Personal injury law includes a type of case referred to as premises liability, a term that describes the responsibility of an owner or operator of a business to keep visitors safe. Injuries from a slip and fall on business property can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. Common slip-and-fall injuries include a bulging disc, sciatica, and miscarriage.
Types of Injuries from a Slip and Fall
A victim can suffer many different types of injuries in a slip and fall, which is also sometimes referred to as a trip and fall. Bone fractures are very common and can be extremely serious. An example of this type of injury occurred in a recent case where The Jeff Brooke Team won a $750,000 settlement: Our client suffered a broken thigh bone and complications that resulted in substantial medical expenses and long-term negative effects.
Each slip-and-fall case is unique, in both the circumstances and the nature of the injuries to the victim. In addition to bone fractures, complicated head injuries — also referred to as traumatic brain injury or TBI — are not uncommon. The nature of a slip and fall also often results in three other common types of injuries: bulging disc, sciatica, and miscarriage.
Bulging Disc from a Slip and Fall
The medical condition called a bulging disc or herniated disc involves injury to the spine. The spinal column consists of a series of individual vertebrae with a springy spinal disc between each one. The discs serve as shock absorbers in the spine and keep the vertebrae in place. When a fall occurs, the victim can often suffer neck or back injuries. Vertebrae can be displaced, which can cause a spinal disc to bulge out between the vertebrae or rupture. The injury can result in extreme pain, loss of mobility, and even permanent disability.
A bulging disc can only be diagnosed by a medical professional through a series of tests. The degree of damage from a bulging disc varies widely. Depending on the severity of the injury, a physician may prescribe rest, physical therapy, medication, and sometimes surgery. In some cases, a herniated disc can cause permanent injury. In other cases, patients recover well over time.
Treating a bulging disc can result in significant medical expenses, time off work, and potential impairment of the ability to work. If the injury and long-term effects are substantial, and it occurred on business premises under circumstances in which the owner or operator may be responsible, you should talk with an experienced slip-and-fall attorney about your accident.
In any case where you’ve suffered serious injury from a slip and fall, it’s essential to talk with a lawyer even before you talk with an insurance adjuster or representative of an insurance company. You should not make any statements or sign any documents before you meet with a lawyer. Insurance companies are only interested in settling claims for the lowest possible dollar amount. Just as importantly, talking with them and making statements about the accident could jeopardize your case.
Sciatica from a Slip and Fall
The sciatic nerve runs from the spinal cord down through the legs. It’s extremely important, because it is the nerve that lets you have feeling in and control of your legs. When the nerve becomes irritated, sciatica can result.
Symptoms of sciatica vary greatly from one person to another. They can include lower back pain that extends down through the legs or tingling, numbness in the legs or lower back, or shooting pain. In severe cases, loss of feeling and paralysis in the lower body can occur. The length of time that sciatica lasts differs significantly among people who suffer from it.
There are many causes of sciatica. Falling is a common cause. Sometimes sciatica results from a bulging or herniated disc caused by a fall. It can also be due to other injuries to your back from the accident. Sciatica pain can be relatively mild, but it can also be completely debilitating.
If you suffer from severe sciatica caused by a slip and fall at a business, you may be able to hold the owner or operator responsible for your injuries. To find out if you might have a slip-and-fall claim, you have to talk with a lawyer experienced and knowledgeable about premises liability cases. You should do so before you have any contact or discussions with the insurance company that represents the business.
Miscarriage from a Slip and Fall
Pregnancy loss or miscarriage is one of the most devastating injuries that can be caused by a slip and fall. Due in part to the changes in a woman’s body that shift her center of gravity as the baby grows, slip-and-fall accidents during pregnancy are not uncommon. They are one of the leading trauma-related causes of miscarriage, as are auto accidents.
The likelihood of a pregnant woman suffering loss of pregnancy after a slip and fall depends on the stage of pregnancy and the severity of the fall. A fall occurring during the second or third trimester is more likely to cause loss of the unborn child than one in the first trimester. The greater the impact of the fall, the higher the risk is as well, regardless of the stage of the pregnancy.
A slip and fall can be caused by weather conditions, wet or uneven surfaces, defective walkways or stairways, and other conditions on business property. In some circumstances, the owner or operator can be held liable for the conditions that cause a slip and fall. When a slip-and-fall accident causes pregnancy loss or miscarriage, the business might also be held liable in a wrongful death suit brought on behalf of the unborn child under Virginia law, in addition to being responsible for the injuries to the victim.
If you suffered pregnancy loss or a miscarriage because of a slip and fall that may have been caused by unsafe conditions on a business property, you should discuss your case with a personal injury attorney experienced in slip and fall and wrongful death cases. Contacting an attorney before you talk with the insurance company representing the business is critical.
Talk With a Virginia Beach Lawyer About Your Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Regardless of what type of injuries you suffered in a slip-and-fall accident, if the injuries are severe and a business owner or operator may be responsible, The Jeff Brooke Team is here to help. Contact us by calling (757) 347-8524 or by using our online contact form.
Jeff Brooke is a personal injury attorney devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligent and careless actions. The Jeff Brooke Team serves all of southeastern Virginia. The firm serves clients in the Greater Tidewater and Greater Hampton Roads areas, including in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Chesterfield. The Jeff Brooke Team also handles cases in northeastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.