How Do You Treat a Back Injury After a Fall?

How Do You Treat a Back Injury After a Fall?

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How Do You Treat a Back Injury After a Fall?

Slip and fall accidents are far more common than people may realize. Every year, millions of people end up in the emergency room for injuries sustained from a slip and fall accident, including back injuries, which can be especially devastating. Back injuries can prevent you from taking care of daily responsibilities like caring for your family, working, doing household chores, and driving. While any back injury is detrimental to your well-being and livelihood, it's made worse if the reason for the accident is due to someone else's negligence.

Suppose you've suffered a back injury because of a negligent property owner. In that case, you may have grounds to seek compensation through a premises liability claim. When dangerous conditions exist on someone's property, it unnecessarily puts others at risk for injury. Property owners could be liable to pay for the expenses and losses of an injured party if they were negligent in the care and maintenance of the premises. Morgan and Morgan are here to help you through this tough situation. But first, let's look at common back injuries that can occur from a slip-and-fall accident and the options for treatment.

Back Pain After A Slip-And-Fall Accident

Generally, you fall backward if you slip because of a slick or icy surface. If you trip over an object, you will likely fall forward. Both of these scenarios can result in a back injury. Unfortunately, many people that suffer back injuries from slip and fall accidents may not realize how bad it is until later. Anytime you feel back pain after a slip and fall, you should seek immediate medical care. These injuries can be quite serious and put you at risk for life-long complications. Here are some of the most frequent back injuries that result from a slip and fall accident:

Cervical spine injuries -  A cervical spine injury can be the most serious and could result in paralysis and even death. The higher up an injury occurs in the vertebral column, the more significant the effect on the body, including loss of sensation and bodily function. Fractures or bone instability can cause damage to nerves and the spinal cord. A fracture is typically accompanied by substantial pain and stiffness in the neck region as well as other areas of the body due to compression.

A cervical dislocation occurs when a fall causes two or more bones to become misaligned, resulting in substantial pain and loss of motor function.

Cervical sprains and strains occur when the neck tendons and muscles are overstretched during the initial impact from a fall. These injuries usually subside after a few weeks, but some suffer from pain and limited mobility for months.

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  • How Are Cervical Spine Injuries Treated?

    Suppose you have a minor injury like a sprain or strain. In that case, your doctor may treat you with medication, recommend physical therapy, and instruct you to rest and limit physical activity. If conservative therapy isn't helping, you may need surgery. Never delay getting treatment if you have a back injury because it could lead to permanent, irreversible damage.

    Fractures - Broken bones are common in slip and fall accidents. When the broken bone is in the spine, it can cause intense pain. When you fall on your backside, the tailbone can sustain damage. The break can range from a hairline crack to a burst fracture from significant trauma, which occurs from falling on ice.

  • How Are Spinal Fractures Treated?

    Minor fractures involving the spine can heal with medication and bed rest. Still, if the fracture is major, surgery might be required to realign bones. Spinal fractures should never be left untreated as they can result in nerve damage, paralysis, and permanent spinal cord injury.

    Herniated discs - The bones that form the spine are cushioned by discs that act as shock absorbers. A herniated disc (also known as a bulged, slipped, or ruptured disc) occurs when the jelly-like nucleus in these discs is pushed into the spinal canal through some trauma, like a fall. However, age and other conditions can make this injury more likely to occur. When this type of displacement occurs, pressure on the spinal nerves can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. 

  • How Are Herniated Discs Treated?

    Generally, a doctor will start with conservative treatment, like advising you to avoid strenuous physical activity to help reduce spinal nerve inflammation and prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammation medication. Physical therapy may also be recommended. If conservative treatment provides no relief, surgery may be recommended, although surgery may not produce the desired results. Generally, surgery may be suggested if the pain affects your quality of life, you have difficulty standing or walking, or you are experiencing weakness, numbness, or loss of bowel and bladder control.

    Soft tissue injuries - It's common to sustain a soft tissue injury in a fall when ligaments, tendons, or muscles are stretched over capacity. While these injuries are painful, and you may experience swelling and loss of range of motion for a while, they generally heal with time.

  • How Are Soft Tissue Injuries of the Back Treated?

    The bulk of the back area comprises muscles that can be injured by extreme force. Treatment may include physical therapy and stretching routines to inhibit scar tissue formation. It's important to avoid heat, alcohol, and massage following a soft tissue injury as they increase blood flow and swelling.

    Whiplash - You may think that whiplash is only related to car accidents. Still, a hard fall can result in the same rapid back-and-forth movement that causes this kind of injury.

  • How Is Whiplash From a Fall Treated?

    While very painful, people who suffer from whiplash generally recover in a few weeks, which may require exercises, restricted activity, and medications to treat.

  • When to Seek Medical Care After a Back Injury From a Fall?

    An accurate diagnosis is crucial to recovering from a back injury sustained in a fall. A doctor will likely want to know how the injury occurred and order tests to understand the extent of the damage. Once they are able to diagnose, they can recommend a treatment plan and provide you with pain medication. While medical care is vital to minimize the long-term effects of a back injury, medical treatment and documentation are also essential components of a personal injury claim.

  • How Do You Recover Compensation From a Slip and Fall Injury?

    Slip and fall accidents are covered under premises liability. These types of cases focus on the responsibility of property owners to ensure visitors and guests don't come to harm. Premises liability claims can be challenging because you must prove the property owner was negligent. That means they either knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and did not take the proper steps to remove, repair, or warn concerning the hazard.

    Since this is a high bar, injured parties often seek the help of a slip-and-fall lawyer to demonstrate proof. Morgan and Morgan Law Firm have helped thousands recover compensation for common slip and fall injuries over the years. With offices across the U.S., you'll be put in touch with expert lawyers that have extensive knowledge of local laws that can impact your claim. Generally, to successfully recover compensation, you'll be required to meet the following elements:

    • You must show the defendant owed you a duty of care while on their property
    • You must show the defendant failed in their duty
    • You must show that your back injury was the result of this failure
    • You must show that you suffered losses because of your back injury

    The property owner's liability is further based on your status on the property at the time of the accident. Generally, visitors are classified as the following:

    Invitee - Typically, you're classified as an invitee anytime you visit a business, whether it be a shopping mall, convenience store, or restaurant. Property owners open for business owe invitees the highest level of care to maintain reasonably safe premises.

    Licensee - Anytime you visit a friend, or family member's home, your status on the property is that of a licensee. Still, the property owner is responsible for warning you of any danger in the surroundings that creates an unreasonable risk to visitors, especially when you may not notice it. For example, suppose there's a loose floorboard on the porch that is in place until it can be fixed appropriately. In that case, the property owner should alert anyone who visits the area.

    Trespasser - A trespasser is anyone who is present on a property without permission or the owner's knowledge. Generally, property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers unless they are a child. While you may be initially invited to a property, if you remain after the owner has requested you leave, you would be considered a trespasser under the eyes of the law.

  • Why Are Slip-and-Fall Claims Challenging to Win?

    Most slip-and-fall claims involve a business. Frequently, the most challenging aspect is determining whether the property owner kept the premises "reasonably safe," and if they did not, whether they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that led to an injury. Property owners are not obligated to warn about hazardous conditions that are open and obvious, either. For example, if the roof collapsed after a heavy snowstorm while visiting the local hardware store, you probably wouldn't be successful if you approached the area filled with debris and snow and then later made a claim for a back injury after slipping in a puddle. The reason is that the situation would have been clearly dangerous to any reasonable person.

    Proving the property owner knew or should have known about a slipping hazard can be tricky. Evidence may include photos, videos, witness statements, weather records, and statistics. For example, if an area gets regular snow and ice every season, a reasonable property owner would be aware of the danger and take normal action to mitigate the problem, like snow removal and salting. Still, most of these cases come down to details. State and local laws will be a factor as well.

    Because these cases are demanding, working with a slip-and-fall lawyer can increase your chances of success. Sometimes you may need help accessing evidence that proves your case, such as internal security camera footage. This is much easier when an expert slip-and-fall lawyer is working on your behalf. They know which laws apply to your case and the proper procedures for procuring evidence.

    Likewise, your lawyer at Morgan and Morgan will be able to research if there were any code violations that led to your injury. For example, suppose you injured your back in a fall down a staircase in an apartment building. In that case, they will investigate whether there were code violations concerning stair height or adequate stairway lighting.

  • Did You Suffer a Back Injury From a Slip and Fall on Someone Else's Property?

    You may be eligible for compensation if you've been injured on someone else's property due to negligence. Back injuries can be life-changing and expensive to treat. You shouldn't be responsible for covering expenses and suffering losses when another party is to blame.

    Contact us today for a free case evaluation. If we find you have valid grounds to bring a slip-and-fall claim, our proven litigation experience will help maximize your financial recovery. You won't have to worry about any upfront costs because we work on a contingency fee, which means we only get paid when you do. You're only responsible for paying for our services when we succeed on your behalf.

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