What To Do After a Serious Slip and Fall Injury in Philadelphia
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four older Americans suffer from a trip or slip and fall accident each year. In adults over the age of 65, this means close to 30 million total falls, amounting to an annual cost of over $31 billion to the Medicare system.
While “slip and fall” might sound like a minor accident, the injuries that result can have dire, even fatal consequences. In fact, falling is the number one cause of injury-related death among older Americans.
If you or someone you love suffers a slip and fall accident, there are steps you should take immediately. After your health and safety, getting into contact with a slip and fall accident lawyer in Philadelphia could be a smart move.
Get Medical Care Immediately
Slip and fall injuries can be extremely serious as well as life-threatening. At the moment of an accident, your brain releases adrenaline which acts as a pain suppressant. Even if you don't feel injured right away, get medical attention. You might have incurred a serious injury that will be complicated further without treatment. This is especially true if you have injured your head or spine. Allow yourself to be examined by emergency medical personnel at the scene of the fall and transported to a hospital if that is recommended. Here's what you need to do:
- Allow first responders to administer first aid at the scene of the fall. This should include a brief neurological screening for a concussion or a more severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After this initial screening, transport to a hospital or urgent care facility, either by ambulance or a friend’s car. Do not drive yourself to the hospital, even if you think you can.
- Screening tests such as MRI and/or x-ray to rule out or begin treatment for severe trauma to the hip, brain, or spinal cord. Any of these injuries could result in serious complications if left untreated. These injuries might require emergency surgery. If you are reading this and you have not appointed a health care proxy, do so today. This enables another person of your choosing to make health care decisions – such as consent to surgery – if you are unable to communicate. This document is as important as a will, so don’t neglect it.
- Follow-up care as suggested – even if you are treated for minor injuries at the scene of your fall and sent home, you still might need more medical care. Some fractures and head injuries do not look severe at first but develop complications later. For example, if you hit your head but look okay, you could develop a brain bleed later in the day. Do not ignore unusual symptoms of TBI, such as dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, or slurred speech.
In addition to physical injury, don’t ignore psychological trauma. Whether you are seriously injured or not, you might suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Tell your doctor if you are having nightmares, trouble sleeping, or increased anxiety. PTSD can be treated but may require medication, therapy, or hospitalization.
Report an Accident in Philadelphia to the Police
If you fall and are seriously injured, you are probably not thinking about anything other than your own pain. However, many accidents – especially slip and fall accidents are caused by negligence. As soon as you are able, report the accident to the police. If you are in a store, an office building, or a publicly owned area, those responsible for the place you fell might also take a statement from you about the accident. Ultimately, someone should be held responsible for the conditions that led to your fall, and a full report on the incident will be very helpful in supporting your claim.
Do Not Accept Any Settlement Offer
It is possible that whoever is responsible for your fall will come forward to offer you a cash settlement. Never accept any settlement offer without consulting with a personal injury attorney first. If someone is offering you money quickly, it could indicate that they have something to hide. They may be taking advantage of your vulnerable state by pressuring you to sign an agreement without an attorney present. Never. Do. That.
Talk to Someone You Trust
There can be a great deal of confusion following an accident. You might feel scared and overwhelmed. You might be facing uncertainty about your work, your health, your finances, and your future. In the midst of all this, there will be many details about your slip and fall accident that get overlooked.
Ask someone you trust to gather information about your accident, request copies of the police report and medical records, take photos, and interview witnesses at the scene of your fall. All of this documentation will help your attorney build a case so you can file a premises liability claim.
Call An Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
The lawyers at Mattiacci Law, LLC. are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve. We are always available to take your call. Visit our website or contact us today with any questions you might have about your personal injury claim.