What steps should you take if you are injured because you slipped and fell on a damp floor at a supermarket, or you tripped and fell on uneven carpeting at a hotel or a restaurant? Seek medical attention first, then contact a Phoenix slip-and-fall attorney as quickly as possible.
What are your rights as an injured victim of negligence? To acquire compensation after a slip-and-fall incident on someone else’s property, you may have to show that the owner of the property was careless or negligent. How can you prove that an owner was careless or negligent?
If you keep reading, you will find some answers, but if you are the injured victim of a slip-and-fall incident, you must also seek personalized legal advice from a Phoenix premises liability lawyer.
What Does the Law Require?
The law requires Arizona property owners to maintain private properties with the aim of reducing hazards that may pose risks to visitors. Arizona property owners may be held accountable for injuries that are sustained on their properties.
A property owner, however, is not liable for accidents that he or she could not reasonably foresee or prevent. Should you fall into your neighbor’s pool or barbecue pit while you are distracted by your phone, it’s not your neighbor’s fault.
However, if there is a hazard that poses a risk to a private property’s visitors, and if someone is injured because of that hazard, the owner is liable for the personal injuries if: the owner created the dangerous condition, or was aware and did not fix the hazard or should have discovered the hazard if the owner had used reasonable care before you were injured
What Should You Do if a Slip-and-Fall Happens?
Obtain medical help immediately if you are injured. You’ll need the documentation of your injury and treatment if you take legal steps to recover compensation for medical bills and lost earnings.
You will also need that documentation to prove that you were actually injured in the slip-and-fall incident. If you’re not examined and/or treated right away, a property owner’s insurance company may claim that you were actually injured at another place and time and in another way.
Take photos of the spot where you were injured immediately. If there were eyewitnesses, ask for their names and contact details. To prevail with an premises claim, you must prove that whoever controls the property was aware of or should have been aware of the hazard responsible for your injury.
How Can You Prove That a Property Owner Was Negligent?
In order to receive compensation, the “plaintiff” (the victim of the injury) and the plaintiff’s attorney must prove each “element” of the injury claim:
1. The “defendant” (the owner of the property) owed his or her visitors a “duty of care.” 2. The owner’s negligence breached that duty of care.
3. Breaching the duty of care was a direct cause of the victim’s personal injury or injuries.
We owe others a different duty of care in different situations. Homeowners, for example, owe their guests a simple duty of care and are required by law only to keep properties reasonably safe, alert visitors to known dangers, and avoid creating hazards.
In other cases, a more demanding duty of care is required. Retailers must take action to keep employees, customers, and contractors safe. You may tell friends the sidewalk is cracked at your residence, but cracks in the sidewalk of a business property require immediate action.
What Constitutes a Breach of the Duty of Care?
Here are some examples of how the owner of a property may breach the duty of care:
- a failure to warn visitors and guests about a threatening dog
- a failure to keep areas where the public has access reasonably free of hazards and debris
- a failure to mop up spills quickly at a supermarket
- a failure to prevent children from entering a swimming pool area
What if You Are Injured at Work?
If you sustain a slip-and-fall injury at your place of work, you probably cannot bring a personal injury claim against the employer, but you will probably qualify for workers’ compensation.
In Arizona, workers’ compensation pays for all medical expenses arising from workplace injuries, and it also partially reimburses injured workers for their lost earnings. If you sustain a slip-and-fall injury at work:
1. Seek medical help immediately.
2. Report your injury to the employer promptly.
3. Seek advice and guidance at once from a Phoenix slip-and-fall attorney.
What if You’re Injured on Public Property?
What steps should you take if you are injured in a slip-and-fall incident at a city park, on a city sidewalk, or at a public school, a public library, or another government property? Can you take legal action against a state or local government to seek compensation?
Yes, you can, but rather than a two-year statute of limitations, an injury victim has 180 days to file a claim, in writing, with the state or local government agency allegedly responsible for the personal injury. Ask a Phoenix premises liability lawyer to help you submit the claim.
When Should You Reach Out to an Attorney?
If you’ve missed the two-year statute of limitations deadline for legal action after a slip-and-fall injury, go ahead and speak to an attorney. It’s possible that your case might qualify under one of the very limited exceptions to the two-year rule.
But if you were injured recently, contact an attorney now. Your attorney should examine any physical evidence before it disappears or deteriorates, and your attorney should also interrogate any witnesses while their memories of the incident are fresh.
Is There More That Slip-and-Fall Victims Should Know?
If you are injured by slipping and falling in Arizona, and if a property owner or a government agency was negligent – or if you aren’t sure – it will not cost you anything to find out more or to begin the legal process.
Your first meeting with an Arizona premises liability lawyer is offered for free and without any obligation. Should you move forward with legal action, you will pay no fee to your attorney unless and until that attorney recovers the compensation you are entitled to by Arizona law.
If you were injured because another person was negligent, and if your Arizona premises liability lawyer attorney proves it, you will be compensated.