Now that spring is on the way and the temperatures in New Jersey are rising, you are likely relieved to be able to walk safely along the sidewalks where you live and work. Without fear of slipping on random patches of ice or having to pick your way across snowy paths that property owners have not shoveled, you may feel that your morning jog, walk to work or trip to the store will be much safer.
Unfortunately, slipping on ice is only one way in which you can hurt yourself on a public sidewalk. The winter months often wreak havoc on concrete paths, and other factors may leave a sidewalk with many tripping hazards. A property owner who fails to repair these and other hazards or to warn you of their danger may be liable for any injuries you suffer if you fall.
Common injuries from falling
Tripping and slipping is something you may do frequently. Many people stumble over their own feet or feel clumsy in certain pairs of shoes. However, when a preventable fall leads to injury, you may find yourself facing mounting medical bills and an inability to work to pay for those expenses. Injuries from falls may be minor, such as cuts, sprains or bruises, but often, a fall can lead to more severe damage, including:
- Fractured limbs resulting in temporary disability
- Hip fractures that can cause numerous life-threatening health issues
- Spinal cord injuries ranging from herniated disks to paralysis
- Brain injuries that include concussions or more serious permanent cognitive damage
Medical care following a trip and fall accident, even one that seems minor, is critical to determining the extent of any injuries. After any traumatic accident, symptoms of damage to your body may not appear immediately, and a medical professional can monitor you for evidence that you have suffered a serious injury.
Treating your injuries
Following an examination in the emergency room, you will begin treatment for your injuries. Depending on the severity and location of the injuries, that treatment may involve any of the following:
- Prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Ongoing medical attention
Facing the cost of these and other treatments may be daunting, especially if you are unable to work because of your injuries. It may seem all too unfair that you are paying for the neglect of a property owner who failed to maintain his or her property to an acceptable standard of safety. You may even wish to discuss this injustice with a legal professional.