Ankle Injuries in a Slip and Fall Accident: What Kind of Damages Can You Recover in a Florida Slip and Fall Claim?
Posted By Alan Sackrin on March 6, 2014
Last Update: 02/01/16
Most people take the importance of their ankle for granted, ignore that it’s there, until something happens, like a slip and fall, and they are injured and in serious pain and unable to stand on their foot, or use their leg to walk or move around.
Technically, your ankle is a complicated grouping of bones where your two leg bones meet with your ankle bone to form a joint, your ankle joint. Surrounding and working with these three bones are your muscles, tendons, and ligaments (these are known as soft tissues – soft tissue injuries can be extremely painful and even permanent – especially where one of these are torn). All these things have to be working properly in order for you to use and move your ankle and foot and leg properly.
Ankle Injuries: Breaks, Pain, Sprains, and Fractures
Not all ankle injuries are the same. In slip and fall accidents, all sorts of injuries to the ankle can happen. Maybe the ligaments are injured: this is considered a sprain. No bones are damaged, but the pain is still severe and the ability to use the ankle is compromised (which could be permanent). Ankle sprains can mean months of recovery time.
When bones are broken with no skin penetration, the injury becomes an ankle fracture (a hard tissue injury). Slip and fall ankle fractures mean that either the ankle bone and/or one of the lower leg bones that comprise the ankle joint are broken. These can be serious injuries that may take a long time to recover from and heal.
Ankle injuries can also involve damage to tendons or cartilage (again, soft tissue injuries). Here, bones may or may not be compromised but the things that connect the muscle to the bones (tendons) or the things that cushion the joint from stress (cartilage) are compromised making the ankle joint seriously injured and/or weak.
Not All Ankle Injuries Are the Same:
Different Lifestyles Mean Different Problems for Ankle Injury Victims
Not all ankle injury victims face the same outcomes. It is not just a matter of the different type of injury — break or strain, bone or tendon — there are many other factors that come into play.
Consider a scenario where someone here in Hallandale Beach is having a nice time at a local restaurant or grabbing a bite while enjoying the local casinos or shopping or race tracks. Let’s consider two situations:
Imagine Joe Fisher, a commercial fisherman who had a good day at the Madri Gras dog track down the street before he slipped and fell on water in the restaurant there and broke his ankle bone.
That same afternoon, Jim Lazyboi, a retired stockbroker addicted to stamp collecting slipped and fell on some spilled coffee at the coffee shop and broke his ankle bone when he and his lovely wife stopped for a break while shopping at Hallandale’s famous Fashion Row.
Both suffer ankle bone breaks. Both are in their mid-fifties. Both got prompt medical treatment after the managers were called and police reports were made. Both are dealing with the same insurance company who covers both the restaurant and the coffee shop.
However, their claims will not be the same, financially-speaking.
1. Their medical needs may not be the same. While both suffered ankle fractures from a slip and fall accident, their bodies are unique and Jim Lazyboi may need different treatment and suffer differ kinds of aggravations in healing over the months of recovery than Joe Fisher.
2. Occupation and lifestyle both impact the claim to be made. The consequences of the ankle injury to Mr. Lazyboi with his sedentary lifestyle as a retiree here in sunny South Florida with a penchant for stamp collecting is very different than an ankle fracture to Mr. Fisher who is extremely active physically as a commercial fisherman who makes his living using both his feet all the time as he fights for his catch out in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mr. Fisher may have a much more substantial claim because his livelihood has been compromised, short term during recovery and possibly long term if that ankle can no longer be depended upon for a sure footing on a slippery boat. Psychological damage may result to him, as well, if he suffers from debilitating depression as he is unable to return to the ocean waters and the work he loves. He and his wife and children all suffer in their spousal and familial relationships, too, resulting in damage claims of their own.
Your ankle slip and fall injury is unique. Make sure that it is given the respect that is due by the insurance carrier and claims representative and consider getting the help of a Florida personal injury lawyer to protect your interests.
What Should You Do?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in a slip and fall, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
- Slip/Trip and Falls in Florida
- What are types of pain and suffering damages you can recover in a Florida slip and fall lawsuit?
- Hurt in a Florida Restaurant After Falling Out of the Booth: Do You Have a Claim?
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.