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  • Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Common in Slip and Fall Accidents?

    Our Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for Clients Suffering TBIsSlip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), comprising nearly half of all TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations. A TBI can result in debilitating severe conditions, often causing permanent physical, behavioral, and mental damage requiring lifelong care.

    Every day, our Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP fight for the rights of injured people, holding negligent parties accountable and securing much-needed compensation for our clients. With over 75 years of experience, our exceptionally skilled legal team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for injured victims.

    What Are TBIs?

    TBIs can be life-altering and even result in death. Within the skull, the brain is ensconced in fluid that protects it from striking against the hard bone of the cranial cavity. A TBI can occur when a violent blow to the head or jarring motion causes the brain to reverberate against the inside of the skull, causing bruising or bleeding of the brain. A TBI can also be caused by a sharp or blunt object penetrating the skull and brain tissue. Approximately 90,000 Americans suffer life-long TBI-related disabilities each year.

    How Can Slip and Fall Accidents Result in TBIs?

    Falls are among the leading causes of TBIs, and it is common for the head to strike a hard surface during a fall, damaging the skull and brain. Brain injuries can also occur if the head is whipped violently forward and backward during a fall. Each point of impact on the skull can cause severe damage to numerous areas of the brain. TBIs range in severity, depending on the force of impact and type of injury. Common brain injuries include:

    • Contusion: Direct trauma to the head can cause the brain to bleed and create a contusion, a bruise on the brain.
    • Concussion: A concussion is an injury caused by a direct jolt or strike to the head, resulting in a temporary loss of brain function.
    • Hematoma: Brain hematomas are blood clots caused by damage to the brain’s outer blood vessels from a blow to the head.
    • Closed head injury: Closed head injuries result when the brain is impacted by swelling, torn blood vessels, and bruised brain tissues from trauma that does not affect the skull.

    What Are Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?

    Slip and fall accidents that result in TBIs most commonly occur in office buildings, grocery and retail stores, restaurants, and many other locations. The most common causes of slip and fall accidents are wet floors. Other common causes include:

    • Bunched or torn floor mats and carpeting
    • Slick surfaces from wax, oil, or grease
    • Uneven walking surfaces
    • Cracked and broken sidewalks
    • Clutter and debris in walkways
    • Loose electrical cords and wires
    • Snow and ice-covered walkways and parking lots
    • Poor or missing lighting
    • Broken or unmaintained stairs
    • Missing hand-railings

    What Are the Symptoms of a TBI?

    Symptoms of TBIs vary significantly, depending on the type and severity of the accident, and may occur immediately following an accident or have delayed onset. In many cases of severe trauma, symptoms, and conditions may be life-long and result in permanent disability. The most common symptoms include but are not limited to:

    • Anxiety or depression
    • Behavioral changes
    • Blurred vision
    • Coma
    • Confusion and memory loss
    • Dazed, disoriented, or confused
    • Debilitating and worsening headaches or migraines
    • Difficulty sleeping or an excessive need to sleep
    • Dizziness or lack of balance
    • Inability to awaken
    • Loss of motor skills or coordination
    • Loss, or no loss, of consciousness
    • Mood swings
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
    • Personality changes
    • Reduced mental capacity and concentration
    • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    • Seizures or convulsions
    • Speaking problems or slurred speech

    Those who experience behavioral or personality changes, memory loss, or communication problems may be unable to perform their job duties and foster new or maintain close relationships.

    How Are TBIs Diagnosed and Treated?

    Most TBIs are considered emergencies and require first responders and healthcare professionals to assess patients quickly. Without diagnosis and treatment, serious TBIs can worsen rapidly. Diagnosis can include:

    • Glasgow Coma Scale: Doctors use this test to assess initial severity based on the patients’ ability to move their limbs, focus their eyes, and follow directions.
    • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: If TBIs are suspected, CT scans provide a detailed view of the brain, revealing skull fractures, bleeding, blood clots, bruises, or brain swelling.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Doctors use MRIs to create more in-depth brain images to assess damage once a patient’s condition stabilizes.
    • Intracranial pressure monitor: A probe is inserted into the skull to monitor the increase or decrease in swelling.

    Treatment for TBIs is based on the severity of the injury. Mild injuries usually require only rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and monitoring for new or worsening symptoms. Immediate treatment for moderate to severe TBIs focuses on oxygen and blood supply, blood pressure, and preventing additional damage. Additional TBI treatment to reduce secondary damage may include:

    • Medications such as anti-seizure drugs, diuretics to reduce fluid buildup, and coma-inducing drugs lower oxygen and reduce pressure and swelling.
    • Surgery to remove blood clots, repair skull fractures, stop bleeding, or create an opening to relieve pressure, drain accumulated cerebrospinal fluid, and increase room for swollen tissues.
    • Rehabilitation to relearn basic skills and improve their ability to perform daily activities requiring, including neuro-psychotherapy and occupational, physical, recreational, psychiatric, or speech and language therapy.

    Who Is Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident?

    Property owners are legally responsible for maintaining the safety of those who enter the property. Owners who fail to maintain appropriate safety standards can be held liable for any accidents and injuries on their property.

    Most slip and fall accidents are caused by negligence and a failure to prevent reasonable danger. You must prove negligence by demonstrating that the owner had prior knowledge of hazardous conditions and failed to act, causing your injuries.

    What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

    Gathering evidence following an accident can be crucial. However, seek immediate medical attention if you struck your head during the fall or are experiencing pain or symptoms. Your lawyer can handle gathering the evidence needed on your behalf. If you are physically able, you should take the following steps:

    • Report the accident and injuries to the property owner and request their contact and insurance information.
    • Minimize conversation, do not argue or apologize, and refrain from posting photos or comments about the accident on social media. What you say can be used against you later.
    • Photograph the scene, including the hazardous conditions leading to your accident, injuries, and other contributing factors.
    • Gather contact information and a statement from any witnesses and request any photos or videos they may have taken documenting the accident.
    • Seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor or do not think you struck your head. TBIs frequently have delayed symptoms, which can worsen rapidly and have serious or fatal consequences if not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. A doctor’s report is also required when submitting a claim.
    • Consult an experienced lawyer who can assess your case and discuss your legal rights and options.

    How Can Galfand Berger LLP Help Me if I Have a TBI From an Accident?

    Our Galfand Berger LLP legal team are exceptionally skilled lawyers with decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies and securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

    Some recent cases include:

    • $10 million recovery for a house framer who suffered multiple skull fractures and a severe TBI after falling from the second floor of a house under construction.
    • $2.25 million settlement for a maintenance worker who suffered a TBI after falling 25 feet from a construction site crane.
    • $1.1 million settlement for a client who suffered a closed head injury during a car accident.

    Our Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for Clients Suffering TBIs

    TBIs can have severe life-long consequences, resulting in astounding medical expenses, home modifications, and the inability to work. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, contact our Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP as soon as possible. Call today at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)