As we go about our daily lives, we trust that businesses will maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner. However, when businesses fail to inspect and maintain their premises, visitors may experience slip and fall injuries. Although some of these sudden and terrifying situations can result in very minor injuries, others can lead to permanent, life-long disabilities. When a property owner fails to adhere to laws requiring them to provide minimum repairs and warnings, a person injured on the property may file a lawsuit seeking compensation for his or her injuries. The Phoenix slip and fall lawyers at Abels & Annes are available to review the circumstances of your premises liability accident and advise whether a lawsuit to recover damages is appropriate for your situation.
Understanding Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Although a slip and fall accident can lead to a wide variety of injuries, many victims experience a few common types of painful outcomes. When someone falls suddenly, they may thrust their arm, leg, elbow or some other extremity out in an attempt to brace the fall. This can lead to a stress fracture or a broken bone. If the person is unable to break their fall, landing on a hip, ankle, knee or some other area of their body can lead to painful breaks that require long recovery times or multiple surgeries. Also, for older individuals, they face a higher risk of suffering broken bones in a fall, particularly if they already have weakened bones due to conditions like osteoporosis.
Finally, if a victim trips and falls on or around stairs or a drop-off like a balcony or a walkway, the individual may sustain serious bodily injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and broken bones, as a result of the lengthy descent.
Pursuing Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents
Under Arizona law, Phoenix landowners owe individuals who visit their property a certain duty of care to keep them safe. The level of care that landowners owe depends on the reason that the individuals are visiting the property. Landowners who invite people to the property for a business reason owe them the highest level of care. These landowners have a duty to reasonably inspect the property, and provide warnings of or repairs to known dangers. This includes any dangers that landowners should have discovered through a reasonable investigation of the property. Landowners who invite individuals to the property for social reasons, like family and friends, have a duty to warn against known dangerous conditions on the property.
If you are injured in a premises liability accident, it is important to collect evidence from the scene, such as photos of where you fell. If you fell in a business establishment, you should report your accident to the manager or owner. In addition, you should seek any needed medical care, and reach out to legal counsel as soon as possible. A skilled slip and fall attorney can evaluate your case to determine what information you will need to gather, and any other steps you will need to take in order to pursue a legal claim after your accident.
Landowners who are facing lawsuits alleging that their property was poorly or inadequately maintained have a few defenses available to them. One is the open and obvious doctrine, which excuses the landowner from liability for injuries that a guest sustained as a result of an open and obvious danger. The danger posed by a standard set of stairs is open and obvious, and a reasonable person will exercise caution by holding onto a handrail and adjusting their pace when approaching, traveling down, or walking next to a stairway.
If you are successful in showing that the landowner failed to maintain the property in an appropriate manner, you can recover compensation for your slip and fall injuries. Common categories of recoverable damages include past and future estimated medical expenses, missed paychecks, reduced earning capacity, and reduced quality of life.
Free Consultation with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Phoenix
To protect your legal rights after suffering an injury on someone else’s property, seek a consultation with an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney. At Abels & Annes, we represent individuals who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. We provide a free consultation to discuss your situation and whether we may be able to assist you in pursuing recovery. Call us today at (602) 819-5191 or contact us online.