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If You Have Had a Slip and Fall Accident

January 20, 2020 | 5 min read

By Paul D. Friedman- Burg Simpson Shareholder and Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

A “Slip and fall” incident is a term used to identify a personal injury case in which a person is injured on someone else’s property. Slip and fall cases generally fall under the broader category of “premises liability” claims.

An Arizona slip and fall personal injury claim is filed in civil court and seeks compensation for the victim’s injuries. This type of claim alleges that a property owner was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous or potentially hazardous condition on their property, but failed to address it.

Slip and fall accidents in the U.S. result in millions of emergency room visits each year. According to the National Safety Council, about 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2016, and more than half of all slip and fall accidents were caused by hazardous walkways, such as slick or wet floors, icy sidewalks, and uneven surfaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four older adults report a fall each year. But slip and fall injuries can happen to anyone at any time.

If You Have Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Incident in Arizona:

  1. Your priority is to take care of yourself. If you have been hurt, you should immediately seek medical attention.
  2. The next step is to thoroughly and accurately document the scene of your accident. Use your cell phone, or enlist the assistance of someone nearby, to take pictures or videos of the location where the accident occurred. Seek to capture the conditions of the entire area where you slipped. Your documentation of the area where your accident occurred can provide important evidence to show the conditions that existed at the time of your injury.
  3. If there is a property owner or manager at the location of your injury, make sure to report your injury so they are aware that an accident occurred. Obtain their name and contact information so you can follow up with them.
  4. If you were in a public space at the time of your injury, seek to acquire a copy of any available video recordings documenting your fall.
  5. Secure the full names and contact information of any witnesses who were present at the time of your injury.
  6. If you were seriously injured, your final step is to contact an experienced slip and fall personal injury attorney to protect you and your legal rights. At Burg Simpson, we will meet with you to discuss the details of the incident and gather the evidence necessary to get you the help you need and obtain the compensation you deserve. We handle slip and fall accidents and we are here to protect you and your legal rights.

Who is Responsible for Your Injuries?  

Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their property is maintained and kept in a reasonably safe condition. When potentially unsafe conditions exist, the property owners must provide adequate warning to prevent injuries. If you were injured due to an unsafe condition, inadequate security or maintenance, or a defect in construction, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the property owner.

Premises Liability

Premises liability cases arise when a person is injured or killed on someone else’s property due to an unsafe condition. In Arizona, legal actions filed against landowners for slip and fall or trip accidents are generally within the scope of the Arizona’s premises liability laws. The term “landowner” in this context refers to the individual or organization that is legally responsible for the condition of the real property and/or the activities conducted on the property.

There are three classifications of potential slip and fall claimants:

  • Invitees
  • Licensees
  • Trespassers

The duty a property owner owes to someone visiting the property depends on the classification of the visitor. Property owners generally have a duty to take reasonable care to protect the visitor from known dangerous conditions that exist on the property.  If the owner was aware or should have been aware of a condition on the property that would pose a danger to the visitor, the owner must take reasonable care to either eliminate the dangerous condition or warn visitors that a potential danger exists.

  1. The first category is called an “Invitee.” An invitee is someone who enters the landowner’s property at the invitation of the property owner. An invitee in on the landowner’s property for the benefit of the property owner. A repair person or a landscaper is an example of an invitee.

An invitee may recover damages caused by the landowner’s failure to exercise reasonable care to protect the invitee against dangers on the property.

  1. The second category is called a “Licensee.” A licensee is someone who is on the real property of the landowner with the landowner’s permission, but is on the property solely for their own benefit. A dinner or party guest of the landowner is an example of a licensee.

A licensee may only recover damages caused by the landowner’s failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to the known dangers that existed on the property.

  1. The third category is a “Trespasser.” A trespasser is a party who is on the landowner’s premises without the landowner’s consent.

Trespassers may only recover for damages that were willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner.

Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Case

To receive compensation for a slip and fall injury, your lawyer must prove the following:

  • The property owner was responsible for the unsafe condition that caused your injury
  • The property owner knew or should have known the unsafe condition existed and failed to repair the condition
  • The property owner knew or should have known about the condition and did not provide adequate warning signs
  • The property owner had a duty to provide safe conditions for licensees and invitees

Schedule a Consultation Today

Personal injury and premises liability cases are fact specific, and your claim will depend how your injury occurred and your relationship to the property owner. Our lawyers at Burg Simpson will review the details of your case and determine if the property owner is liable for your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the lawyers at Burg Simpson will meet with you to answer questions and explain your legal rights. It is important to work with an experienced trial attorney, and Burg Simpson can represent you in your personal injury case against the property owner who was responsible for your fall.

Trial Lawyer Paul Friedman

Paul practices in the areas of significant personal injury, premise liability, wrongful death, ethics and professional malpractice.

Paul is a Board Certified Pre-Trial and Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy/National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and is Board Certified by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization in the area of Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation. Paul is also an Associate with the American Board of Trial Advocates.

He is rated AV® Preeminent™ (the highest rating) by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and has also been recognized by Arizona Super lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America©. In addition, Paul is rated Superb 10.0/10.0 (the highest rating) by AVVO.