Hurt in a slip and fall. You are far from alone. The National Floor Safety Institute puts the total number of annual U.S. slip and fall accidents that require medical attention at one million. At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, we are committed to protecting the rights and interests of injured victims. Within this article, our Phoenix slip and fall injury lawyer answers five of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about slip and fall accidents in Arizona.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in Phoenix?
Slip and fall accident cases are complicated. Knowing what to do after a slip and fall in Phoenix or elsewhere in Maricopa County is key to protecting your rights and your interests. A proactive approach is a must. Here are four things that you should always do after a slip and fall in Arizona:
- Get Immediate Medical Care for Any Injuries: Without question, your health and well-being should always be your top priority after a slip and fall accident. Even if you feel relatively alright, remember that some injuries can be internal or worsen over time. All slip and fall injuries should be evaluated by a doctor. In Arizona, you need to see a doctor in order to be eligible to bring a slip and fall injury claim.
- Document the Cause of the Slip and Fall: Slip and fall accident claims are fault-based legal cases. As soon as you can, take pictures of the location where you fell and what caused it. Some examples of common hazards include wet floors, uneven surfaces, random debris, and poor lighting. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information. The more information that you have, the better positioned you will be to get justice.
- Notify the Business or Property Owner: Report the incident to the manager or owner of the property. Doing so is a key step that establishes a record of the event. That being said, be careful. Do not admit fault or give detailed statements at this point in the process. Simply notify the business or property owner that an incident happened.
- Speak to a Phoenix Slip and Fall Lawyer Before an Insurer: For the most part, slip and fall accident cases are defined by big property insurance companies. These insurers are not on your side—they put their interests above your interests. Consult with a Phoenix premises liability attorney right away after a serious slip and fall accident. Your lawyer will put your rights and interests first every step of the way.
How Does Slip and Fall Accident Liability Work in Arizona?
A slip and fall claim is a type of premises liability case. In Arizona, property owners and property occupiers (businesses) have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. If a property owner knows or should have known about a dangerous condition and fails to rectify it or warn visitors, they can be held liable for any resulting accidents. The victim must prove that the owner’s negligence led to their injuries. Some examples of property hazards that commonly contribute to slip and fall accidents in Arizona include:
- Unmarked wet floors;
- Uncleaned spills;
- Clutter/debris in walkways;
- Broken flooring;
- Tattered carpets;
- Lack of handrails on stairs; and
- Inadequate lighting.
Can You Be Held Partially At Fault for Your Own Slip and Fall Accident?
Yes—or at least you can in certain cases. Slip and fall accident claims are at-fault legal cases. A person could potentially be deemed fully or partially at fault for their own fall accident. Under Arizona law (A.R.S. § 12-2505), premises liability claims are subject to a comparative negligence standard. If you are held partially at fault, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are found to be 30 percent responsible for the accident because you were running in a store, you would be responsible for 30 percent of your own damages.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Slip and Fall in Arizona?
You have a limited period of time to bring a slip and fall accident claim. Under Arizona law (A.R.S. § 12-542), premises liability cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. Only very limited exceptions apply. In other words, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file within this timeframe, you almost certainly will be time-barred from pursuing compensation for your slip and fall accident injury. Beware of the deadline. Consult with a top-tier Phoenix, AZ, slip and fall accident attorney right away after a serious accident.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered Through a Slip and Fall Accident?
Through a premises liability claim in Arizona—including a slip and fall accident claim—injured victims have the right to seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party. Sadly, you cannot rely on a business, property, owner, or any insurance company to look out for your best interests during the personal injury claims process. An experienced Phoenix, AZ, slip and fall accident lawyer can help you secure the maximum compensation. You may be entitled to recover financial compensation for:
- Ambulance costs and emergency room care;
- Hospital bills and other types of medical expenses;
- Rehabilitative and long-term medical treatment;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering & mental anguish;
- Disability and disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
Consult With Our Phoenix Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix slip and fall accident attorney is standing by, ready to help you fight for justice and the maximum financial compensation. Hurt in a slip and fall at an Arizona business? We can help. Contact our personal injury team today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. From our Phoenix office, we handle slip and fall accident claims in Maricopa County and all across the surrounding region in Arizona.