What Is A Latent Injury?

Did you know that sometimes, when an injury occurs, a patient won’t even realize that they are hurt for hours, days, or weeks? These injuries are known as “latent injuries” 

Latent Injuries Are The Reason Slip And Fall Victims Should Always Visit A Doctor 

After a slip and fall accident, you may be under the impression that any pain you feel isn’t a big deal – that the injury you’ve sustained in minor and will heal without intervention. Unfortunately, pain and inflammation can occur down the road, making it difficult to work or enjoy activities that you love. 

Common Examples Of Latent Injuries 

Here are a few examples of the injuries that may not immediately show symptoms: 

Neck Injuries 

Strains, sprains, fractures, and compressions don’t always immediately cause pain. Other symptoms of a neck injury can include headaches, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping – all symptoms that don’t necessarily provide a patient with a very clear picture of what’s wrong. 

x-ray for latent injuryNeck injuries can be treated with physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery is required. In order to make a diagnosis, a doctor will order x-rays and possibly other diagnostic tests like an MRI. 

Spinal Cord Injuries 

There are many ways in which a spinal cord can become damaged and even something as simple as swelling can compress the spinal cord, causing numbness, pain, or paralysis. 

Back Injury 

Muscle pain, herniated discs, and torn muscles can all impact a patient’s ability to bend, twist, and walk. Back injuries, in particular, can take a long time to cause symptoms but should be treated quickly before the damage becomes permanent. 

Brain Injury 

A brain injury doesn’t always cause clear symptoms. In fact, a symptom might be a sudden inability to concentrate or focus on a computer screen. If you hit your head in a fall it’s incredibly important to let a doctor know so that the appropriate tests can be performed. 

Despite the fact that modern medicine has provided ample evidence that latent injuries are common and that it can take an extended period of time for a patient to realize they’ve been injured, insurance companies and property owners still often try to claim that a slip and fall injury couldn’t have caused this type of injury. 

Property Owners Arguments Against Slip And Falls 

There are many arguments that property owners use to try and avoid paying for a visitor’s slip and fall injuries, including: 

It Was The Visitor’s Fault 

The most common way for a property owner to defend a slip and fall claim is to say that the victim should have have watched where they were going and that it is their fault that they slipped and fell. 

For example, imagine that a visitor to McDonald’s is approaching the counter to order a meal. On their way, they slip and fall on a wet spot. Now, the McDonald’s legal team may claim that the visitor should have looked out and seen this wet spot. But when you really think about what the average visitor is doing when they go to the counter, is that true? No. The average visitor is looking UP at the menu which is situated directly overhead of the order counter. 

So while it’s easy to say a visitor should have seen a hazard, it’s not necessarily true. 

The Slip And Fall Accident Didn’t Cause The Injury 

This argument is often made when the injury being claimed is a latent injury. It can be difficult to prove that a latent injury was caused in a slip and fall accident if the patient didn’t seek a medical exam following the accident. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to show that the slip and fall accident was the cause. 

With the help of an experienced attorney, a slip and fall victim could recover full compensation for the latent injuries they have been diagnosed with. 

What Kind Of Compensation Can Be Recovered? 

When a slip and fall lawsuit is filed the plaintiff is given the opportunity to fight for full compensation for all lost wages, medical bills, physical pain, and emotional trauma. The actual amount recovered comes from a settlement or verdict and does vary widely between cases. Why? Because the compensation is based on actual losses sustained and no two plaintiffs sustain the same losses. 

How Can Philly Slip And Fall Guys Help Me? 

At Philly Slip And Fall Guys, our attorneys know what it takes to win a lawsuit. We recover the evidence needed to support our argument, consult with medical and industry experts, and handle the insurance companies. Our goal is to always recover the maximum amount possible for a client and we do this by either aggressively negotiating a settlement or fighting in court. 

We offer free consultations to new clients and invite you to contact us if you or a loved one were seriously injured in a slip and fall.