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Phoenix Premises Liability Laws

Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?

Slip and fall accidents have the ability to change your life in an instant, keeping you from leading a fulfilling life, from working, and even from performing daily activities. In most cases, Arizona premises liability law applies to fall accidents - if you were injured at work, at the grocery store, at the hospital, or somewhere else outside your home, you have the right to contact a lawyer for assistance. While understanding these accidents may not prevent you from ever being involved in a serious or life-changing incident, knowing the steps for prevention and what to do if you're injured can help you keep your rights intact.

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What are Slip and Fall Accidents?

When you think about slip and fall accidents, you probably think about slipping on the pool deck, falling in the bathtub, or tripping on your own staircase. But you can be injured, severely so, outside of your own home. A slip and fall accident usually occurs when the victim comes in contact with a slick or wet floor, falls down a staircase or escalator, trips over debris, des not have access to handrails on the staircase, steps into a dip or crack on floor inside a business or on the ground outside of a business, or is involved in some other type of event or incident that causes him or her to lose footing and fall. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere you go, and you may not realize what is happening until after you are already injured and need medical attention. You may believe that the accident is your fault or that you should have been watching where you were going, but there are many different ways that these accidents can happen. In your case, another party may be at fault.

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How Do These Accidents Happen?

Slip and fall accidents can happen nearly anywhere at any time. While you may think that you should have "looked where you were going," in most cases these accidents are not the fault of the victim. Many slip and fall accidents are caused by the negligence of the business owner, maintenance staff, or another customer. Electrical cords strung across floors, old flooring, ripped rugs and carpeting, loose banisters, and spills are all hazards that should be addressed by any business. There are expectations for safety that all customers should have when they are the patron of a business, and businesses should always follow through on those expectations. Negligence and poor maintenance of buildings and grounds are the top two reasons people fall when they are at work or out for the day.

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What Kinds of Injuries are Common in Slip and Fall Accidents?

When you think back on the last time you were involved in a slip and fall accident, you likely think about a sprained ankle or a sprained wrist. But these are not the only injuries that can befall you if you are involved in a slip and fall. Fractures are the most common type of injury that occur in a slip and fall accident. But what exactly does that mean? A fracture can occur to any bone in the human body. The bone you fracture will be dependent on the circumstances of your fall.

You may have heard that you should avoid putting your hands out in front when you fall in order to avoid a wrist fracture. However, wrist fractures are not the most serious fracture you may sustain in a slip and fall accident, though they may be the most common. The most serious fracture you may sustain in a slip and fall accident is a hip fracture. A hip fracture can lead to serious health problems and may cause crippling disabilities. For the elderly and other individuals with a compromised immune system, a hip fracture can also contribute to premature death and delayed healing in addition to loss of enjoyment in life and permanent disabilities.

You may be surprised to learn that you can suffer more than just fractures from a slip and fall accident. Impinged nerves, spinal cord injuries, back injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and in some cases - like if you fall down an escalator - even internal injuries. For the elderly, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

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How Can a Fall Accident Impact Your Life?

A slip and fall accident can cause your life to change dramatically in an instant, whether you suffer a temporary or permanent injury. Some of the most critical changes you may experience include the following:

  • Time lost at work. Reports from the National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI) indicate that nearly one quarter of slip and fall accidents that happen annually leave the victim out of work for at least 31 days. For many people, this can be a severe problem, especially if you were hurt outside of work and are unable to pay bills during your recovery.
  • Lengthy recovery. Most slip and falls lead to fractures and other types of injuries. These injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. For example, a fractured ankle may take up to 9 weeks or more to completely heal, making it difficult to work, walk, run, exercise, go up and down stairs, and do other activities that are necessary in daily life.
  • Death. It may be difficult to imagine that you could die from slipping and falling. But if your fall causes you to hit your head on the ground, or causes you to tumble down a flight of stairs or down an escalator, death is a very real possibility.
  • Permanent disability. Any slip and fall accident can cause a severed spinal cord, a debilitating head injury, or another type of injury that will never fully heal. Permanent disabilities may render you incapable of working and supporting your family, taking care of yourself and your own needs, and leading life in a normal, happy manner.

Remember, these are not the only negative impacts that may occur if you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, and in most cases, your family will also experience significant losses and negative consequences.

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What Not to Do after a Slip and Fall Accident

Just as there are many things you should do after a slip and fall accident - go to the doctor, call a Phoenix injury lawyer, report the incident to the store and to their corporate offices—there are also things you should never do after a slip and fall accident. If you are injured at an establishment where you shop, the business may be liable for your injuries and for your accident. This, in turn, means that they may be liable for your medical expenses, lost wages, emotional hardships, and other expenses and damages associated with your accident and your recovery.

But if you don't handle the aftermath of your accident appropriately, you may be putting your own rights at risk. Slip and fall injury victims should remember never to accept cash or gift cards, admit fault, or skip a medical appointment. All of these things could come back to haunt you and keep you from collecting an adequate settlement that will provide financial support for you and your family throughout your recovery. You may think that a $100 gift card is a nice apology, but it could be used against you later. Before you do or accept anything, you should always seek medical attention and contact a Phoenix premises liability attorney experienced in personal injury accident cases.

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Why You Might Need a Phoenix Premises Liability Law Attorney after a Fall Accident

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may need an attorney to help you reach a fair settlement with the liable party. The Husband and Wife Law Team is experienced in helping accident victims get fair compensation that not only covers their injuries, but also medical bills, lost wages, personal damages, emotional and mental distress caused by the accident, and more.

Businesses may try to bully or trick victims of slip and fall accidents into accepting a lower settlement or making statements that can damage the case, but attorneys Mark and Alexis Breyer understand premises law and can help you hold the negligent business or corporation responsible for your pain and suffering. They offer a free consultation that can help you better understand your rights and your options after you've suffered slip and fall injuries in an accident. For help with your case, your recovery, and your future, contact the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280 today.

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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer