Slip and Fall FAQs
A slip and fall accident often happens suddenly and without much warning. In some situations, this kind of fall can lead to minor injuries that heal over time, but in others it can lead to permanent and painful disabilities. Under Arizona law, a victim of a premises liability accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the owner and operator of the property where the fall took place. For most people, this will be the first time that he or she has filed a lawsuit or dealt with the legal system, which can seem incredibly overwhelming, especially if you are coping with painful injuries. At Abels & Annes, our seasoned team of Phoenix slip and fall lawyers is prepared to answer your questions and to help you understand whether you are entitled to compensation.
A slip and fall can happen in a number of ways. One of the most common examples is when there is a wet substance on a floor like spilled liquid in a grocery store. Tangible items like fallen produce, paper, and gravel can also cause a slip and fall accident to happen. During times of severe weather like heavy rain, we have seen several cases where a leaking roof causes a bad fall. This type of injury could happen in either a business or a home. Also, it is not uncommon for someone to slip and fall in a restaurant or store bathroom due to a leaking sink or toilet. Finally slip or trip and falls often occur on defective stairs that are not up to code or that have old and worn carpeting.
One of the most important things to do following a trip or slip and fall is to gather evidence related to the incident, such as eyewitness statements or photographs of the scene. If you are injured at a place of business, you should inform the owner or manager of your fall as well. It is critical to seek medical care if you need it, and if you are experiencing pain, do not refuse to be transported by ambulance. You should also consult a dedicated slip and fall attorney serving Phoenix to learn about your legal options and any deadlines that may apply to taking action in your case.
If you are hurt in this kind of accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Filing a civil claim requires the plaintiff to comply with the local court rules and to file the lawsuit within the specified statute of limitations. If the plaintiff’s case is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, the case will typically be dismissed. There are fees associated with filing a civil claim, including an initial filing fee. Once the case is filed, the court will set a number of dates, including the date for when the trial will take place. Before trial, the parties will engage in discovery. This includes sending written questions seeking information like documents and photographs as well as taking depositions. The discovery process can take many months or years to complete, and there is a fair amount of strategy involved to ensure that you collect as much information as possible.
Slip and fall accidents generally give rise to personal injury claims. In this type of lawsuit, you must show that the defendant failed to uphold his or her duty to you. Arizona law applies a different level of duty to a landowner based on his or her relationship to the accident victim. A business owner owes the highest duty of care to a guest or customer, which means that they must make routine inspections and repair dangerous conditions, or provide adequate warnings. A landowner owes a social guest a duty to provide warnings about known dangerous conditions on the property. The level of duty that the landowner owed to you is a major factor in the outcome of your case. It is important to ensure that the court classifies the landowner appropriately. A skilled Phoenix slip and fall lawyer can help you argue the relevant issues as to the degree of liability that the defendant in your case should be subject to.
You are not required to retain an attorney to file a personal injury claim or to negotiate with an insurance company, but there are many reasons why it is a good idea to consult with a legal professional. From navigating the many procedural rules that you must follow in order to have your claim heard to understanding the many affirmative defenses that the defense may assert against your claim, an experienced professional can ensure that your rights are protected and that you pursue the maximum amount of recovery.
In reality, it is very unlikely that you will receive anywhere close to full value on your case without a personal injury lawyer advocating for your rights. Also, insurance carriers love it when an accident victim doesn’t hire a lawyer. It usually saves the company lots of money at the time of settlement. Finally, if insurance companies treated injury victims fairly, we would be out of business. There would be no need for our services.
It can be difficult to know what you should do first after a sudden slip and fall accident. At Abels & Annes, we provide a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and whether we can assist you. We are happy to answer your questions and to help you learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your legal rights. To schedule your appointment, call us at (602) 819-5191 or contact us online to get started.