Ankle injuries are common after slip and fall accidents. Depending on the severity of the injury, one may suffer from sprains, strains, fractures, or tears to tendons or ligaments. It is important to understand the anatomy of the ankle, types of potential ankle injuries, and the circumstances in which an injured party may pursue compensation from a business or property owner for their injuries caused by the slip and fall accident.
Anatomy of the Ankle
The ankle is comprised of three bones, the tibia, fibula and talus. The tibia is the shin bone, the lower part that makes up the inner ankle bone. The fibula is a thin bone next to the tibia that makes up the outer ankle bone. The tibia and fibula form an arch that sits on top of the talus, a bone in the foot located above the heel bone.
The ankle is hinged on a joint capsule called the synovium which is surrounded by a thin layer of soft connective tissue. The synovium is a protective membrane that provides cushioning for the joint. Synovial fluid provides lubrication for the joint that reduces friction and helps protect the bones. The synovium and surrounding ligaments and tendons help stabilize the ankle.
Types of Ankle Injuries
Sprains and strains are two of the most common ankle injuries following slip and fall accidents. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments, whereas a strain is the stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. Although the bones are not damaged in sprains or strains, these types of injuries may cause severe pain and require a lengthy recovery time. While mild strains may be treated at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation, more severe sprains and strains may require surgery.
Another ankle injury that may occur following a slip and fall accident is a fracture, a broken bone, possibly in the tibia, fibula or talus, and will usually require substantial recovery time. The ankle may need to be immobilized with a cast, splint, or crutches. Certain fractures may heal on their own in as little as four weeks, whereas some fractures may require surgery and several months before regaining full use of the ankle.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries
Property owners must exercise reasonable care in the ownership of their property; this is a legal concept known as premises liability. If a property owner was negligent in the maintenance of their property and someone was injured due to the unsafe conditions, a lawsuit may be brought based on the theory of premises liability.
Victims of slip and fall accidents may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other expenses depending on the nature of the injury and circumstances of the case. To prove damages, financial records should be kept of all expenses incurred since the accident.
New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Slip and Fall AccidentsIf you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100 to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer in New Jersey or contact us online. We provide clients with personalized case evaluation and investigation because we believe each case requires a unique perspective and strategy. Our offices are in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey and we proudly represent clients throughout the state.