When you slip and fall – in a store, theater, restaurant, or office space – your first thought may be to glance around to see if anyone saw you, then get away as quickly as possible to avoid further embarrassment. Even if you are hurt, you brush it off and say, “I’ll be better tomorrow.”
Brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and broken bones are among the painful injuries that can result from slip and fall accidents. If you are seriously hurt in an incident, there are two things you should never do: limp away and try to forget about it, and try to recover damages without the help of a lawyer. The Mesa slip and fall accident attorneys at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC have decades of experience in handling these cases. Our team can protect your rights and work to get the compensation you deserve if you are injured.
Contact us online or at (480) 999-9181 for compassionate legal counsel. In a free consultation in English or Spanish, we can learn more about your unique situation and offer you options should you wish to proceed with your case.
Types of Slip & Fall Injuries
Aside from injuries related to auto accidents, slip and fall is the most common form of injury case handled by personal injury attorneys. But “slip and fall” only describes how the injury occurred. It doesn't define the actual type of injury.
The following are the most common types of injuries sustained from a slip-and-fall accident.
- Cuts and Abrasions: These are minor injuries by comparison and usually do not need extensive medical treatment. Although they can look quite serious, they are generally just superficial wounds. In the worst cases, stitches are required, but cuts and abrasions usually heal without leaving behind any long-term effects.
- Broken Bones: This type of injury can range from a minor fracture to a serious break that requires extensive surgery. Bleeding can result from a broken bone – internal and/or external – so if you suspect that you have broken a bone, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Whether or not a bone is broken cannot always be determined at the site of the accident; an X-ray is the only way to assess the exact nature and extent of the break.
- Head Injuries: Head injuries should always be taken seriously, even if they seem minor. If a blow to the head results in swelling, bleeding, or loss of consciousness, seek medical help without delay. Serious head injuries may only have minor symptoms at first; what may seem to be a minor concussion could actually be a traumatic brain injury that could lead to impairment for the rest of your life. If an accident results in a head injury, go directly to a doctor or hospital, no matter how “fine” you may feel.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: This is among the most serious types of injuries in a slip and fall accident, as they can result in paralysis – full or partial – and even death. Immediate medical help is necessary to properly treat the injury and prevent further damage. Long-term care is often needed after a spinal cord injury, and medical bills can easily go into millions of dollars.
- Soft tissue injuries: This type of injury can range from sprains to tears in tendons and ligaments. Since they aren’t visible, it isn’t always known how serious they are unless examined by a doctor, and they can be difficult to prove in a personal injury case. Soft tissue injuries can lead to long-term complications if untreated, so it is important to seek medical assistance.
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by a wide range of factors. Some common causes of these accidents include wet or slippery flooring, which can happen if floors have recently been waxed or if someone spilled liquid and neglected to clean it up. Sometimes, poorly maintained property conditions like loose or torn carpeting, poor lighting, and broken stairs or handrails can also contribute to these accidents. Property managers and owners are required by law to maintain their premises and keep their properties and buildings safe for tenants and visitors.
What You Must Prove to Win a Slip & Fall Case
Getting compensation for a slip and fall injury isn’t as easy as just saying, “The floor was wet, I slipped and fell, and broke my hip. I’ll be out of work for a couple of months.” In any slip and fall case, liability must be proven, and the amount of the damages must be established.
Proving Liability: Damages can be recovered only if it can be proven that the other party was negligent in performing its duties, and this led directly to the victim’s injuries. Proving negligence isn’t always easy, and every case is different. The premises and circumstances must be carefully examined in the light of state and local laws. An experienced lawyer will know what is important and what isn’t.
Establishing Damages: After it has been proven that negligence was the cause of the injury, damages must be established. In other words, how much should the victim be awarded? Lost income, medical expenses, other bills, and non-economic factors all come into play. Medical records and letters from doctors must be obtained, and income and tax information must be carefully reviewed. These details are important in establishing damages, and an attorney will know what to look for.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, don’t ignore it, and don’t try to fight it alone. Personal injury and premises liability laws are complex and difficult to navigate.
Why Hire an Attorney for a Slip & Fall Injury?
If someone is injured in a car accident, it is usually not hard to determine who is at fault. But slip and fall cases aren’t so cut and dried. The party at fault – perhaps a retail store or another business establishment – will rarely admit responsibility, and it’s not easy to prove liability and damages. Thorough knowledge of state and local laws is needed; there are definite do’s and don’ts after a slip-and-fall accident, and by doing the wrong thing or not doing the right thing, the victim could inadvertently put the entire case in jeopardy. Witnesses may need to be called on to provide statements. Only an experienced attorney knows how to navigate these waters, establish the necessary facts, and get the compensation you are entitled to.
An attorney is indispensable to a slip-and-fall case in the following areas:
- Securing Evidence: Supporting evidence is needed to provide liability. The victim has a right to this evidence, and an attorney can provide invaluable advice on both what evidence is needed and how to get it.
- Dealing with Insurance Adjusters: A personal injury case cannot be settled without communicating with insurers. And insurance companies are not looking out for the victim’s best interests. On the contrary, they are almost always the opposing party in the case. An experienced attorney knows the tactics that are used by insurers to try to delay or dismiss personal injury claims and knows how to deal with them. Additionally, insurance companies are more apt to respond and act when they know they are dealing with a lawyer.
Ready to begin the healing process? Call our Mesa slip and fall accident attorneys at (480) 999-9181 for a free consultation. When you hire our firm, you won’t be passed off to a case manager. Our attorneys want to speak with you and work with you directly.
"Jess was amazing. He instantly put my mind at ease on the handling of my case. If you want great results and to deal with great people, Jess Gulbrandsen is who you need to see after a car accident."Todd, Client
"I got into a real bad roll-over, and they did everything to their ability to get me what was right. I just want to give a huge thanks to Chris and Ria for all the wonderful help and time that they put into my case, as it was a long one."Matt, Client
"My experience with Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience has been nothing short of amazing... I recommend Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience to all my friends and family."Rusty, Client
A Record of ResultsWe have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients throughout Arizona and are proud members of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
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When you hire our firm, you will work with one attorney from start to finish, ensuring that your representation is intimately familiar with the details of your case.