Dealing with slip and fall accidents on your own can be troublesome. At Wattel & York, our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are available to review your case at no charge. We also can advise you on your legal options for pursuing recourse against all parties liable for your injuries or losses.
If you’re unsure about working with a Phoenix slip and fall accidents attorney, read on for some of our most frequently asked questions. Or call us at Wattel & York today to schedule your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about A Phoenix Slip and Fall Case
What constitutes a slip and fall accident?
The phrase “slip and fall” describes a personal injury case in which a person slips, trips, or falls. If the individual becomes injured as the result of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, then they may be entitled to compensation.
When there are risky conditions outside or inside someone’s property, it could be detrimental to others. People who suffer trip and fall accidents that result in injuries can sue for damages, and the injured party can file a claim against a commercial, public, or residential entity. All property owners can be liable for a slip and fall incident if they are negligent.
Who’s at fault for my slip, trip, or fall incident?
A slip injury can happen anywhere and at any time. Dangerous conditions in parking lots, grocery stores, restrooms, schools, playgrounds, and private residencies can cause some of the worst accidents.
Head trauma, broken bones, neck and spine damage, and more are some of the most common injuries suffered in trip accidents. Although slipping is fairly common, slip and fall victims are often mistaken when they assume the accident was their fault.
When you sit down with an injury lawyer for a free consultation, they may explain that at least 50% of trip accidents are the fault of the business owner, establishment, landlord, or homeowner.
The at-fault party has some level of responsibility to ensure their premises are safe, and your trip and fall injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. If owners fail to ensure the premises are safe and a fall occurs, they can be liable for negligence based upon premise liability laws.
What are premises liability cases?
Trip, slip, or fall accidents are categorized as “premises liability” cases. These types of claims center around the responsibility of property owners to maintain their property. Premises liability personal injury cases are governed under negligence law.
The key to winning a premises liability claim is to provide proof of negligence. It won’t always be easy to prove that a property owner knew, or should have known, about the danger on their property and failed to have it repaired or removed. Since plaintiffs bear the burden of demonstrating proof, many turn to experienced Arizona slip and fall lawyers when accidents occur, and they suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence.
Structural damages to a building and surrounding area on private property have also severely injured victims. However, before one can prove negligence, they need to demonstrate that the property’s owner knew or should have known about the problem and did nothing to rectify it.
When victims suffer slip and fall injuries, proving liability is pivotal before they can seek compensation. Arizona law also dictates that negligence can be proven when a property owner violates a statute, such as not having installed handrails, and an injury occurs as a result. If your legal team can prove other parties acted negligently, then the liable party will need to pay for your medical treatment.
What type of injuries happen after a slip, trip, or fall?
The National Safety Council reports that the average slip and fall injury can cost upwards of $30,000 in medical bills and medical treatment. Injuries sustained range from minor to major. If an accident happened because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation.
The following are some of the most common serious injuries associated with trip incidents:
- Back and spinal cord injury
- Broken hips
- Broken pelvic bones
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrist, arm, and ankle fractures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 5 slip and fall cases results in a serious injury. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
If you experience TBI because a fall happened, speak with a Phoenix slip and fall lawyer about filing a personal injury claim to work towards financial recovery because of your injuries and lost wages. Slip and fall attorneys can help you prove liability now or immediately after your accident transpired.
Victims often suffer head injuries, including concussions, or TBI. Accidental deaths have even occurred. Even “mild” instances of TBI can result in long-term adverse consequences for victims, including cognitive and memory problems, and issues involving poor balance and mobility.
How are slip and fall cases classified?
Slip and fall claims are generally considered negligence claims under tort law. This means that to establish liability for your slip and fall injury, you’ll have to prove the following four elements:
- You must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care.
- You must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care.
- You must prove that your injury was caused by the defendant’s breach.
- You must prove that you suffered losses because of your injury.
How are property visitors and guests defined under AZ law?
Arizona property owners must take certain measures depending on the legal status of the visitor. Which legal status applies to the party injured by the slip and falls depends on the nature of their status on the property. Generally, visitors fall into the following three categories:
A business invitee is someone who enters the property for a business purpose (e.g., most customers). The property owner owes an invitee a duty of “reasonable care” to keep the property “reasonably safe.”
A licensee is someone who enters the property with permission (e.g., most social guests). The property owner must warn the licensee of any dangerous condition that creates an unreasonable risk of harm. Property owners can be held liable if the property owner knows about the condition and the licensee is not likely to notice it.
A trespasser is someone who enters the property without permission. Business owners don’t owe trespassers any duty of care unless the trespasser is a child. In that case, the attractive nuisance doctrine applies, and the landowner must exercise reasonable care to avoid a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to children caused by artificial conditions on the land.
Who’s responsible for slip and fall accidents?
The vast majority of slip and fall personal injury claims involve invitees. Determining whether a property owner kept the property reasonably safe will depend on the specific facts of each legal claim.
A property owner is not obliged with a duty to warn an invitee if a dangerous condition is “open and obvious.” An “open and obvious” condition would have been clear to any reasonable person.
If you slip and fall on public property, your case will be treated differently. There are strict notice and filing requirements that must be complied with when suing a public entity. That’s why personal injury specialists recommend Wattel & York, because of our experience.
Can I be found at fault for my slip, trip, and fall accident?
Arizona follows the pure comparative fault theory. This means the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover is reduced by their percentage of fault.
Imagine a judge finds that you are 20% at fault for an accident; under Arizona’s pure comparative fault theory, you would only be able to recover 80% of total damages from the defendant.
What should I do after a bad fall?
If you are seriously injured after a slip incident, then call for emergency medical responders. People who have been in slip and falls should try to stay still if they are experiencing pain when moving or breathing.
If you have been hurt, but your injuries permit you to move around, then you should use your phone to get pictures and videos of the scene. The evidence you collect can be used for an incident report and help you get one step closer to recovering compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company.
Can I sue for a slip and fall accident?
If a trip or fall accident occurred, there’s a chance it was because of some hazard. If that’s the case, the owner or business may be liable for your injuries. That means AZ tort law gives you the right to sue to recover compensation because of the injuries you experienced when the accident ensued.
When should I hire a slip and fall lawyer?
If you’ve suffered injuries due to a slip and fall accident, you need a qualified attorney on your side as soon as possible. Just like you would hire a motor vehicle accident attorney if you’re in a car crash, personal injury attorneys can also offer support when you’re injured in a fall.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, call Wattel & York, fall lawyers, now at (866) 763-4705, or submit a case form. Call us now! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It’s important to remember that a premises liability lawsuit must be filed in the state of Arizona before the statute of limitations expires, so contact us today.