Compared with a fall from a significant elevation, a slip-and-fall may not seem very dangerous. After all, you may only fall a couple of feet. Despite how a slip-and-fall might just seem inconvenient and embarrassing, it could actually be a serious incident.
Rather than just brushing yourself off and trying to exit the store quickly, you need to evaluate yourself for injuries. It is also usually a good idea to report the incident to management because one of the more serious injuries you could suffer may not present symptoms until well after you leave the business.
You could suffer a delayed-onset injury
One of the worst ways that you can get hurt when you slip in a store and fall is by injuring your brain. If you hit your head on the floor, on a fixture or even on a shopping cart, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries don’t always have immediate symptoms. In fact, it could be several days before symptoms develop due to growing pressure inside the skull. Brain injuries can rapidly get worse without treatment and may result in permanent side effects ranging from cognitive symptoms to the loss of your sense of balance.
Too many people just try to walk off a slip-and-fall and ignore how they hit their head or temporarily blacked out, both of which are crucial warning signs that a person could have a traumatic brain injury.
Older adults are also at noteworthy risk
You don’t have to hit your head for the consequences of a slip-and-fall to be serious. Broken bones are also a potential risk, especially for adults over the age of 55. Slipping and falling is actually the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims among the over 55 demographic.
The way people move in a slip-and-fall also lends itself to more severe fractures of bones. People often spin or flail while trying to catch themselves, possibly leading to multiple breaks or uneven bone edges that are difficult to set or require surgery.
Reporting the fact that you fell in a business and then seeking medical care will help protect you and your right to make a personal injury claim against the company or its insurance policy after you fall.