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Slips and falls are often played for laughs in movies and TV shows, but anyone who has suffered a slip-and-fall injury knows that they are no laughing matter. People who slip and fall are at risk of suffering painful, disabling, and even life-threatening injuries. And while most people are fortunate enough to make full recoveries from their slips and falls, others aren’t—especially older Americans.

Unfortunately, many people experience complications after slips and falls that can persist for months, years, or even decades. These complications can interfere with their ability to work, perform daily tasks, and enjoy life. It’s important for slip-and-fall victims to understand the full extent of their injuries, especially if they plan on pursuing injury claims against negligent property owners for the conditions that caused their falls.

Here are five of the most common long-term complications of slip-and-fall injuries that victims can and should get compensation for through an injury claim or a premises liability lawsuit.

1.   Paralysis

One of the most severe and lifechanging potential consequences of a slip-and-fall injury is paralysis. When victims fall in a manner that causes them to injure their backs and necks, the forces generated by their falls can injure their vertebrae and spinal cords.

The spinal cord is extremely fragile and once it’s injured, it’s rare for victims to regain function. Slip-and-fall victims may suffer paralysis affecting their lower bodies, their torsos, their arms, and even their entire bodies below their heads.

2.   Traumatic Brain Injury

When a person slips and falls, their head is vulnerable to serious injuries. Anytime a person hits their head on a hard surface, such as a wood, tile, or concrete floor, they have a risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries can range in severity from minor concussions to severe injuries that cause brain bleeds and even the death of brain tissue. People who suffer traumatic brain injuries may experience prolonged or even lifelong complications that can range from cognitive deficits and emotional disturbances to personality changes and balance impairment.

3.   Reduced or Lost Mobility

Anyone can suffer a broken hip during a slip-and-fall accident, but these types of injuries are most common in older Americans whose hips have deteriorated due to age, osteoporosis, and previous injuries. Hip fractures are extremely painful, highly disabling, and can even be fatal.

People who break their hips often require surgery to repair the broken bones, and they may even need hip replacements if their injuries are severe. People who have suffered broken hips are also at high risk of suffering additional hip fractures because of their lost mobility and impaired balance and confidence in walking.

4.   Chronic Pain

Slips and falls can cause victims to suffer broken bones, tendon and ligament tears, and nerve damage. Even when these parts of the body heal, the effects of the injuries can often still be felt for months or even years down the road.

It’s common for slip-and-fall victims to experience chronic pain that can interfere with their quality of life and even their ability to work. They may feel pain in their lower backs, their hips, their legs, and even their upper bodies if they used their hands and arms to brace themselves as they fell.

5.   Anxiety and Fear

People who have fallen and suffered serious injuries often develop an extreme fear of falling again. Even when they are medically cleared by their doctors to walk unassisted, they may be afraid to walk without using a walker or a cane. This is common in older slip-and-fall victims, but it can happen to fall victims of any age.

This fear can be highly disruptive to victims’ lives and can impact every aspect of their day-to-day activities and routines. In addition to being unable to work, they may be unable to live independently or spend time participating in hobbies or with family and friends like they could before their falls.

Determining the Cost of Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Slip-and-fall accidents might seem minor, but they can entail devastating financial and personal costs. Here’s a quick look at the types of costs a skilled Oklahoma slip-and-fall lawyer will help you consider:

  • Medical Expenses: After a slip-and-fall injury, you might need everything from immediate emergency care to ongoing physical therapy or even surgery. Don’t just consider your current bills—your lawyer will help you project future costs if your injury requires long-term treatment or rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Time away from work to recover means lost income. Your lawyer will help you calculate not only your missed paychecks but also potential lost promotions or reduced earning capacity if your injury has a lasting impact on your ability to work or do the same work as before.
  • Pain and Suffering: Slip-and-fall injuries can lead to significant physical pain, as well as emotional distress like anxiety or depression. Oklahoma law allows you to seek compensation for this “non-economic” damage, which can be challenging to adequately quantify without an experienced lawyer’s help.

Insurance companies are notoriously focused on minimizing payouts, but an experienced injury lawyer will advocate for you by gathering evidence, consulting experts when needed, and negotiating aggressively to ensure you receive full compensation for all your losses.

We Help Slip-and-Fall Victims Get the Money They Deserve

People who slip and fall often face long roads to recovery and big medical bills along the way. And for many victims, going back to work may be far off into the future or no longer a possibility depending on the location and severity of their injuries.

At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to get injured slip-and-fall victims the money they’re owed when negligent property owners don’t take their duties and responsibilities seriously. Contact our Oklahoma slip-and-fall injury lawyers today if you or someone you love was hurt on another person’s or party’s property. We want to build your injury claim and get you every penny you’re owed.

Originally published August 8, 2022.