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Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Phoenix Slip and Fall Lawyer

Slip and fall injuries may not seem very severe at first, but they can cause serious injuries for those involved. When you slip or trip on someone else’s property and become injured, there is a chance that you may suffer extensive injuries. When these accidents occur due to the property owner’s negligence, you have a right to pursue compensation. The Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Knapp & Roberts are here to help your Arizona slip and fall case from start to finish.

What Is A Slip and Fall Accident?

If a Phoenix property owner’s negligence creates a hazardous condition, serious injuries can occur. In Arizona, property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for all visitors who have a right to be there (anyone who isn’t trespassing on private property). If a property owner fails to do so, and a visitor suffers slip-and-fall injuries, the property owner may be held financially liable for those injuries. (This is called premises liability.) There must be three events that must happen in order to establish a slip, trip and fall accident, they include:

  • The property owner must have known about the hazard on their property
  • The property owner or manager much have consciously chosen not to fix the hazard in a timely fashion
  • A patron or visitor (legally on the premises) must have tripped or slipped on the hazard

Our team of qualifies slip, trip and fall lawyers will help you determine if all the criteria is met in order to establish a slip and fall premises liability case in Phoenix. Even if you believe it was not the property owners fault, you may still be able to get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.

What Causes A Slip and Fall Injury?

Our premises liability attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona will thoroughly investigate the accident and review available insurance policies. We ensure that your rights are protected by promptly collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. Our thorough case analysis may expose property owner negligence, such as:

  • Failure to repair defective stairs or a broken handrail.
  • Failure to keep mall or business entrances dry or to post “wet floor” signs.
  • Failure to repair reported sidewalk defects.
  • Failure to keep grocery store aisles free from debris.
  • Failure to replace torn or defective carpet in an apartment hallway.

Burden of Proof in Slip and Fall Cases

Personal injury cases require the plaintiff to prove liability for the incident. Unlike some other injuries, such as car accidents where one party has clearly collided with another, it can be more difficult to see a direct correlation between the property owner’s action (or lack of) and your fall. Property owners are liable when the fall is a result of:

  • Dangerous conditions, including when the property owner creates a dangerous condition or was aware of a dangerous condition and did not take reasonable steps to remove or correct it, leading to the victim’s accident. A possible dangerous condition would be a spill in a restaurant that no staff members took steps to clean up, even if they were aware of it.
  • Notice of conditions, including when the property owner does not give any form of reasonable notice to prevent injury due to a dangerous condition. A failure to provide notice of condition could include failure of building staff to put up a warning sign over a wet floor.
  • Constructive notices (when the property owner has constructive notice of the hazardous condition). This applies even when the owner did not know the exact hazardous condition but should have known there was a potential for injury. Constructive notice would apply when a foreign object is in the middle of a walkway on the property long enough for the property owner to have reasonably taken notice.
  • Mode of operation, which is when a property owner should have been able to foresee the dangerous conditions and take steps to prevent it, but an accident still occurred. If a grocery store does not take steps to prevent produce from falling on the floor and a customer trips over said produce, then the store may still be liable for the accident.

Gathering evidence is essential to proving liability in slip and fall accidents. Depending on the circumstances of a fall, it can be best to collect evidence immediately after the accident. This is especially true in accidents where the cause of the fall is temporary, such as spills and ice on walkways.

Most often, the property owner will clean these hazards up soon after the accident. While this prevents further accidents, it makes it hard for someone to prove the cause of the fall or even that the fall happened. If you suffer a slip and fall accident through someone else’s negligence, you should take pictures or video of the scene immediately after a fall, even if you need to use your cell phone.

If a person trips on a more permanent hazard, such as a damaged stairway, he or she will still need evidence of the scene to prove the case. However, these conditions are less likely to disappear immediately after an incident. An accident victim should take pictures of the site, but a lawyer will also be able to conduct a more thorough investigation of the scene afterwards. You should not hesitate to reach out to an attorney after a slip and fall accident to make sure you can gather all the evidence you need to prove that liability rests with the property owner.

Types of Visitors

In a premises liability case, the property owner holds responsibility for any injuries suffered due to his or her negligence on the property. The injured party is known as a “visitor,” which splits into three further categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Invitees are any visitors who have received an invitation onto the property. For private property, such as a home, invitees include any guest that the property owner has invited into the building. For public locations, such as stores, customers are invitees, as the premise of a store is inviting customers in to buy goods or services.

Licensees are parties who have not received a direct invitation to enter the property but are still legally able to do so. A mail carrier is a licensee, because he or she is fulfilling the course of a job when entering a property.

Because both invitees and licensees have a form of consent to enter the property, the property owner has an implied responsibility to make conditions safe for any guests. This involves removing or providing reasonable warning about any hazards.

Both invitees and licensees can file personal injury claims for slip and fall accidents, so long as they can prove they had permission to be on the property at the time of the incident. It is easier for those who suffer slip and fall accidents while within the premises of a store or similar property due to the public nature of the location.

Invitees who suffer injuries in a fall on private property can prove their permission to be on the premises with a text or other type of message confirming they were coming to visit. A licensee must prove that he or she was acting within the line of duty when the incident occurred to receive compensation.

Trespassers are any parties who enter property without any form of express or implied permission. If a trespasser suffers a slip and fall injury, he or she is ineligible for compensation due to committing a crime in the process, as a property owner does not have a duty to provide safe premises for a trespasser.

However, if the property owner becomes aware of the trespasser before the trespasser suffers injury, the property owner has a minimal responsibility to warn the trespasser of any dangerous conditions if possible. The responsibility to a trespasser may also occur if the property owner knows it is likely that others may enter the property without permission, or if an injury is due to conditions the property owner maintains knowing the conditions may cause serious injury.

Government and Public Property Slip and Falls

If you slip and fall on government or public property, you may still file a lawsuit against the property, so long as the government’s negligence is responsible for your injury. You must also meet one of the same burden of proof requirements as any slip and fall case. However, when dealing with government properties, personal injury cases can become more complicated.

Immediately after your incident, you should report the accident to someone who works on the property. Government offices and other facilities have required incident reports to fill out following an accident. Reporting your incident in a timely manner will ensure that the government property files the incident report, acknowledging your accident.

The timelines for personal injury cases are already strict, with a one-year statute of limitations. Government properties have even shorter required notices. If you miss your window to submit a proper notice of injury, you may lose your right to file a case. A proper notice of injury will include:

  • Your name and address
  • Date of injury
  • Summary of how the injury occurred
  • Statement containing your claim that the responsible authority was negligent
  • Allegation of how that negligence caused your injury
  • Description of your injuries
  • Description of your medical bills and other financial losses

In addition to submitting the notice of injury in time, it is \ critical that you submit it to the correct governmental entity. When you are in a government building, it is easy to understand that property would require your notice of injury. However, public spaces, such as sidewalks, may not have straightforward ownership. You should always verify the correct entity to send your notice of injury to so that you do not miss your window to file.

Personal injury claims against the government also have limits on the damages you can recover. The exact amount will depend on the entity you are suing. If the property owner is liable for your injuries, you should still file a lawsuit, but be aware that your compensation amount may not be as high as you want it to be.

Because of the strict requirements on time limits and filing processes against government entities, it is critical that you contact a skilled Phoenix trial attorney as quickly as possible. The team at Knapp & Roberts is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our clients. We understand the strict requirements of filing claims against the government and can help you navigate your necessary actions to start your case on time and see it through to the end.

What Compensation Can I Get From A Slip and Fall Injury Case?

If you’ve been injured because of a slip and fall accident due to a property owner’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to be responsible for paying your medical bills alone. In Arizona, cases involving slip and fall injuries can get compensation for:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitative care
  • Lost earning potential
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering (both physical and emotional)

No matter where your accident occurred or the extent of your injuries, we are here to help. Our Phoenix car accident lawyer understand just how much havoc one accident can wreak on your life. You deserve help getting back on your feet. That’s what your Phoenix slip and fall lawyers are here to do; we handle the legal work so that you can focus on recovery.

If you’re unsure if you have a personal injury case or want to start on a claim, contact our team today through phone, email, or online form for a free consultation. We can discuss the details of your case and determine your best course of action moving forward. You can count on us to help you contact the necessary parties, conduct thorough investigations, advise on settlement offers, and fight for your rights in court so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.