Never downplay your injuries after a slip and fall on ice. What at first seems like just a sore back could turn out to be a herniated disc. Until you’ve seen a doctor – and even then, sometimes the true extent of the injury isn’t apparent for several days – you can’t know exactly how severe the injuries are. For now, consider that your injuries could be serious, and that ignoring or downplaying them could make them worse.
- When questioned about your injuries, your natural reaction might be to tell police officers, business staff, EMTs, or witnesses, “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.” Unless you’re truly 100 percent positive that you are, in fact, okay – and without medical evaluation, how could you be? – resist this impulse. At this point, you really don’t know whether or not you’re fine. If not, mistakenly saying that you were fine after the accident could come back to haunt you when you pursue a claim for the damages you deserve.
- Maybe your injuries aren’t serious, but the only way to find out is to get medical care. Call an ambulance if your symptoms are urgent – if, for example, you can’t stand, can’t move a part of your body, are having a hard time breathing, fear that a bone is broken, or hit your head and are having problems remembering or thinking clearly. If you determine that you don’t need an ambulance, that’s fine – but don’t put off getting medical care. Call your doctor right away.
- If you have reported the accident, you may hear from the insurance company of the owner of the property where you slipped and fell. Be especially careful talking to this insurer – the company is not on your side. Don’t tell the insurance adjuster that you’re fine. In fact, don’t tell them anything without first talking to a lawyer. The insurance company will look for ways to deny your claim or decrease your compensation, so don’t make it easy for them by making light of your injuries or going into great (and potentially inaccurate, unless you have a medical background) detail.
Unfortunately, after a slip and fall accident, no amount of positive thinking can change what has already happened. You can’t wish your injuries away, and ignoring them can cause further damage. Your best chance of recovery is to start working on rehabilitation right away.