Any fall that results in an injury is cause for concern, no matter how minor, and should receive treatment immediately. Injuries can appear small at first, but gradual or sudden changes in health or behavior are significant signs that an injury is worth a closer look.
People age 65 and older fall more than people in other age groups, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). So, if the person who fell is an older adult, it becomes even more critical that they see a medical professional as soon as possible.
Why Falls Can Be More Serious Than They First Appear
A person might think all is physically well after a fall because they might not feel pain when they move around. Adrenaline is one reason their injuries might be suppressed. A rush of adrenaline happens after the body experiences a traumatic event, and this rush of the “fight or flight” hormone is a defense mechanism.
Decreased ability to feel pain is one side effect of an adrenaline rush, while another is feeling a temporary boost of physical strength. However, while adrenaline can make people think they are fine after a fall, adrenaline can mask how serious an injury is, making it difficult to know when someone falling should become a cause of concern.
As the adrenaline wears off, a person can feel pain, soreness, swelling, and experience other symptoms, such as bruising. These are signs of soft-tissue injuries, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, which are below the surface and, therefore, hard to see.
An onset of discomfort could be a sign of a sprain, stress injury, or another condition. While it is tempting to self-diagnose and use at-home remedies, it would be safer to seek a medical opinion from a specialist who can tell you what is going on.
Why Head Injuries Are Important to Monitor After a Fall
In some cases, time is needed for an injury to reveal itself. Head injuries are in this category. Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that head injuries make up a broad category of injuries that can affect the brain, scalp, skull, tissue, and blood vessels in the head.
They can be as small as a cut on the head or a minor bump or bruise, or they can be moderate-to-severe and fracture the skull, cause internal bleeding, and damage the brain. Because a head injury can be any of these things, it is a sound idea to seek medical attention right away.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is trauma to the head that can take days or weeks to develop, depending on how much trauma a person suffers.
Head injuries include:
- Intracranial hematoma (ICH), a condition in which blood clots are in or near the brain
- Skull fractures
Falling becomes a cause for concern when someone who suffered an earlier head injury notices a sudden change in how they feel. For example, a head injury that leads to constant headaches might be more serious than they thought if a person feels sudden sharp headache pain where there was none before.
Dizziness, tingling in the face, and vision changes, among others, are also signs that a blow to the head is serious. Sometimes people are not aware that they suffered a head injury when they fell, which is even more reason to have a medical examination after a fall happens.
Head injuries are on the rise, according to Johns Hopkins, which says 1.7 million people have a TBI every year.
If you notice changes in how you feel, it might be time to take a diagnostic test to see what is wrong. A comprehensive medical exam can cover all bases and inform the doctor of what treatments you will need to recover.
How Delayed Medical Treatment Can Affect Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is recovering from a fall that someone else caused, and you are thinking about taking legal action to cover your medical bills and other expenses, this is another reason to seek immediate medical help.
Letting too much time pass after your injury might be a setback in establishing your claim to compensation. That means you risk losing any financial recovery you had hoped to gain with a lawsuit.
If you can document that you sought help immediately for your injuries with records from a doctor or other medical professional, it can bolster your claim that you were injured and how you were hurt, and that you took immediate action to get help.
You can show how much time and money you have spent on treatments, medications, and other related items for your physical recovery. Such documentation can also show a timeline of what took place from the time your slip and fall happened.
However, if you do not document your injuries in a timely manner and then pursue compensation with a personal injury lawsuit, the defendant’s attorney and insurance companies can note this delay, casting doubt on the severity of your injuries or your account of how you were injured. Therefore, timeliness in your pursuit of medical treatment can only strengthen your claim that you were injured and help your case at trial.
Ben Crump, PLLC, Is Here to Help with Slip and Fall Cases
Accidental and unintentional falls are common, and not all of them are fatal. However, injuries from falls can be serious, even if they do not appear that way at first, so concern for someone falling should start as soon as they fall.
It is important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Delaying a visit to the doctor can add to one’s discomfort and stress and put them at risk of leaving injuries untreated that could turn severe.
If you or someone you know is suffering injuries from a fall due to someone else’s negligence, and you want to learn what legal options you have, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you figure out your next steps. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 today to schedule a free case review.