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Scottsdale Slip and Fall Lawyers from SIL Hired to Help Woman who Fell at Grocery Store and Suffered Broken Arm Injury
The slip and fall lawyers from Scottsdale Injury Lawyers were recently retained to represent a woman who fell at a Fry’s Grocery Store near Scottsdale. The client slipped and fell on a slippery substance that was left on the floor. As a result of the slip and fall, the client fractured her left arm near her wrist. The client required a surgery with hardware to rebuild her broken arm. The client has incurred tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and is now permanently disabled.
The Scottsdale Slip and Fall Injury
The slip and fall injury occurred in the greater Scottsdale area. Specifically, the client fell at the Fry’s Food and Drug grocery store located at 4815 E. Carefree Highway in Cave Creek, Arizona. As the client was proceeding down aisle 10 of the store, her foot came into contact with a slippery substance.
The floors of the store were polished concrete. Polished concrete can often be slicker than other floor surfaces such as vinyl plank, linoleum or tile with grout lines. The substance on the floor combined with the slippery substance created a slick and dangerous hazard.
The client was 70 years old at the time of the fall and is a retired registered nurse. When the client’s foot came into contact with the slippery substance it slid forward. This caused the client to lose her balance and fall backward. The Client extended her left arm out to break her fall. When she did so, her left hand and arm came into violent contact with the floor. The client heard a loud crack as she fractured her radius and ulna.
There are two bones in the lower arm—the radius and ulna. These bones run from the elbow to wrist. The radius is the thicker of the two bones and is considered the bigger bone even though the ulna is longer. The radius is the bone that is closer to the thumb. If standing with the palms turned forward, the radius would be the outside bone.
The Medical Treatment Required for the Slip and Fall Injury
The client fractured her left radius and ulna at the end near the wrist. Emergency responders came to the store and splinted her arm. The client then went to the emergency department of a nearby hospital where she was evaluated for head, spine and arm injuries. X-rays of her left arm revealed that she had sustained a comminuted, displaced, fracture of her radius at the head.
A comminuted fracture is a fracture that results in a break of the bone into two or more pieces. Typically, comminuted fractures are the result of an acute trauma because they require significant force. These types of breaks are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls and sports injuries. The attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers have encountered this type of break numerous times. Our attorneys have experience litigating cases and settling personal injury claims involving comminuted bone fractures.
These types of breaks are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls and sports injuries.
A displaced fracture is one that is no longer in anatomical alignment. A comminuted fracture does not always result in displacement. For example, someone can break a bone into two pieces but the two pieces can remain anatomically aligned. When this is the case, the bone is not displaced. Unfortunately for the client, her radius was not only broken into two pieces but was also out of anatomical alignment.
The client also suffered a fracture of her ulna at the end where it connected to her wrist. However, this fracture was not displaced. Since the client’s radius was displaced, the emergency physician attempted to “set” the bone which is nothing more than trying to reposition the broken pieces of the bone back into anatomical alignment.
The client received a nerve block injection to her wrist to alleviate the pain during this procedure. Her fracture was then set. Additional x-rays were then taken after the procedure to confirm that her broken radius was better aligned. The client’s left arm was immobilized in a splint and sling. The client was then discharged with an instruction to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon.
The Surgery That Was Required Due to the Slip and Fall
The client met with an orthopedic surgeon and underwent surgery five days after the fall. The surgery that was performed was an open reduction internal fixation surgery. This is the procedure that is typically used to repair a comminuted, displaced, fracture.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure involves making an incision to gain access to the broken bone. Once the bone is exposed, the fracture site is identified and then placed back into alignment. Once aligned, a metal plate and screws or pegs (hardware) are used to hold the two broken pieces of bone in place. This includes screws on opposite sides of the broken bone with the plate limiting the ability of the bone pieces to move once affixed.
Once the hardware is placed, diagnostic images are taken to ensure acceptable alignment. The incision is then cleaned and stitched or stapled closed. In the client’s case she had more than 8 screws and pegs inserted as well as the metal plate. Below is a video that shows an open reduction internal fixation surgery of the radius. The video was made by New York University for educational purposes. Please note that the video has graphic content showing an actual surgical procedure.
The client underwent months of post-operative physical therapy and multiple steroid injections. The client now has limited range of motion in her wrist and can feel the hardware through her skin. She also has sensitivity to weather and her arm aches when it rains or is cold. The client also developed carpal tunnel syndrome which was caused by the fracture and surgery. The client further has an unsightly scar left by the surgical incision. The client will never be the same.
The Claims Our Slip and Fall Lawyers Are Advancing
Under Arizona law, a business owner has a duty to keep his or her premises reasonably safe for customers. This includes taking reasonable steps to safeguard against hazards and eliminate dangerous conditions on the property. For a grocery store, this includes keeping the floors free from debris and liquids that could cause someone to slip or trip and fall. If a business or property owner fails to do this, it, he or she is guilty of negligence.
Under Arizona law, a business owner has a duty to keep his or her premises reasonably safe for customers.
However, a business owner must have notice of a dangerous condition and time to correct it in order to be held responsible. A business owner has a duty to reasonably inspect its premises or property to make sure it is clear of trip, slip and fall hazards. For grocery stores, this includes sweeping the floor during regular intervals and performing visual inspections at least every hour. The amount of inspections that are required could be more or less depending on the volume of customers or foot traffic a store has. If the store is very busy and has lots of foot traffic, then the store must perform more inspections and sweeps to establish that it acted reasonably to protect its visitors.
Of course, if an employee of the store or the store owner him or herself creates the dangerous hazard, then he or she has notice and is responsible. For example, if a store employee spilled a beverage and failed to clean it up, the store would be liable for any resulting injury the spill caused. Likewise, if an employee mopped the floor and left it wet without adequate warning signs, the store could be held liable for resulting injuries. Below are some examples of when an employee or store owner could be responsible for creating a dangerous trip, slip or fall hazard:
- Spilling a liquid and failing to clean it up
- Leaving a floor wet after mopping without adequate warning signs
- Leaving a pallet on the store floor that causes someone to trip and fall
- Placing product or merchandise in an area that should be free from obstruction
- Dropping a piece of produce that causes someone to slip and fall
- Dropping a wrapper or other debris on the floor that causes a fall
- Performing construction improperly resulting in a fall hazard
- Allowing a refrigeration unit to leak that could result in water on the floor and a slip hazard
There are numerous situations where a store or business could be responsible for a slip and fall or trip and fall injury. As such, if you or a loved one was injured by a trip and fall or slip and fall at a business, you should consult a skilled personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. The slip and fall attorneys at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers regularly handle slip and fall cases and have extensive experience in this area.
Contact a Scottsdale Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury as the result of a trip and fall or slip and fall at a business or on another’s property contact Scottsdale Injury Lawyers today. An experienced personal injury attorney is available now to discuss your case. A consultation is free. There is no retainer to pay or any up-front costs or fees. We only earn a fee if we recover money for you.
About the author: The content on this page was provided by Scottsdale personal injury attorney and civil rights lawyer Tony Piccuta. Piccuta graduated with honors from Indiana University-Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana (Ranked Top 35 US News & World Report 2018). Piccuta took and passed the State bars of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada (all on the first try). He actively practices throughout Arizona and California. He is a trial attorney that regularly handles serious personal injury cases and civil rights lawsuits. He has obtained six and seven figure verdicts in both state and federal court. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers for six years straight. He is a member of the Arizona Association of Justice, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association, American Association for Justice, National Police Accountability Project and Consumer Attorneys of California, among other organizations.
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