A slip and fall can happen to anyone, anytime, and the consequences can be severe. Suffering a brain injury from a fall is not uncommon. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can impact your life long-term. Thus, one of the first things you should do after a slip-and-fall accident is to seek medical treatment immediately. You should also contact an experienced California brain injury lawyer at GJEL Accident Attorneys, who can help you preserve your rights and fight for compensation.
You may wonder what to do after hitting your head. The steps you take following a slip and fall can impact your potential personal injury claim and the damages you can recover. Read on to learn more about what to do following a slip and fall if you suspect a brain injury.
When to See a Doctor After a Fall
Your health should always be your top priority with a fall injury. If you hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be at risk for a brain injury. Even if you feel fine, seeking medical attention is vital. Symptoms of a brain injury can be immediate, or there could be a delayed onset. Symptoms to watch for include the following:
- Confusion or disorientation,
- Nausea or vomiting,
- Difficulty concentrating,
- Memory problems,
- Slurred speech,
- Blurred vision,
- Ringing in the ears,
- Sensitivity to light or sound,
- Loss of balance,
- Mood swings or irritability, and
If you experience any of these symptoms or are unsure about your condition, visit a doctor or emergency room immediately. They will perform a thorough examination, which may include tests such as a CT scan or MRI, to determine the extent of your injury.
Common Types of Head Injuries in Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Several types of TBIs can result from a slip-and-fall accident. Some of the most common ones include:
- Concussions. This head injury can range from mild to severe. Although most people recover fully, multiple concussions can lead to long-term complications.
- Contusions. A contusion is a bruise of the brain tissue, which can occur when the head strikes a hard surface during a fall. Contusions may require surgery if they cause significant swelling or bleeding in the brain.
- Hematomas. A hematoma happens when the fall causes a blow to the head and damages the brain’s outer blood vessels. If left untreated, it can lead to loss of brain function.
If you hit your head during a fall, please seek medical treatment immediately. Head injuries are serious, and a delay in treatment could cause further damage.
Brain Injury Treatment Options
The treatment for a head injury will depend on the severity of the injury, your symptoms, and your diagnosis. Doctors might give you medication to reduce swelling. Severe brain injuries might require immediate surgery and round-the-clock monitoring in a hospital setting.
If you have long-term effects of a head injury, you might need rehabilitation to regain your lost cognitive, emotional, or physical abilities. For example, you might need physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Some victims need assistive devices following a brain injury, such as a wheelchair or a communication aid that will improve their quality of life.
Potential Damages for Brain Injury Victims
Victims of a TBI sustained in a slip-and-fall accident may be eligible for various types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, including all past and future expected costs;
- Lost wages, including lost wages to date, anticipated future lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering for your physical pain and emotional distress caused by the brain injury; and
- Loss of consortium, which is for the impact on your relationships.
In some cases, you might be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded when the responsible party’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless.
What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
You may not know what to do when you experience a slip-and-fall accident. Below are some steps that you can take to help preserve your legal claim. Remember, you should seek medical attention immediately if you’ve been injured in a fall.
Document the Accident Scene
If you can do so safely, gather evidence from the accident scene. This step can support your claim if you decide to pursue legal action. Try to take photos of the area where the accident occurred. Include pictures of any hazards that might have contributed to your fall, such as hazards on the ground, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting. Getting these photos at the scene is important because you can’t go back and recreate the exact setting. If your slip and fall occurred in a store, the manager or owner might correct the problem by the time you file a claim.
Did anyone witness the accident? If so, get their contact information. Your attorney will want to speak with them to discuss what they saw. Be sure to write down your account of the accident, including the date, time, and location. Include notes on anything leading up to and following the fall.
Notify the Property Owner or Manager
Reporting the accident is also crucial. Depending on where the fall occurred, you should inform a store manager, property owner, or government agency. Filing an incident report is necessary to present a claim for your head injury. If you fill out a report at the location, ask for a copy for your records.
Consult with a California Slip-and-Fall Lawyer
Brain injuries can be complex, and navigating the legal system can be challenging. That’s why we recommend contacting an experienced California brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. At GJEL Accident Attorneys, we can help you understand your legal rights and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Some of the ways we will assist you when filing a brain injury claim include the following:
- Investigate the circumstances of your slip-and-fall accident;
- Determine liability for your brain injury;
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf;
- Gather evidence to support your claim; and
- Calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Remember that in California, you have limited time to file a personal injury claim. Under California law, you generally have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. However, specific circumstances may shorten or extend this deadline. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can ensure you don’t miss any crucial deadlines and jeopardize your potential recovery.
Contact a California Slip-and-Fall Lawyer at GJEL
It’s important to prioritize your health and well-being following a brain injury from a fall. You should follow all your doctor’s recommendations and attend all follow-up appointments.
Hiring a slip-and-fall lawyer early on is also beneficial. You need to act quickly and protect your rights. At GJEL Accident Attorneys, our legal team can guide you through the complex process of pursuing a personal injury claim. We have years of experience helping victims recover compensation following a brain injury from a fall. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more. Let us handle all the stressful legal aspects of your claim so you can concentrate on your recovery.
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