer can provide you with a free case evaluation and help you recover damages for your medical bills and brain damage.
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