Slip and fall injuries and settlements in Arizona

People often laugh at portrayals of slip and fall accidents. When someone slips on a wet floor in a movie, the audience finds it hilarious. Banana peels, bath water, and mopped floors are all situations that cause hilarity: unless you are the one falling. In fact, about one millionpeople visit the emergency room each year due to a slip and fall incident. Others visit urgent care facilities or receive treatment from their primary care doctors. These incidents are common at home, at work, in a store or in a neighbor’s home. They can cause serious, long-term injuries and are never funny in real life. Everyone needs to understand the severity of these accidents and know what to do if they are a slip and fall victim. Otherwise, they may be financially as well as physically damaged.

The Injured

Almost anyone can be the victim of a slip and fall, but the elderly are most vulnerable. As people age, they often suffer more balance issues as well as fragile bones. Seniors are at risk of serious bone fractures that can compromise the quality of their lives. In fact, half of seniors who are hospitalized due to a hip fracture never fully recover from the injury. More elderly people die from the injuries sustained in a fall than those in any other age group.

Women are more likely to slip and fall than men, although the fatality rates from these accidents are about the same. Workers suffer from a number of slip and fall incidents, and these accidents are the main cause of missed days at work. Slip and fall accidents are also the main cause of worker’s compensation claims, and 85% of those claims are tied to slick floor slip and falls at work.

People often picture slip and falls as involving heights, but that is usually not the case. Slip and falls at home most often do not involve upper stories but take place on a building’s lower level. These accidents are amazingly common and can take place anywhere. Almost no one gets through life without slipping and falling numerous times.

Injury Types

Those who slip and fall might be lucky and escape with nothing more than a few bruises. Others suffer serious injuries, including bone fractures, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries.

People frequently slip on hard flooring surfaces, so when they land, they are particularly vulnerable to injury. They will most likely fall backward, striking their head and/or spine on concrete, tile or wooden floors. Many end up with concussions, some of which are minor and cause no lasting problems. More serious head injuries can cause long-term cognitive issues that make returning to work difficult or impossible and result in crushing medical bills.

Spinal injuries of any type are serious and require expert medical attention. In some instances, the victim will suffer permanent mobility issues, including paralysis of some or all of their limbs.

Arm, leg and hip fractures are also a frequent result of slip and fall accidents and can also cause lasting harm. Soft tissue injuries are often more subtle, but these muscle strains and tears can be incredibly painful and negatively impact the victim’s daily life.

Injury Causes

Slipping and falling is a common hazard, and many people do so multiple times in a year. Often, wet, slick surfacescause these accidents. Something as simple as a recently mopped floor or a spilled drink can send people flying into the air. Flooring is also often to blame, and a loose tile or sliding patch of rug can be the culprit in these accidents. A simple thunderstorm can mean a puddle of water ends up by the front door, causing others to slip. And yes, people do slip on banana peels and other items that people carelessly drop to the floor.

Sometimes, people who are injured in a slip and fall accident do not seek out a lawyer, perhaps because they do not want to blame anyone for an accident. Unfortunately, failing to get legal advice can mean victims suffer physically and financially for years to come.

Damage Awards

With the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, victims can receive financial damagesfor their injuries, often through a settlement negotiated with the defendant. The attorney will work to include medical expenses, lost earnings, future lost income and pain and suffering into the settlement.

Many states take the fault of the victim into account when it comes to damage awards. Arizona is a comparative negligence state, so a victim’s award could be reduced by their percentage of the fault, which is a more liberal policy than some other states have. For instance, in Alabama, a person cannot receive damages if they are determined to be even 1% at fault. However in Arizona, slip and fall victims often take home a generous damages award, but they must take action within the two-year statute of limitations or they will not be able to file.

Legal Help

Those who slip and fall need to seek expert help so that they can receive the compensation that they deserve. The Schmidt Law Group in Phoenix, Arizona, has years of experience dealing with personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents. They know the ins and outs of Arizona law and understand what the court demands to establish negligence on the part of the property owner. These lawsuits are often complicated, so victims need a law firm with the knowledge necessary to establish a strong case.

The Schmidt Law Group offers a free, no obligation case evaluation to anyone involved in an accident. Potential clients may call 602 282-0047 or fill out a form online. Free iPhone and Android apps are also available to download.