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Don't take chances if you hit your head on the ice in a fall

Slip-and-fall injuries can be devastating, particularly if head trauma results. With many parts of the nation experiencing significant snowfall right now, let's look at a few important reminders involving slip-and-fall accidents and head wounds.

Should you go to the emergency room after falling on the ice?

It depends. Certainly, if you have any broken bones or other injuries, you need to get checked out by a doctor. However, you should also get checked out if you hit your head on the ice, the cement or anything nearby during the fall -- even if there's no obvious injury.

In particular, you need to be alert for signs of a concussion. Those include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech or difficulty answering questions
  • Confusion or feeling dazed
  • Headache or a constant feeling of pressure in your head
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Flashing lights or "stars" in your vision
  • Severe fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light, sound or movement
  • Difficulty concentrating or memory problems
  • Sensory changes, like problems with taste or smell

You should also seek emergency attention if you lost consciousness after hitting your head -- even if you have no other symptoms of a concussion.

While most people think of serious winter injuries as those that occur in winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding or sledding, the possibility of a traumatic brain injury is very real, even if you only fell in a parking lot.

In fact, parking lots probably pose a bigger winter hazard than anything else, simply because it's hard to avoid things like trips to the doctor's office, grocery store or bank -- no matter what the weather. A lot of parking lots aren't maintained as well as they should be during foul weather.

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall on the ice, don't assume that you can't seek compensation for your injuries from a property owner or other party. Find out more about your legal options.

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