If you have recently been in a fall accident, you may feel immediate pain or could experience delayed symptoms. If you do not notice immediate symptoms, it is common to wonder, “How long after a fall can pain start?” Below, our Los Angeles slip and fall lawyers discuss when you may experience pain after a fall. We also discuss common slip and fall injuries, common causes of these accidents, and how an experienced attorney may be able to help you.
How Common Are Fall Accidents?
Fall accidents are more common than you might think. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls account for more than eight million hospital emergency room visits. One million of these emergency room visits are for slip and fall accidents.
A few more examples of fall statistics include:
- Falls were the leading cause of non-fatal emergency room visits in 2020
- Falls were the leading cause of fatal injuries for adults 65 years and older in 2020
- More than one out of four older adults falls each year
- Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths globally
- 42,114 people died in falls at home and work in 2020
How Long After a Slip and Fall Can Pain Start?
You may initially feel a delayed onset of pain due to the adrenaline produced by your body during stressful events, which can mask the pain temporarily. However, it could also take hours, days, or even weeks to feel the full extent of your injuries. The length of time for the pain to start from a fall depends on the type and severity of your injuries.
Seeking medical attention after a fall is critical, even if you initially do not feel pain or feel acute pain and think your injuries are minor. Getting a complete medical evaluation by a medical professional is important for a couple of reasons.
First, it ensures that your injuries are diagnosed, and you receive prompt medical treatment. Some injuries, such as concussions or soft tissue injuries, may not immediately present apparent symptoms. However, they can result in chronic pain or even life-threatening conditions if left untreated.
Secondly, a medical evaluation creates a documented record of your injuries, vital evidence if you need to pursue a personal injury claim. Without this documentation, linking your injuries to the fall can be challenging.
Symptoms to Look for After a Slip and Fall
The symptoms you may experience due to a slip and fall accident can vary depending on the types of injuries you have. However, generally, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Pain or discomfort
- Difficulty moving a body part
- Visible deformities
- Memory problems
What Are Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
Common injuries from slip and fall incidents can vary greatly. They can range from minor injuries like bruises to significant injuries, like fractures or even life-threatening head injuries. Your expected recovery time will depend on the type and severity of your injuries. For instance, a mild sprain may take a few weeks to heal, while a broken bone or a head injury could take months or longer to recover from.
Some common examples of slip and fall accidents include, but are not limited to:
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- Cuts and abrasions: Abrasions can result from the body’s contact with the ground or objects during the fall. They can range from minor to severe, requiring stitches or other medical intervention.
- Fractured or broken bones: Slip, trip, and fall accidents often result in fractures. For example, extending our arms to break a fall is an instinct that can result in sprained or broken wrists. Other commonly broken bones include arms, ankles, and hips, but you can fracture any bone in a fall.
- Soft-tissue injuries: Soft-tissue injuries refer to injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Falls can result in overstretching, pulling, or tearing of these soft tissues by trying to break a fall or twisting your body during the fall. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited mobility.
- Head injuries: Falls are a common cause of head injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries. A head or brain injury often has delayed symptoms but can have serious effects on cognition, mood, and other neurological functions.
- Spinal cord injuries: Falling on your back can result in a wide range of back and spinal injuries, including a neck injury, fractured vertebrae, slipped discs, and other soft-tissue injuries. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, victims can experience symptoms ranging from pain and numbness to paralysis.
- Dislocated shoulder: If you fall on your side, the force of your fall can shift the arm bone from your shoulder socket, causing a dislocation. A dislocated shoulder generally results in severe pain, visible deformity, and inability to move the joint.
- Knee injuries: If you fall forward during a trip and fall, your knees may take much of the impact of your fall. Falls can result in various knee injuries like sprains, strains, tears, or dislocation. Symptoms include pain, swelling, instability, and difficulty walking.
- Bruised or fractured tailbone: Falling on your backside can cause bruising or fracturing of the tailbone, causing severe pain when sitting or moving.
What Are Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries?
A variety of unsafe and hazardous conditions can cause slip and fall accidents. Examples of common causes of slip and falls include, but are not limited to:
- Poor lighting: Poorly lit areas can obscure visibility and hide potential hazards, leading to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Examples include dimly lit hallways, staircases, parking lots, and other public or private spaces.
- Debris: Obstacles on the ground can cause people to slip, trip, and fall. Examples may include clutter in walkways, cords or wires, loose or frayed carpets or rugs, and other obstacles that are not immediately noticeable.
- Improperly maintained stairs: Staircases or ramps without handrails or with loose railings are common causes of falls.
- Wet or slippery floors: Spills, recent mopping, or waxing can make floors exceptionally slippery. Businesses like grocery stores should keep their floors dry or post warning signs if the floor is wet. Weather conditions like rain, ice, and snow can also cause slip and falls.
- Uneven or cracked sidewalks: Neglected sidewalks or walkways in disrepair, including cracks and uneven surfaces, can pose a significant trip and fall risk.
How Can a Los Angeles Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me?
Have you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a slip and fall accident at a store? If so, we recommend consulting with an experienced premises liability attorney. During a free, no-obligation consultation, an attorney from our firm can help you understand your legal rights and potential options for seeking compensation for your damages.
A few key ways that our Los Angeles slip and fall attorneys help our clients include:
- Investigate the accident: We conduct an independent investigation of the accident to determine its causes and determine liability. We also help our clients preserve and gather evidence to support their claims. Examples of important evidence may include surveillance footage, witness statements, and accident reports.
- Evaluate damages: We assess the full extent of a client’s damages to ensure we fight for their right to maximum compensation. Examples of common damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize or outright deny claims. We negotiate on our clients’ behalf to get them maximum compensation. If negotiations fail, we have extensive experience fighting for our clients in court.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Slip and Fall Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience representing injury victims in slip and fall accident claims. We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, getting them the compensation they need after serious injuries.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation. During a consultation, we can help you understand your potential legal options for seeking compensation for your damages. Call us today at (800) 824-5416 or submit our online contact form to get started.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.