Your ankles play a key role in stabilizing your body and allowing you to walk properly, which means that even a relatively minor tumble can cause problems with your balance and coordination. If your slip and fall injuries are the result of another party's negligence, you are entitled to compensation for accident-related expenses.
Types Of Ankle Injuries Following A Slip And Fall
Slip and fall ankle injuries can occur when you trip on loose flooring, stumble over an object in your path, slip on a slick surface, or fall down stairs that lack a proper handrail. In most cases, the natural instinct is to try to break your fall by stepping down hard with your feet. This causes the ankle to twist in an unnatural position.
If you're involved in a slip and fall accident, it's in your best interest to seek immediate medical treatment. Do not try to "walk it off" or hope that your injury will get better on its own. Getting an evaluation from a trained medical professional is the best way to prevent complications and provide a clear link to the cause of injury, so you can get the compensation you need to fully recover.
Common types of slip and fall ankle injuries include:
- Bruising. Bruising can be a sign of compressed nerves or blood vessels, especially if it's accompanied by numbness or tingling. It can also lead to painful swelling in the foot.
- Lacerations. Falling into an area where there are rocks, debris, or sharp edges can cause lacerations on the foot. This can lead to infection if the wound isn’t kept clean, and you may even need stitches.
- Sprains. Mild to moderate sprains can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, but a more serious sprain may require an evaluation from a specialist.
- Ligament/Tendon problems. Sprains involve tearing of the ligaments on the side of the ankle that provide stability to the foot when you're standing or walking. If the tearing doesn't heal properly, it can cause instability that will leave you vulnerable to future ankle injuries.
- Fractures. Fractures most often occur when you fall from a significant height. A fracture is accompanied by a cracking or popping sound and a significant amount of pain. A fractured ankle is treated with bracing, casting, or surgery depending on the extent of the break.
Elements Of A Successful Slip And Fall Case
To win a slip and fall personal injury claim, you must be able to prove four elements:
- Duty. The person or corporation you are seeking damages from was required to provide a reasonably safe environment for you.
- Breach of Duty. The defendant failed to live up to that duty of care.
- Causation. The breach of duty caused your ankle injury.
- Damages. The slip and fall accident resulted in injury-related expenses.
Protecting Your Right To Compensation For Ankle Injuries
No two slip and fall settlements are alike. When your ankle injury is the result of another party's negligence, you can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including any anticipated future medical needs
- Lost wages, including loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional trauma
If you were partially at fault for your injuries, you can still seek compensation. However, under the state's comparative negligence guidelines, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault to account for your own role in the accident.
The best way to protect your right to compensation following a slip and fall accident is to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can help assess the value of your case, gather evidence to support your claim for damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
The legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to helping Louisiana residents receive prompt and fair personal injury settlements. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review at one of six convenient locations throughout the state.