What You Need To Know About Slip And Fall Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced by victims of slip and falls soon after fall accidents take place. However, back pain can point towards a wide range of injuries that, depending on the victim’s age and physical wellness, may range from harmless to very grave if not deadly.
It is an unfortunate reality that, more often than not, a back injury suffered as the result of a slip and fall accident can be with you for a very long time. If the accident is severe enough, it could completely alter your life.
Recognizing Back Pain After A Falling Accident
What should you do if you experience a slip and fall accident? The first course of action is to seek medical attention and treatment immediately to help with any physical injury and/or pain. Visiting an emergency room can seem like too much trouble, but the injuries from a slip and fall may not be felt until hours after the incident.
It is entirely possible that adrenaline flowing through victims’ bodies right after fall accidents will prevent them from feeling any initial pain, but one should still visit a doctor to diagnose the potential injuries from the fall. A medical professional will also be able to prescribe medicine to minimize the pain when it inevitably comes up.
After the doctor looks you over, it is time to assess whether or not you want to file an injury lawsuit and what you need to do to get your life back on track. To handle a falling accident that causes any kind of injury, you need to understand the potential physical damage you could be up against and what your legal options are to preserve your financial future.
We share some relevant information regarding the former in the post below, but for specific information regarding the latter, make sure to reach out to an experienced slip and fall attorney at Philly Slip and Fall Guys.
The Types Of Back Injuries
There are several types of back injuries you can sustain, and each type of injury has its own unique long and short-term effects.
- Cervical spine – The cervical spine is the part of the spine located in the neck. These types of injuries can be very sudden and potentially life-altering. In a majority of these injuries, the bones in the spine may become dislocated and threaten to damage the spinal cord. Such spinal cord injuries can not only result in paralysis below the neck, but also in death. Surgery may be attempted to correct less-serious cord injuries, though recovery is anything but guaranteed.
- Fractures – When you slip and fall on your tailbone, such as when persons fall on ice, there is a strong likelihood you will fracture that bone. The fracture can be a mild crack, or the bone can burst into pieces. As you can imagine, fractures in the spine can be extremely painful and there is a chance the pain will never go away. This is why falling on ice can be so dangerous, not only cause of the unexpected fall, but also cause of the hard surface on which victims fall.
- Disc damage – fall accidents that cause the spine to twist in various ways can cause damage to the discs. In the spine, the discs are soft tissue rings used as cushioning between each vertebra. The discs may bulge, which means a small portion of the disc extends outward from the spine, or it can become almost completely dislodged in what is called a herniated disc. In either case, the damaged disc may push on the spinal cord and cause intense pain that can be relieved through months of physical therapy, or by surgery. In summary, disc injuries don’t entail a single issue since they can also cause other spinal cord injuries.
- Tissue damage – If you are lucky, then your back injury could be the result of damage done to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that hold the spine together. This would be considered a fortunate situation because soft tissue damage in the spine tends to not require surgery, and a full recovery is possible in most cases.
How Filing A Slip and Fall Lawsuit In Pennsylvania Works
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit for fall injuries, including but not limited to back pain, in Pennsylvania is two years. There are several problems with waiting to file a lawsuit for back pain from a fall accident that people need to be aware of.
- You will have immediate and possibly ongoing financial needs that you should address as soon as possible to avoid financial disaster.
- The conditions where the accident occurred could change over time and make your case more difficult to prove.
- If you wait too long, the negligent party could go out of business and take away your chance to file a lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania starts with a demand letter that your injury attorney will send to the negligent party. If the negligent party has insurance, then your attorney may receive a response from the insurance company. If there is no insurance, then your attorney will have to go after the assets of the negligent party to try and get a settlement for your injuries.
Most slip and fall lawsuits involving back pain are settled before they even get to court, but be careful about accepting a settlement against the advice of your attorney. Once you accept a settlement, the injury case is closed and you can never get more funding from the negligent party. Allow your injury attorney to negotiate a settlement that will help you get on with your life, or prepare to go to court.
Back Pain From Fall Accidents Can Change Lives
Back pain is something you should take very seriously. If your slip and fall accident causes your head to move violently one way or the other, then you could have whiplash on top of other types of injuries. Pain in the lower back just above the buttocks can indicate a damaged disc, while you could also experience a tingling sensation or numbness in your extremities.
Fractured vertebrae could result in lifelong pain that may increase with age. Herniated discs can be treated with physical therapy, but they also can result in a lifetime of pain and discomfort. With proper treatment, many back injuries do eventually subside to pain levels that are manageable. But in other cases, the pain may turn out to be permanent and prevent the victim from being able to do the things they need and want to do. This is without considering situations in which spinal cord injuries result, as these can cause nerve damage which never heals.
Should You Sue?
Even the best health and long-term disability insurance has its limits, and a severe back injury may easily change your life for the worse. You may never be able to work in your field again, play with your children, or enjoy activities such as traveling and sports. Your health-related insurance is not going to compensate you for lost income, lost mobility, or a permanently altered lifestyle.
If your slip and fall accident that resulted in back pain was the direct result of someone else’s negligence, then you may talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about the specific legal options available to you. If you or someone you know can go back to the scene of the accident and take pictures, then that will help your attorney argue your slip and fall case.
Back Pain Lawsuit Wins
Patrick Mohan is a law clerk in Columbia, South Carolina who fell down a flight of marble stairs in the Columbia Court House in 2013. In his slip and fall lawsuit against the company that maintains the building, Mohan asserted that the anti-slip strips were removed from the steps so the workers could wax them. The absence of the strips and the presence of the wax created a dangerous situation that caused Mohan considerable pain. In the end, he wound up with a settlement totaling $750,000.
In Chicago, railway mechanic Andreas Bakopoulos injured his back when he was forced to stand in a pool of diesel fuel while conducting a routine mechanical inspection. He fell and injured his back, and initially sought $9 million in compensation. The Cook County courts ruled that Bakopoulos would receive a settlement of $5.9 million for his injuries, pain, and suffering.
In the city of Philadelphia, lawsuits by victims who slipped on ice are filed by the hundreds each winter. The compensation varies from case to case but it may be substantial. Nevertheless, it will always be based on fall injuries and other damages suffered by victims of fall accidents.
Winning a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit based on fall injuries may be extremely difficult. If you get injured because of someone else’s negligence, then it is important to hire an experienced attorney who will be able to put a case together that will get you the compensation you need to try and get on with your life.