Slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents can lead to serious, even life-changing injuries. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) estimates that nearly one million people seek professional medical care for slip and fall injuries each year in the United States. Many of these accidents happen because businesses or property owners fail to take the proper safety precautions.
In Arizona, a business or property owner may bear legal responsibility for a slip and fall on the grounds of premises liability. It is imperative that you take the right steps after a slip and fall to protect your health, well-being, and ability to recover compensation. Here, our Phoenix personal injury attorney provides a guide to the steps to take after a slip and fall accident in Arizona.
Step #1: Seek Professional Medical Care (Emergency Medical Needs are a Top Priority)
Slips and falls can result in severe injuries. It is imperative that victims seek immediate medical care from a licensed physician in Arizona. All slip and fall accident injuries should be evaluated. Emergencies always take top priority. With a severe slip and fall accident injury, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. Non-emergency slip and fall accident injuries must still be assessed by a qualified doctor. There are many relatively common slip and fall accident injuries—from concussions to back injuries to internal bleeding—that may not be readily apparent. Get yourself checked out right away.
A Note on Your Legal Rights: You cannot bring a successful slip and fall accident injury claim in Arizona unless you have supporting medical evidence. Without seeing a doctor, you will not be able to recover financial compensation for a slip and fall accident.
Step #2: Document the Slip and Fall Accident (What Happened and Why it Happened)
Slip and fall accidents are fault-based legal cases. In Arizona, a slip and fall accident claim falls under premises liability law. What does that mean for your case? A business or property owner in Phoenix or elsewhere in Maricopa County can be held legally responsible for your damages, but it is not automatic, To bring a successful slip and fall claim, you must prove that you were hurt, at least partially, because of negligence on the part of the responsible business or property owner.
For this reason, you need to ensure that your slip and fall accident is documented to the maximum extent possible. Carefully record what happened and why it happened. Take photos of the scene of the accident, including any hazards that may have caused your fall, such as a wet floor or uneven pavement. If possible, try to secure the photographs of the hazard that caused you to fall (and the surrounding area for context) BEFORE you contact the premise workers or owner. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Finally, record your own account of events. Write down what happened in as much detail as possible.
Step #3: Notify the Responsible Business or Property Owner
You can put yourself in a better position to bring a successful slip and fall accident injury claim in Arizona by ensuring that prompt notice is provided to the responsible party? What does this entail? If your slip and fall accident in Phoenix occurred on someone else’s premises, make sure that they are notified of what happened. Your only slight delay in doing so would be to ensure you have quickly secured your photographs of the scene, so you will have those already if the premise owner or workers try to run out and remove or alter the evidence quickly.
Notify the business or property owner in writing, or if you already informed the premise owner orally at the scene, make sure that the premise owner makes an accident report on the spot and gives you a copy of it. Keep a copy of any written notice that you may make for your records. Do not delay in doing so. Notify the business or property owner in writing and keep a copy of the notice for your records. If you have questions about how to notify a business or property owner of a slip and fall, please do not hesitate to contact a Phoenix slip and fall accident lawyer for help.
Step #4: Avoid Providing a Recorded Statement to the Defendant or its Insurance Carrier
Who handles slip and fall accident claims? In the vast majority of cases, these types of premises liability claims are brought against the defendant’s commercial insurance policy. Insurance companies are not on your side. Keep this in mind: The primary objective of the insurance company in a slip and fall accident case is to defend its policyholder and, even more so, protect its own financial interests. Insurers look out for themselves. Not you and your family. Avoid providing a recorded statement to a property insurance company without first speaking to an experienced Phoenix slip and fall accident lawyer. Insurance companies put significant resources into training their adjuster to elicit information from injured victims. They will try to use your own words against you to reduce your settlement or even deny your claim.
Step #5: Get Professional Help: Consult With a Top Phoenix Slip and Fall Attorney
You do not have to take on the insurance company or navigate the slip and fall accident claims process alone. These are notoriously complex legal cases. An experienced Phoenix premises liability attorney can review your case, investigate the matter, gather evidence, and take action to protect your rights and your interests. You deserve justice and the maximum available financial support. Depending on the nature of your slip and fall claim, recovery may be granted for:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Other medical bills and expenses;
- Long-term physical and mental recovery;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent disability;
- Scarring/disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death of a loved one.
How much financial compensation can you recover after a slip and fall accident in Arizona? The answer depends on a number of different factors, including your ability to establish liability and the extent of your damages. No matter your circumstances, a top Phoenix, AZ, premises liability lawyer can help you maximize your financial recovery for economic and intangible losses.
Set Up a Free Consultation With Our Phoenix Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck, PLLC, our Phoenix slip and fall accident attorneys are aggressive and experienced advocates for victims and families. If you or your loved one was hurt in a slip and fall, professional representation is a must. Contact us today to set up your no-cost consultation. From our legal office in Phoenix, we handle slip and fall accident claims throughout Maricopa County, including in Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, and Avondale.