Every property owner in Pennsylvania owes visitors and patrons a duty of care. Creating or neglecting to remove or repair known hazardous conditions might lead to premises liability lawsuits. You might be wise to take additional care during the winter months because of the increased chances of stepping onto a slippery patch in a parking area or a shopping mall.
Entrances to malls or buildings are particularly treacherous because high volumes of consumers who walk through snow and ice bring wetness from outside. If the property owner fails to address those hazards, you could spend your holidays suffering the consequences of a FOOSH injury.
What is a FOOSH injury?
Falling is a scary experience that could result in serious injuries. If you slip and lose your balance, you will likely instinctively put out your hands to break the fall. However, this leaves you vulnerable to FOOSH injuries. The word is an acronym for fall onto an outstretched hand, and common injuries include fractures or sprains to the upper extremities.
Typical FOOSH injuries
Although wrist and hand damage is common, the following types of FOOSH injuries could occur:
- Dislocated shoulder: If you fall onto your outstretched arm and hand, your shoulder could come out of the joint. This could result in a torn rotator cuff or labrum injury, which involves the ring of cartilage that surrounds your shoulder's socket.
- Fractured collarbone: The impact of the fall onto your outstretched arm could go all the way up your arm and into the collarbone, which could fracture.
- Dislocated elbow: Depending on the force of your arm hitting the floor, you could break one of the bones in your elbow, or the elbow might slip out of the joint.
- Proximal humeral fracture: If the fall forces your arm into the shoulder joint, the upper arm bone can break where it enters the shoulder socket.
- Boxer's fracture: If your hand was in a fist when you fell onto it, you could fracture some of the small hand bones.
- Smith's fracture: This fracture occurs when the impact forces the arm bone forward, causing fractured wrist bones.
- Colles' fracture: This is similar to a Smith's fracture, but the arm bone pushes backward, causing fractured wrist bones.
What to do after suffering a FOOSH injury
The first thing to do after falling onto an outstretched arm and hand is to get the necessary medical treatment. However, it is not uncommon for such injuries to require long-term physical therapy because the recovery might be a slow process. The mounting medical bills might be overwhelming, especially if your injury prevents you from returning to work immediately.
The Pennsylvania civil justice system allows you to pursue financial relief if a property owner's negligence caused the fall that led to your injuries. You can secure legal counsel to assist with the navigation of a premises liability lawsuit to recover economic and non-economic damages.