A slip and fall accident can cause serious injuries, including broken bones or head trauma. Property owners in Arizona have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their visitors, including to prevent foreseeable falls. If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Scottsdale or the surrounding area, the attorneys at Stone Rose Law can help you understand your rights. We are experienced premises liability lawyers who can help you pursue justice and financial compensation for your injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.
A slip and fall accident can lead to a complicated personal injury claim. You are facing a stressful uphill battle when going up against a property owner or insurance company if you do not hire a slip and fall attorney in Scottsdale. Insurance companies are notorious for putting their own interests above those of their clients. They are for-profit businesses that may try various tactics to avoid paying slip and fall accident victims.
An attorney representing you during the insurance claims process can prevent the insurer from taking advantage of you. Your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster to fight for maximum financial recovery on your behalf. Legal services from a law firm can include comprehensive accident investigation, evidence collection, claims filing and litigation in court, if necessary.
Your lawyer can work relentlessly to prove your case and combat potential defenses to liability that may be asserted by the accused party (defendant), such as that your own clumsiness or failure to pay attention caused the accident. An attorney can lend you greater peace of mind during this difficult time so that you can focus on healing from your injuries and moving forward without worrying about the legal process.
Premises liability is a legal theory that can hold a property owner legally and financially responsible (liable) for damages that arise out of an injury that occurs on that person’s property. If the property contained a defect that a reasonable and prudent property owner or controller would have fixed prior to the accident, and this defect causes injury to a victim, the owner can be held liable.
A slip and fall accident on someone else’s property could result in a premises liability claim in Scottsdale if the accident reasonably could have been prevented with an appropriate level of care. It will be up to you or your slip and fall attorney to establish the property owner’s negligence as more likely to be true than not true. This is known as a preponderance of the evidence.
You will need to present compelling evidence to establish the elements of your claim. These elements are: 1) the defendant was the owner or controller of the property where your fall accident took place, 2) the defendant was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property, 3) the defendant’s negligence caused your slip and fall accident, and 4) you were injured as a result. Your lawyer can help you understand and establish the elements of your premises liability claim.
Proving negligence in a slip and fall accident case requires evidence of a breach of the property owner’s duty of care to the visitor. A duty of care is a legal or ethical obligation to act reasonably or exercise ordinary care. Every property owner, leaser or controller in Arizona has a duty of care to visitors, but the specific responsibilities depend on the type of visitor.
There are three classifications:
You will need to determine which type of visitor you were at the time of your slip and fall accident to confirm your eligibility for a premises liability claim. If you were a trespasser, the property owner may not be financially responsible for your fall-related injuries. Our attorneys at Stone Rose Law can review your case for free and help you understand your visitor classification if you are unsure.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents result in an estimated one million emergency department visits each year in the United States. These accidents can occur on public sidewalks, in parking lots, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, apartment buildings, hotels, Airbnbs, cruise ships and various other locations. Property owners have a responsibility to check for and remedy dangerous conditions on their properties that present a foreseeable risk of slip or trip and fall accidents.
Common fall hazards include:
In bad weather conditions, a property owner in Scottsdale has a legal obligation to take due care to prevent fall hazards. This may include mopping wet floors in a timely manner and putting out “Caution: Wet Floor” signs. If a landowner fails to fulfill his or her duties of care toward a lawful visitor and this results in an unsafe property condition and slip and fall accident, the owner can be held responsible with a premises liability lawsuit.
A slip and fall accident can cause much worse injuries than just minor bumps and bruises. These accidents have the potential to inflict serious, catastrophic and even fatal injuries. For example, an elderly victim may suffer a fractured hip that results in medical complications and wrongful death.
Common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents in Scottsdale are:
If you already had an injury or medical condition prior to the accident, such as pre-existing back problems, a fall could exacerbate it. You can still recover financial compensation from a negligent property owner if you had a pre-existing condition; you may be eligible for compensation for the worsening of your injury. Contact our attorneys for legal advice about your specific injury diagnosis, prognosis and situation.
In Arizona, the owners of all residences, businesses and land must use reasonable care to prevent dangerous property defects. They must not let their properties fall into a state of disrepair. What constitutes “reasonable care” of a property depends on what a reasonable and prudent landowner would do in the same or similar circumstances. If the property owner falls short of this duty of care, he or she can be found liable for a related slip and fall accident.
The reasonable steps that a property owner may have to take to prevent fall accidents include:
During a premises liability claim, a judge or jury will review all of the evidence submitted by both the slip and fall accident victim and property owner. Then, the jury will decide whether the victim (plaintiff) met the burden of proof in establishing that the defendant failed to act with reasonable care. If so, the property owner will be found liable for the incident and be required to pay the victim a specific amount in damages (financial compensation). If not, the case will be dismissed.
Property owners are named in slip and fall accident lawsuits in Arizona more often than any other party. However, it is sometimes possible to hold someone other than the property owner responsible for this type of accident. If the property owner leased the land or building to someone else who was in control of the premises at the time of your fall, you can hold the leaser or controller liable. You may also be able to hold a landlord responsible for injuries that occur on rented property, such as an apartment, if your fall was related to a defect in a common area.
If you suffered an injury in a slip or trip and fall accident at work in Scottsdale, your legal rights may look different from the average accident victim. You may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive no-fault benefits from your employer’s insurance company without needing to prove that someone else was at fault for your accident. You could be eligible for both workers’ comp and a personal injury claim if someone other than your employer is to blame for the fall accident, such as a coworker or contractor. Speak to a workplace accident attorney at Stone Rose Law for more information about this type of case.
A slip and fall accident could lead to major losses and expenses for you and your family. The medical costs connected to treating your injury alone could reach thousands of dollars. You may also be unable to return to your job in the same capacity after your accident, resulting in lost wages. Filing a slip and fall claim in Scottsdale could result in financial compensation for the losses that you suffered because of a property owner’s negligence.
The types of compensation available may include:
You can seek compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages during a personal injury claim. In some cases, punitive damages are also available. Punitive damages can be awarded to plaintiffs in personal injury claims involving defendants who are guilty of gross negligence, malicious intent to harm, reckless or wrongful acts, or a wanton disregard for the safety of others.
Do not delay in seeking legal advice and counsel after suffering an injury in a slip and fall accident. For the most part, claimants only have two years from their accidents to file these claims in Arizona. Filing too late could lead to the loss of your ability to pursue justice and financial compensation.
At Stone Rose Law, we offer free initial slip and fall accident case consultations at no obligation to hire us. We will listen to your story to help you fully understand your legal options. Speak to a Scottsdale personal injury attorney today at (480) 498-8998, or contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.