A cement slab of sidewalk pushed upward by roots, a set of uneven stairs leading into a business, and a homeowner’s slanted porch—all three of these pose a tripping hazard to invitees, a term that describes all people legally allowed on a premises whether they are patrons or neighbours. If you were injured in a fall caused by uneven ground, you may be able to collect financial compensation from the business owner or property owner where you fell. At the time, the fall may have seemed like your fault due to clumsiness or a simple mistake, but chances are that there was a reason that you fell, and in many cases, that reason is due to uneven ground. Here at Preszler Injury Lawyers, our Barrie uneven ground lawyers assist trip and fall victims of uneven, cracked, slippery, or otherwise hazardous ground. Whether you fell outside a convenience store or inside a mall, you have legal options for compensation that you should consider pursuing.
The Financial Burden of an Injury Caused By a Fall
Slip, trip, and falls are a leading cause of injury in Canada. In fact, 1,800 Canadians visit the emergency department every day due to unintentional falls, according to Global News. This accounts for a total of more than one-third of all emergency department visits. A further 417 fall victims are hospitalized each day, as reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), with a total average hospital stay time of 14.3 days. During this recovery period and the weeks and months afterward of pain, disability, and physical therapy, fall victims lose out on wages and incur large out of pocket medical expenses. You should not be responsible for these and other costs when another party caused your fall. As a fall victim, you stand to recover medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning ability, pain and suffering damages, and more.
Common Uneven Ground Fall Injuries
- Fractures—It does not take getting hit by a bus or falling off a three-story building to break a bone. Contrary to what we see in action movies, the human body is very fragile. Tripping on an uneven surface and landing on your shoulder can easily create enough force to break a collarbone or crack a rib. The recovery from a fracture depends on where and how the bone was broken, the number of bones broken, complications, and the age of the victim. A broken collarbone may or may not require surgery and is generally an easier fix, while a compound fracture or a fracture of the femur head are both extremely serious injuries.
- Spinal Cord Injuries—The most serious slip, trip, and fall injury occurs when the spinal cord is severed. When the nerve bundle is fully severed, complete paralysis occurs to the legs. Depending on how high up the injury is, the upper body can suffer paralysis, as well.
- Other Neck and Back Injuries—More common back and neck injuries include herniated discs, bulging discs, fractured vertebrae, and injured soft tissue including muscle and tendon. Many soft tissue injuries take much longer to heal than initially thought, and can end up being life-long complications.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)—A traumatic brain injury can cause memory loss, cognitive impairment, nausea, confusion, headache, seizures, vertigo, severe fatigue, sleep disorders, dizziness, loss of balance, and mood changes for weeks, months, or even years. Because we understand so little about the brain, two similar concussions may affect two different victims completely differently.
- Lacerations—Lacerations not only lead to pain and risk of infection, but can cause permanent scarring or disfigurement, as well.
- Contusions—Deep bruising may not show up for a day or two after the fall, but can cause pain, stiffness, and immobility for weeks after the fall.
What Is the Difference Between a Sprain, Strain, and a Tear?
Three of the most common types of injuries that fall victims suffer from include sprains, stains, and tears. Each of these three injuries can affect any joint, but most commonly take place in ankles, knees, lower backs, wrists, neck (resulting in whiplash), and shoulders when it comes to fall injuries.
- Sprain—According to Science Daily and the Mayo Clinic, a sprain is the overstretching or tearing of a ligament that connects bone to bone. Symptoms of a sprain include inflammation, muscle pain, immobility, and bruising. The severity of sprains is greatly varied, with a mild sprain healing within a week or two and serious sprains lasting for months.
- Strain—A strain is the overstretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon that connects bone to muscle. Strains can cause, weakness, muscle spasms, cramping, bruising, and swelling. Strains are generally less serious and debilitating than sprains, though they can also take multiple weeks or months to heal.
- Tear—A tear is the ripping of muscle or tendon causing severe pain, immobility, inflammation, and weakness. In some cases, nonsurgical rehabilitation is possible, while in other circumstances the patient must undergo surgery. A common fall injury that usually requires surgery is a torn ACL tendon in the knee, which takes six months to heal, not including the time it takes to build strength and mobility back with physical therapy.
Compensation for Your Fall Injuries
You may be entitled to the following compensation if you were injured in an uneven ground falling incident:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Future medical costs, including physical therapy and medical devices
- In-home medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Housekeeping expenses
Contact a Barrie Uneven Walking Surface Lawyer
If you are the victim of a fall that was caused by an uneven walking surface, a Barrie uneven ground injury lawyer will be able to analyze your situation to let you know whether or not you have a case against the negligent party. Do not hesitate to call 1-800-JUSTICE today, as preserving the evidence and gathering facts should begin as soon as possible. To speak to a Barrie lawyer today, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.