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After a spinal cord injury or brain injury, life often is never the same for those who suffer such an incident. Yet, approximately 250,000 people are currently facing the harsh reality of this situation. While it may be easy to imagine that something like this could never happen to you, the eye-opening truth is that the most common causes of spinal cord and brain injuries are scenarios which we could all easily find ourselves in every single day.

Slips and falls may represent the very definition of what could happen when an ordinary moment turns devastating. In fact, slips and falls are among the largest causes of spinal cord injuries -- second only to vehicular accidents -- and comprise nearly 30 percent of incidents. Yet, even if you or someone you care about has fallen victim to a spinal cord or brain injury from a slip-and-fall situation, there may still be an opportunity for justice to be served.

Ascertaining Blame

Of course, the first step in identifying whether you may have a valid lawsuit on your hands is to assess who may be to blame. To successfully lay a claim, your case needs to demonstrate that another person is responsible for the injury you’ve suffered. The vast majority of personal injury suits can be attributed to one of two major causes: negligence and defective products.

The former refers to cases when an individual’s actions directly led to the injury occurring. An example of negligence could be any dangerous condition involving a spill, collected water, broken container or any other slippery substance or debris that was left unattended. While a spill of some kind is often the culprit of a slip-and-fall incident, any obstruction could lead to an injury. Negligent action can be identified as the cause when a person has a duty or other responsibility that fails to get carried out or completed properly.

When defective products are involved, the fault stems from a manufacturing or design flaw in a product, which then creates the environment that causes the slip and fall. In some instances, such an incident may be the result of an item that leaked or a defective ladder that failed to withstand the weight it was built for. In any case, defective products can have dangerous consequences, leaving the manufacturers and others open to blame for any injuries that incurred as a result.

Types of Injuries

Just as slips and falls have a wide variety of causes behind them, it’s important to understand the different kinds of injuries that can occur during a slip and fall, often resulting in severe damage to the nervous system and other parts of the body. In addition to the below, be wary of broken bones, cuts and abrasions, since they are known to be indicators of greater damage in the surrounding areas.

  • Head injuries: The danger in this type of injury is that the internal damage may not be readily visible. Sometimes, swelling, bleeding or even loss of consciousness can occur, but actually, any head injury needs to be tended to immediately, especially since a doctor’s visit provides documentation aiding any potential lawsuit that may result. Traumatic brain injuries, concussions and other conditions can do lasting damage that impair your bodily functions indefinitely. Don’t shrug off any head injuries, or you may regret it.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Seeing as the spinal cord is a cornerstone of the body’s nervous system, it should be no surprise that it doesn’t take much direct damage to cause extensive long-term ramifications. Whether it is severed or compressed, the spinal cord is among the most expensive parts of the body to treat, and the closer the damage is to the brain, the more severe it tends to be.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Like head injuries, these aren’t outwardly visible. In fact, because of that fact, patients suffering from soft tissue damage may not even know they’re affected until much later. The extent of these injuries can range dramatically from minor sprains to tears that cause significant damage to tendons and ligaments. Only a doctor can determine whether your fall led to any soft tissue injuries.

Don’t Delay Action

Slips and falls can be incredibly damaging to the nervous system as well as to the emotional state of those affected. However, thankfully, there is a way for those suffering to seek assistance with the aftermath of such an incident. After all, the overwhelming medical costs associated with spinal cord and brain injuries can be crippling to any family, and since it’s difficult to confirm if another party truly is to blame (as it depends on the level of care owed to the other party), you need to reach out to seize any possible opportunity to receive some much-needed relief.

But you have to act fast. Research shows that how soon a patient with a spinal cord injury begins rehabilitation and treatment has a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of recovery. Moreover, the legal statute of limitation varies across the nation, and your window of opportunity may be closing fast. If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord or brain injury from a recent slip and fall, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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