Surprise Slip and Fall Accidents and Your Future Wellness
Every slip and fall accident has the potential to cause significant harm to the victim. If you've been involved in a slip and fall incident recently then you already know that these types of incidents can cause you a great deal of pain and suffering. But more than that, you need to know what these accidents mean for your future and for the future of your family. When you're suffering, and trying to recover from injuries that you sustained in your slip and fall you may not be able to think straight, or even want to consider the future or what you'll have to do to get back on your feet. But when you've been injured due to the negligence of another person, you should do everything in your power to get yourself back on track financially, physically, and emotionally as quickly as possible.
The Most Common Surprise Slip and Fall Accidents
There are certain scenarios and hazards that contribute to more accidents than others. Some of the most common scenarios in which you could sustain serious injuries include:
- Trips, slips, and falls in stairwells. If you are walking up or down a flight of stairs that does not have an appropriate handrail, you are at risk for a fall accident that could cause you severe harm. In Arizona, property owners and managers are responsible for ensuring that their properties are equipped with the appropriate handrails for safety purposes.
- Wet and slick floors lead to more slip and fall accidents than any other type of accident, by far. Recently mopped and waxed floors are commonly the cause of these accidents and if you slip and fall at work, at the grocery store, or in any other establishment, you may have a case against the management or owners of the property.
- Poor lighting in the areas where you walk the most when you visit businesses can be a serious hazard to your health and wellbeing. Poor lighting conditions make it difficult to see tears in the carpet, lips in the walking path, loose gravel, puddles, and other hazards that are typically reported in slip and fall accident situations.
- Debris or objects in the walkway, which may not be immediately visible if you did not place them there yourself. This includes leftover shipping packaging from items for sale in a grocery store or department store, the cord to a vacuum cleaner or other cleaning machine, clothing on the floor of a department store and other serious hazards that may seem innocuous to the business owner or to the employee, but that represent a slip and fall accident just waiting to happen.
How a Surprise Slip and Fall Accident Can Impact Your Life
As the victim of a Surprise slip and fall accident you will likely experience a great deal of suffering and pain, as well as a significant recovery period. Individuals who are involved in slip and fall incidents often experience a wide variety of injuries and may experience more than one serious injury, depending on the severity and height of the fall. Some of the most common injuries experienced in these types of incidents include:
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries and other serious head injuries, like severe concussions
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries depending on the severity of the fall and the landing position
For those victims who do sustain injuries, even the most simple of these injuries may take weeks, if not months to heal. This can cause a great deal of suffering for the victim and for their family. It is not only physically painful to experience injuries but injuries from a slip and fall can place an undue amount of pressure and stress on the victim and the family in other ways. Some of the most common consequences of serious injuries for victims of slip and fall accident injuries include:
- Loss of ability to work
- Loss of income
- Loss of range of motion or of use of body parts temporarily, for an extended period of time, or permanently
- Decreased quality of life
- Mental and emotional stress
- Inability to provide for their family
- Time lost with family that must be spent at the hospital, on bed rest, with physical therapists, and doing other tasks related to the accident and the recovery process
Your Rights After a Surprise Slip and Fall Accident
When you experience a loss of any type, especially those listed above, as the result of the negligence of another person in a Surprise slip and fall accident, you have the right to seek recompense from that party. You can seek compensation for myriad different expenses and damages related to your accident claim including, but not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy bills
- Lost income as a result of not being able to go to work
- Property damages, if there were any
- Emotional distress resulting from the accident and your recovery period
- Daycare, if you must find someone to take care of your minor children while you are going through the process of recovery
- In-home care, if you must have someone come into your home to help you with tasks that you are not able to complete on your own
Having the ability to recover these types of damages is dependent on making a strong case to a judge or to a mediator that shows that the other party's negligence or actions led to your accident and subsequently caused your injuries.
The first thing you need to know is that there is a statute of limitations on accident injury cases in Surprise and throughout the state of Arizona. This means that you must file your lawsuit within a prescribed amount of time or a judge will not hear your case. In the state of Arizona, under ARS 12-542, victims have two years from the date of the slip and fall accident to file a lawsuit for recompense. This is different from other types of accidents, so it is important to understand that the statute of limitations is firm for slip and fall accidents and to make certain that you begin filing your claim as quickly as possible. If you file within the statute of limitations and you have a good case, you may have what is referred to under Arizona state law as a Premises Liability case.
What Are the Major Factors in a Successful Premises Liability Case?
When you need to file a lawsuit because you suffered injuries in a Surprise slip and fall accident, you'll find out quickly that there are some important points to consider, and that a strong case will cover all of the components without leaving any loopholes. The four most important factors in proving a good slip and fall accident case are:
- Establishing proof of the ownership of the property where the accident occurred or who is in control of the property. This can help a judge to determine who is at fault for the injuries you sustained and can help make your case stronger.
- Establishing the responsibility of the owner of the property or the person who supervises the property in ensuring that the property is safe for all those individuals who are allowed to be there, such as guests or customers.
- Proving that a lack of responsibility to care for the property on the part of the owner or the supervising or managing authority led to the conditions that allowed the accident to occur.
- Proving that it was the poor condition of the property that led to the accident and subsequently caused your injuries.
When you are trying to determine whether or not you have a strong case that can be won, it is important to make sure that you can establish all four of the critical elements of your slip and fall accident case. An experienced personal injury accident attorney can help you make this determination and can help you understand what elements of your case are strong, which elements of your case are weak, what your rights are, and what responsibilities you have throughout your recovery and throughout your case to ensure that you are treated fairly and get the compensation you deserve.
How an Attorney Can Help You With Your Surprise Slip and Fall Accident
If you are involved in a Surprise slip and fall accident, the chances that you will sustain injuries and require representation can be very high. Many people sustain injuries in their accidents each year. And while you are not required to have an attorney help you with your lawsuit—there are many people who choose to negotiate on their own—there are several ways in which an attorney can help you. After a slip and fall accident, it is likely that the management or owners of the establishment where you had your accident will try to get you to admit in some fashion that you were responsible for your accident or get you to accept a much smaller settlement for injuries. Aside from telling those who ask that you are injured by a fall in their store and that you need medical attention, you should not say anything else, unless it is to your own attorney. An attorney can make certain that you don't receive a gift card for your injuries and suffering, but that you receive proper financial compensation for your injuries, lost time, lost income, medical bills, and more.
Furthermore, a skilled personal injury attorney will do whatever it takes to ensure that you get the care and fair treatment you deserve, such as gathering evidence (like security footage from the store security cameras), talking to witnesses, and negotiating with the other party based on the Premises Liability Law. And if negotiations fail, your attorney will represent you and your interests in a court of law.
If you slipped and fell, and were injured due to the negligent actions or inactions of a business owner or property manager, reach out for a free consultation on your case today with The Husband and Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C.