his type of injury occurs when a person slips, trips or falls on another person’s property as a result of hazardous or dangerous conditions and is commonly referred to in legal terms as a personal injury case. According to the National Injury Prevention and Control, more than 8 million people were injured in 2004 from falls. These types of injuries are especially problematic for the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 15,000 people, age 65 or older, died from falls in 2005.
Slip and fall accidents at commercial or residential establishments can cause serious personal injury. If a property owner or its manager’s negligence regarding the safety of their premises directly results in you sustaining a slip and fall injury, you may be entitled to compensation under Arizona’s premises liability laws.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
The majority of slip and fall injuries result from an uneven walking surface or unmarked wet grounds. Other hazards that can directly cause a slip and fall injury include:
- Holes in the floor
- Poor lighting
- Surface design flaws
- Lack of, or inadequate, handrails
- Unconnected floor mats
While some slip and fall accidents do not result in serious, physical harm, the fact is that injuries sustained in this manner are responsible for the second highest number of personal injures, second only to automobile and car accidents.
Additional staggering slip and fall statistics include:
- 1 million injuries result from falls annually within America
- The greatest number of nonfatal injuries treated by emergency rooms are fall-related
- Approximately 60 percent of all falls resulting in personal injury are slip and fall accidents
What to Do
Taking the proper steps following a slip and fall incident improves your chances for full compensation for injuries, so be aware of several steps to follow after an incident:
- Obtain contact information for witnesses that saw what happened.
- Survey the area for what caused the incident, noting any signs, video or surveillance equipment that could have captured the incident.
- Report the incident to store management staff and ask that an incident report be filled out, and indicate that you’ll be seeking medical treatment.
- After you give your report, have the manager sign it and give you a copy.
- Go to a doctor to determine your present and long-term injuries.
- Contact an attorney that handles slip and fall cases.
What Not to Do
Do not sign anything immediately following the incident before you speak to an attorney. No matter how minor the incident seems to be, always see your doctor. Injuries from falls often show up later. And, don’t wait too long before you seek legal action. A statute of limitations could cause your case to be thrown out of court, if too much time has lapsed.
Who Might be Responsible
A personal injury lawyer can investigate the specific facts of your claim to determine all parties that might be at fault. Most slip and fall cases usually involve premises liability laws that may include claims on homeowners, land owners, business owners, municipalities, possessors of property, as well as abutting business owners and abutting land owners.
Obtaining Financial Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
As with any premises liability lawsuit, in order to obtain compensation for your damages, the property owner or its manager must have been negligent in providing adequate safety.
Factors that may have to be proven in order to obtain compensation include:
- Unsafe conditions caused by the property owner or its manager directly resulted in your slip and fall accident
- The unsafe conditions must have been known or reported to the owner or its manager prior to injury and the owner or manager failed to correct it
Additionally, exceptions exist, which generally inhibit you from obtaining compensation for your damages:
- Trespassing – If you were trespassing on personal property, you may not be able to obtain compensation for injuries sustained.
- Workplace accidents – Workers’ compensation laws generally apply to slip and fall accidents that occur in the workplace. However, if your accident occurred outside the workplace or even in the workplace, you may be able to obtain additional damages.
Accidents Involving Children
Property owners may still be held liable for slip and fall injuries to children even if they adequately warned the child about the presence of a hazardous condition. Children, by nature, are less able to process and understand the severity of hazardous conditions. Therefore, they may still fail to exhibit the necessary caution while in the presence of danger.
Each slip and fall accident case requires the knowledge and experience of a premises liability attorney who can survey your case with an eye for detail in order to determine if you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
Contact Attorney Jerrold Mayro
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident in the Tucson, Mesa, or Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact our Arizona slip and fall office today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule your personal consultation with Jerrold A. Mayro.