Phoenix Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip and fall accidents are very common and can be due to the negligence of a property owner. If you have fallen on public or private property, you need to contact slip and fall lawyers to learn what steps you need to take to hold the negligent party responsible. With a lawyer by your side, you can proceed with your case with confidence, knowing you’re headed down the right path.
What You Need to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
Following certain steps after a slip and fall accident will increase your odds of building a solid case. Unfortunately, many people fail to contact slip and fall lawyers, seek medical treatment, or gather evidence. Below, you’ll find a list of important steps to take that can help protect your case.
- If you have had a serious fall and you’re unable to walk, then you may need to contact 911 to transport you to an emergency room.
- If you are able to stand and walk, first, take photos of the property, note anything that may have contributed to your fall, such as uneven or wet floors. These images will be important in court, since the property owner will have time to make repairs to the accident site, making it difficult for your attorney to reconstruct the scene.
- If there are any witnesses, take down their contact information.
- You will also need to inform the property owner of the accident and request a copy of the incident report if they are required to make one. When speaking to the property owner, try not to give too many details. Instead, only mention that you fell, and you’re injured. If you provide too many details the property owner may try to use your words against you if your case goes to trial.
- Some accident victims may not seek medical attention if they don’t feel any pain immediately after a fall, but not seeking medical attention can be a big mistake. Some accident victims may not feel the full effects of a fall until several hours later. Because of this, it’s important to seek medical treatment, regardless of whether or not you’re in any pain immediately after your accident.
- Once you’re home, avoid posting about your accident on social media. Lawyers and insurance companies often check a plaintiff’s social media accounts, looking for information.
- Before you speak with an insurance company, contact a Phoenix slip and fall attorney.
More on the Importance of Medical Treatment
When you seek medical treatment right after a fall, this adds credibility to your case. Of course, if you want to continue to build a solid case, you need to follow any and all instructions that are given to you by the attending emergency room physician and your regular doctor. Failing to do so can harm your case.
A slip and fall accident can cause a range of injuries. Depending on where the victim fell, they may fracture bones, have severe bruising, and in serious cases, the victim may even face brain or spinal damage. Even if the victim only believes they’ve suffered minor injuries after a fall, they will still need to see a doctor and have x-rays done so they will know the extent of their injuries.
If the victim has suffered serious injuries, they will face expensive medical bills that include ongoing therapy sessions and doctor appointments. In some cases, the fall may even result in a permanent disability that will require lifelong treatment.
Loss of Wages
A serious injury can prevent the victim from returning to work the next day or for several days after. This may cause them to lose their main source of income.
Even if the fall victim has medical insurance, their insurance may not cover all costs of treatment, such as physical therapy. This can result in mounting hospital bills that the victim will not be able to pay since they are not able to return to work.
Why You Need a Phoenix Slip and Fall Lawyer
When it comes to a personal injury lawsuit, the victim will be up against the property owner’s team of lawyers and an insurance company. The other side will try to trick the victim into making mistakes that can ruin their case. In most cases, an insurance company will offer a low settlement. An attorney can handle all communication with the defendant’s attorney and their insurance company. This will protect the victim from making any mistakes, while ensuring the insurance company and the defendant’s attorney know that the victim has legal representation. Slip and fall lawyers will offer essential legal advice and guidance throughout the process, ensuring the victim follows all the necessary steps to win their case.
Investigating the Scene of the Accident
An attorney will have the resources and knowledge needed to prove a claim. This can involve visiting the scene of the fall, hiring an expert to reconstruct the accident, and gathering important documentation that will help the accident victim build a solid case. An attorney with experience in these types of personal injury cases knows exactly what types of documentation is needed, how to obtain crucial evidence, and the importance of hiring experts and interviewing witnesses, in order to build a case against a property owner.
Dealing with the Property Owner
An attorney will take over all communication with the property owner’s attorneys and the insurance company. If the property owner accepts the claim, they may be willing to negotiate. If they deny the claim, then they are willing to take the case to trial.
Hiring a Phoenix slip and fall attorney will give the victim the best possible chance of winning a large award that can cover their lost wages and medical expenses.
Statute of Limitations
Like all types of civil cases, slip and fall cases have a statute of limitations. After an accident, the victim will have two years to file a lawsuit. Failure to meet this deadline can bar the victim from filing a lawsuit in the future. The clock will start ticking on the date the accident occurred.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many dangers and hazards that can lead to a slip and fall accident. Falls are the most common cause of fractured hips, arms, and wrists, and brain, head, and spinal cord injuries. Some accident victims may never make a full recovery after a serious fall.
Any hazard or defect on the property that the property owner should have reasonably noticed and repaired can be cause for a personal injury lawsuit. However, what is considered reasonable will depend on the situation. If it barely started to rain and a person falls in a grocery store, the owner of the store may not be held liable since she or he reasonably could not have dried the floor or posted a sign in time. If it was raining all day and there was still no notice posted warning of dangerous wet floors, then the store owner can be held liable.
Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
In most cases, the business or person who owns the property where the accident occurred will be held legally responsible for damages. A property owner is responsible for the maintenance and safety of their premises. Failure to take care of a hazard on their property that they were aware of or reasonably should have known about is considered negligence
Filing a Claim Against the Government
If a person has fallen on government-owned or public property, they will still have the right to file a claim. While the rules of sovereign immunity will protect the government from most types of tort claims, the Arizona Tort Claims Act grants the ability to file a claim against a government entity if the agency or person who caused the harm could have been held responsible if she or he had acted privately.
The statute has very specific rules about when an injured person can or cannot file a claim against the government.
As an example, government employees cannot be sued for:
- Failing to detain or arrest someone
- Injuries caused by a prisoner
- Failures during a property inspection
- An injury that’s caused while providing emergency assistance or care
When filing a claim against the government, the claim must be filed in writing with the agency that is allegedly responsible for the accident. This must be done within 180 days of the injury. The claim must include important information, such as:
- The dollar amount the injured party is claiming
- Facts that support the amount of the injured party’s claim
- How the injuries occurred, such as where and how the fall occurred
Once a slip and fall claim has been filed, the state will have a period of sixty days to respond.
Because this process can be so complex, hiring a personal injury attorney is recommended. An experienced attorney will know what required paperwork is needed, including crucial documentation that can back the facts of the claim.
Contact the Ferguson Law Group Today
Many slip and fall accidents are preventable. Had the owner of the property fulfilled the minimum duties of care, the accident victim’s injuries may not have happened.
The first step toward obtaining compensation for injuries is contacting a slip and fall attorney. At the Ferguson Law Group, we have attorneys with extensive experience in slip and fall accidents. We have the resources and knowledge to help accident victims hold the property owner responsible, prove a case, and secure compensation for all fall-related damages. You may be eligible to receive an award or settlement that can cover the costs of pain and suffering, lost wages, and current and future medical bills. To learn more, contact the attorneys at the Ferguson Law Group to schedule a consultation.
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