You were more embarrassed than hurt after you slipped on the sidewalk. You were quick to get back up, since you didn’t want to draw attention to yourself, and you knew you banged your elbow pretty badly on the way down. But over the next few days, you’ve had shooting pains in your neck and back—pains that made you completely forget your skinned elbow. Could you have suffered a potentially dangerous back injury even if you walked away from the site of the accident?

Any Slip and Fall Accident Can Cause a Deadly Back Injury

It’s fairly common for a victim of a slip and fall accident to suffer minor pain at first, only to have their back injury progress rapidly over time. It doesn’t matter how small the trip or fall was—any fall has the potential to cause a serious back injury, including:

  • Spinal fractures. A break or dislocation of the spine is a serious and often life-altering injury. Victims may suffer severe pain in their backs which is only relieved by lying down, and if the injury progresses, patients may suffer damage to the spinal cord that results in permanent paralysis.
  • Herniated discs. After a fall, the discs between the bones of the spine may be damaged, causing the fluid that cushions the surrounding bones to leak. Without the padding, the bones in the spine may rub together, causing excruciating pain. Slipped or ruptured discs can also place pressure on the spinal cord, causing numbness or paralysis in the legs.
  • Sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg from the buttocks through the heel, and may be compressed after an injury to the lower back. This compression causes extreme pain and can lead to numbness or even muscle weakness in the leg, affecting the victim’s ability to walk.
  • Strains and sprains. Even if the bones of spine remain intact, victims can suffer damage to the muscles and ligaments in the back (known as a sprain or a strain). Although these soft-tissue injuries may not have permanent effects, they are extremely painful and can keep victims out of work for weeks or months at a time.

If you slipped on someone else’s property, you are entitled to payment for your medical costs and the loss of income your injury has caused. At Steinberg Injury Lawyers, we do not charge our clients anything until their case has been resolved, and we will come to you to discuss your case free of charge. Contact us today to find out your legal options.


Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982