Posted January 3, 2017 | Slip and Fall
The actions you take in the days following a slip and fall accident can have a dramatic impact upon your ability to recover compensation for the medical bills and other losses resulting from your injuries. Philadelphia slip and fall injury lawyer Brent Wieand explains why it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible following an accidental fall.
Unfortunately, thousands of people have slip and fall accidents every day. An accidental fall can be caused by almost type of hazard, and can happen to any person in any sort of environment, from the young woman crossing an icy parking lot to the elderly man shopping at a grocery store.
Whether the hazard that caused the fall was a wobbly railing, a crumbling stair, a slippery puddle, or insufficient lighting, the underlying cause is often negligence, or carelessness, on the part of a property owner and/or maintenance worker. When a fall is caused by a property hazard that exists because of negligence – for example, the failure of a landlord to make timely repairs to a known hazard in the common area of an apartment building – the negligent party may be liable for the victim’s medical costs and other expenses.
However, a fall victim is not automatically entitled to compensation, no matter how serious his or her injuries are. In order to obtain financial compensation, the victim must file a personal injury claim – and in order for the claim to be successful, the victim must promptly seek medical attention.
State laws do not set a hard time limit for seeing a doctor after a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. However, it is advisable to seek medical attention within 72 hours, and ideally even sooner, after you have been injured. If you cannot see your family physician within a few days of your accident, you should go to a walk-in clinic or an emergency room.
There are several reasons to seek medical care right away after an accidental fall. The most important reason, of course, is your health. Even serious injuries, such as a fractured rib or wrist, can go unnoticed prior to being diagnosed by a medical professional, especially if you have a high tolerance for pain. You may think you are simply a little sore when in fact you have actually broken a bone or sustained a soft tissue injury, such as a torn ligament.
It is especially critical to see a doctor if you struck your head in the fall, as you may have sustained a mild brain injury. Effects that seem like normal occurrences, such as headaches, may be indicative of a more serious problem. Other than headaches, classic warning signs of a brain injury include:
If you experience these effects after hitting your head in an accidental fall, do not assume that you simply have a cold or stomach bug. For your own safety, it is vital that you see a doctor immediately.
Other than protecting your health, there’s another important reason to see a doctor as soon as possible following a slip and fall injury: the longer you wait to see a doctor, the more difficult it will be for you to settle your claim successfully. If you delay seeking medical care, you will make it easier for the defendant to successfully argue that:
Not only must you see a doctor right away; you must also take care to document all of your medical appointments and treatments received. By creating a traceable timeline of the injury and its effects on your life, medical records will serve as vital evidence to strengthen your injury claim when you are negotiating a settlement for your slip and fall accident.
Compensation may be available if you or a loved one was injured after falling on someone else’s property in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Bars, restaurants, grocery stores, fast food chains, hotels, motels, malls, clothing retailers, auto dealerships, department stores, nursing homes, casinos, and other businesses may be liable if you slipped and fell due to unsafe conditions on their property. To talk about your slip and fall injury claim in a free legal consultation with an experienced Philadelphia premises liability attorney, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (888) 789-3161 as soon as possible.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.*