Trip, slip, and fall accidents account for a significant number of emergency room visits every year. When trip and falls occur on hard surfaces or stairs, injuries can be severe. Victims can be left dealing with lasting aches and pains, headaches, and healing wounds and lacerations. The recovery process can be lengthy and involved. If your trip and fall was the result of a negligent property owner, you may also be dealing with emotional trauma and psychological harm.
In the days, weeks, and months following your fall, it is imperative that you work to recover and allow your body time to heal. That can feel like a daunting task. Victims of trip and fall accidents who seek compensation for their injuries can feel additional stress as they navigate their legal claim.
At Klein Lawyers, our goal is to take as much stress away from you as possible. We can handle your case while you focus on your recovery. In this blog, we will provide you with some helpful tips to make your recovery and rehabilitation process as smooth and efficient as it can be.
Common Trip and Fall Injuries
The severity of trip and fall-related injuries varies on a case-by-case basis. The circumstances and location of your fall can contribute to how severe your injuries are. Some common injuries and resulting symptoms of a trip and fall can include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- Internal bleeding
- Cuts or lacerations
- Numbness in your arms or legs
- Spinal cord injury, including spinal misalignment
- Ringing in ears
- Neck and back pain
- Sprains and strains
- Hip or leg pain
- Shoulder, elbow, or hand pain
- Joint pain, including ankles and wrists
All these injuries can cause both immediate and lasting pain. If left untreated, they may contribute to an overall decline in one’s health. When you are injured in a trip and fall accident, the first thing you must do is obtain medical treatment.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Successful recovery and rehabilitation from a trip and fall injury can often come down to whether or not you obtained early medical treatment. Some trip and fall victims may think they are okay after the shock of the immediate injury dissipates. Often muscle injuries will transition from a sharp pain to a throbbing ache. When this happens, you may believe it is best just to ignore it and let it heal on its own. That decision could significantly impact your recovery time. Doctors can examine your injury and provide recommendations for needed braces, treatment, physical therapy, and medication. In this case, the quicker the treatment is obtained, the higher the chance that you make a complete recovery.
If you are severely injured, call 9-1-1 immediately. If your injury did not necessitate a trip to the emergency room, be sure to seek care with your family physician or at a walk-in clinic as soon as possible. Some trip and fall-related injuries can be difficult to detect, like concussions, sprains, or internal bleeding. Do not let injuries and symptoms nag you or go unaddressed. Do not self-diagnose. Seek out a medical expert who can provide an accurate diagnosis and begin to create a plan for healing. Avoiding delays in seeking medical treatment is the best way to increase your odds of a full and timely recovery.
If your trip and fall was the result of a negligent property owner, seeking immediate medical treatment helps create a solid connection between your fall and your injuries. This will be very important for your legal claim. If you delay treatment and diagnosis, the defence team can try to claim that your injuries may not have been the result of the fall you experienced. Medical records indicating you sought immediate treatment and followed your doctor’s orders will serve to strengthen your case.
Provide Details About Your Injury and Symptoms
When you seek medical treatment from an emergency room physician, a family doctor, or a specialist, it is important to provide them with as many details as possible about the event that caused your injury and the symptoms you have experienced. Provide information like:
- When the fall occurred
- What type of surface the fall occurred on
- How far you fell
- What type of pain you experienced immediately after the fall
- A comprehensive list of your symptoms (even those you believe may be unrelated)
- How long your symptoms have persisted
This type of information will aid your doctor in making an accurate diagnosis. After that, they can develop a plan for your treatment and identify possible recovery strategies. Your treatment may include surgical intervention, pain management, physical therapy, or a combination of treatments. If your trip and fall accident was severe, your doctor or attending physician may recommend surgery as part of your treatment. That can be inherently scary for many patients, and even minor surgeries can feel intimidating. It is important to understand that surgical treatment will help you reach your recovery goals quicker and, often, is the only way to repair some injuries. At this stage, following your doctor’s orders is imperative. It is also critical that you continue scheduling and attending regular follow-up appointments in order to stay on track toward your recovery goals.
Attend Recommended Therapies and Rehab
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy following your trip and fall injury and initial treatment. Physical therapy is designed to help you regain mobility, stability, and strength. It can provide lasting recovery and can eliminate or mitigate severe pain. If your doctor prescribes physical therapy, ensure you get scheduled for it as soon as possible. Attend your appointments regularly.
Physical therapy may come both before (pre-op) and after (post-op) surgical intervention. Pre-op physical therapy may be prescribed in order to help the patient prepare for any changes the surgery may produce. During pre-op physical therapy, you may learn exercises and movements that will help you increase your range of motion and aid in your overall recovery. Generally speaking, because surgeries can have a deteriorating effect on a patient’s strength and flexibility, the healthier and stronger a patient is before surgery, the faster their recovery will be. Pre-op therapy aims to help the patient develop strength and flexibility in order to aid in the recovery process after the surgery is complete. Pre-op physical therapy can also serve to educate and prepare patients for what they will face during and after their procedure.
Post-op physical therapy will aim to help the patient complete the overall recovery plan that has been created by their medical team based on their specific needs. These sessions begin after the surgical team has cleared the patient for physical therapy. Post-op therapy allows patients to recover from surgery at a comfortable pace.
Physical therapy is also often recommended for injury victims who did not require surgical intervention. The primary goal for these patients, again, is typically to regain mobility, minimize pain and swelling, and increase strength and overall function. Some victims may experience injuries that impact their ability to perform routine tasks, like standing, climbing stairs, showering, or getting dressed. The physical therapy team will try and help these victims regain independence and promote their health and well-being. Effective physical therapy can help victims reduce their fear of falling and resume a healthy, active lifestyle as soon as possible after their injury. Trip and fall victims may attend physical therapy for several weeks to many months. The time commitment required will ultimately depend on the severity of the injury experienced and the amount of recovery required.
Trip and fall accidents can leave lasting physical and mental damage. Victims who suffer catastrophic injuries and are left with serious impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement may also experience psychological and emotional hardships. In these instances, a medical provider may recommend treatment with a mental health professional. Again, it is vital that you follow your doctor’s order and receive regular care from the recommended medical professional.
Focus on Whole-Body Care
You can also help to expedite your recovery through the use of whole-body care techniques. When you are injured in a trip and fall accident, your entire body often suffers trauma. While more acute injuries tend to attract most of the focus and care, utilizing a whole-body approach to recovery can help to ease injury-related pain, strengthen your body, and help to reduce your overall rehabilitation time. These treatments and techniques should only be used in conjunction with your medical care and under the care and supervision of your medical team. Based on your injury type and severity, you may want to consider incorporating these additional techniques and treatments to aid in your recovery:
- Try the RICE Protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation): For muscle bruises, sprains, and strains, this recovery enhancement is a tried and tested method to ease pain and encourage a speedy recovery. RICE is often used in conjunction with physical therapy.
- Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is the body’s way of recovering and healing. A lack of sleep can significantly delay your recovery process as it acts as a stressor on your body. If your trip and fall resulted in a wound, sleep is critical to contributing to wound healing through tissue growth and rebuilding. During recovery, your body is expending a tremendous amount of energy in healing itself. That means you need to focus on rest and sleep in order to allow it to recover as quickly as possible.
- Eat well: Nutrition plays a vital role in strengthening your body’s healing powers. After an injury, your body’s nutritional needs increase significantly. A poor diet and resulting nutritional deficiencies can impede and impair your body’s ability to heal and can increase the risk of infection. During your recovery, your body will crave foods that contain collagen and protein, which are necessary for healing. Make sure you embrace a healthy diet focusing on vitamin-rich foods during your recovery process.
- Work on your flexibility: A wide range of injuries may benefit from an increase in flexibility and strength. Many of your physical therapy exercises will focus on the same. Consider employing a daily stretching or yoga routine. These exercises will help to reduce your pain and inflammation, loosen tight muscles and joints, and strengthen key muscles.
- Focus on your mental health: Sometimes, after a physical injury, we forget that our mental health may also be affected. Mental health, however, plays a critical role in whole-body healing and recovery. Consider incorporating techniques like positive thinking, meditation, gratitude practice, and journaling into your overall recovery plan.
- Take it day by day: Throughout your recovery process, it is important to stay focused on the end goal while not becoming overwhelmed by it. It can be difficult to remain in the right mindset and continue your journey toward recovery while you are struggling to regain mobility and basic functions. That is understandable. Try taking it one day at a time. Develop daily routines and habits designed to help you recover. Celebrate every small victory and use them as motivation to keep moving forward toward your ultimate goal.
How Long Will Your Recovery Take?
Recovery timelines vary significantly depending on the severity, location, and type of injury you experienced. Too, injuries that required surgical intervention will generally require a longer recovery time than those where surgery did not take place. Some trip and fall victims recover in a few months, while others may face a longer-term commitment to their recovery and rehabilitation. Injuries like broken arms typically take at least several months to heal fully. However, broken bones involving joints take longer to heal. Many trip and fall victims will experience different stages in their recovery process that allow them to resume normal activities slowly and steadily.
You will work with your medical team to get a clear understanding of your injury and the length of time expected for a full recovery. If you experience any new symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, chills, stiffness, or weakness during your recovery, report them to your medical team immediately. This will allow your team the ability to promptly address potential complications, identify scar or nerve damage, and make needed adjustments to your recovery and rehabilitation plan.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured as a Result of a Property Owner’s Negligence?
Klein Lawyers has an outstanding track record of handling trip, slip, and fall cases. We understand how to identify and investigate trip, slip and fall incidents and determine whether or not there was negligence on behalf of the property owner and/or occupier. We have the resources, knowledge, and experience British Columbians need to get the justice and compensation they deserve.
We will start by conducting an in-depth investigation of the evidence in your case. We will take the time to really listen to your story, obtain any registry searches, incident reports, medical records, and witness statements and thoroughly evaluate your potential claim. During the case, we will retain key experts to establish the critical details of the injury that occurred. We strive to make this process as easy for you as possible. You will focus on your life while we focus on your case.
We keep you informed throughout the entire case, so you never feel like you are in the dark. We want you to understand the process and feel comfortable asking any questions along the way. Too often, we hear concerns expressed by potential clients about what the process will be like, what they will need to do, and how often they will hear from their lawyer. We will make it clear right from the start so that you know what to expect, and we will stay true to our commitment to you. Communication and transparency are important to our team, and you will recognize that as our client.
Klein Lawyers Can Help
Klein Lawyers has over 30 years of success and experience in the legal field. During that time, we have worked hard to earn the trust and respect of British Columbians who need legal representation. Working with an experienced lawyer is critical, and our team understands the trust clients place in us when we are representing them. We value that trust and feel honoured that so many clients choose our law firm to fight for them. We are passionate about obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.
Contact Us Today
Contact the Klein Lawyers team today at (604) 874-7171 for a free consultation with a Vancouver trip and fall lawyer. We serve clients injured in British Columbia and Class Action and Mass Tort clients throughout Canada. There is no obligation, and your consultation is completely confidential. We are here to help victims of a property owner and/or occupier’s negligence receive the justice they deserve.