Who is responsible for an injury resulting from a slip and fall accident? Thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents every year when they slip or trip on a wet floor, defective or broken stairs, on a curb or a patch of uneven ground. Sometimes it is the property owner’s fault and sometimes it is not.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, consider that it is a normal, for example, for liquids to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for surfaces like pavement or sidewalks to become uneven. It’s extremely important in any slip and fall type injury to document the circumstances to determine if a property owner is responsible.
To be legally responsible for injuries you may have suffered from slipping or falling on someone else’s property, one of the following conditions must be true:
The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill or other slippery or dangerous surface area to be underfoot that caused you to fall, or
The owner of the premises or one of their employees must have known of the dangerous surface but did not fix or remedy it, or
The owner of the premises or one of their employees should have known about the dangerous surface because a “reasonable person” taking care of a property would have discovered it and repaired or fixed it.
Owners of both private and public properties have a duty – called a ‘duty of care‘ – to provide and maintain safe conditions for those working in or visiting these premises. This is a responsibility to ensure that the property is free from dangerous conditions which could cause someone to be injured. In a slip and fall injury it becomes important to determine who is at fault. There are several aspects of this that can be complicated.
Property owners must, by law, do everything within reason to protect people who are legally on their property, whether it’s a private business or a public sidewalk or in a store. Injury Hotline is Arizona’s leading slip and fall injury specialist and we can help you navigate the complex legal issues of slip and fall accidents.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s really important to document everything you possibly can, as soon as you can. You should keep a file with all the information you can compile. This can make a big difference if you need to file a lawsuit to protect your rights or get compensation for an injury that was not your fault.
Preserve any video or security camera footage you can get. If there are witnesses, get them to prepare a written statement of what they saw and what caused you to slip or fall. If you are able to do so, inspect the area and take photos of things like broken or uneven concrete, wet floors, or items that were out of place and caused you to become injured. Injury Hotline can help you understand how to best protect your rights to compensation if you are injured through a slip or fall accident.
The most complicated and important part of pursuing a claim for a slip and fall injury is proving who was at fault. Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe premises, but you also have responsibilities to act in a reasonable manner. It is important therefore to get as much information as possible to show that the accident was not your fault. There are many complex legal issues to be determined in any slip and fall accident, including such questions as “Did you have a legitimate reason for being on that property?”, or “Would a person using reasonable caution in the same situation have noticed the wet floor or dangerous condition and done something different (such as holding onto a handrail?”, or “Did the property owner erect barriers or place signs warning of the dangerous condition?”.
In slip and fall accidents, Injury Hotline can guide you through the complicated legal issues and help ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical costs and other losses you may experience because of someone else’s negligence.
In Arizona, a statute of limitations determines the time limit you have to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall injury. The clock starts running as soon as an injury occurs.
In Arizona, this is usually a two-year time limit, which is very short when you consider how long it takes to prepare a legal case and have it wind its way through the court system. If you do not get your slip and fall lawsuit filed in time, the property owner will most likely ask the court to dismiss the case.
This is just one reason why you need to act quickly and in the right way if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. If the slip and fall injury occurred at your place of work, there may be a conflict between your rights to receive workers’ compensation and your rights to file a lawsuit for negligence, and your duty to report such accidents to your employer quickly. Let Injury Hotline assist you in making sure you get the maximum compensation possible.
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