Phoenix Slip Fall Lawyer
The saying, “When you fall down, get back up” may hold true in a motivational sense, but a Phoenix injury attorney can tell you that in actuality, it isn’t always so easy to get back on your feet after a fall.
Each year in the United States falls result in approximately 25,000 fatalities and 9 million emergency department visits. These accidents cost the nation nearly $40 billion. There are also physical costs, especially when victims suffer catastrophic injuries such as paralysis and head trauma.
While each person is responsible for their own safety, we are also responsible to some extent for the safety of others. Under premises liability law people who suffer fall injuries due to unreasonably dangerous conditions on somebody else’s property can hold the property owner or occupier liable for their injury costs.
Premises liability, furthermore, applies to more than just slips, trips and falls. Anytime you’re injured on another person’s property there is the chance that the owner didn’t take adequate measures to protect your safety. As long as you weren’t trespassing (and in rare cases, even if you were) you enjoy legal protections against unsafe properties.
To understand your legal rights after an accident on property you don’t own, speak with the Resendez Injury Law Group. We handle accident and injury law exclusively so that we’re better able to serve the needs of injured clients. Get started with a free consultation by calling (602) 824-9444 or sending us a message.
The Keys to a Successful Premises Liability Claim
Whether you’re able to collect financial compensation for an accident on another’s property hinges on a few important considerations, explained in greater detail below.
Did a dangerous condition exist?
A dangerous condition is a design, construction or condition that creates a significant risk of injury when a property is used in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
For example, a broken step on an apartment building staircase is a dangerous condition because it creates the possibility that somebody going up or down the stairs (i.e. using the steps in a reasonably foreseeable manner) could trip over the step and get hurt.
Did the property owner know (or reasonably should have known) about the dangerous condition?
A dangerous condition alone isn’t enough to establish liability on the part of a property owner. The owner must also have knowledge of the condition.
Returning to the broken stair example, a key question would be: how long was the step broken for? If it’s been broken for days or weeks, it is reasonable to assume that the property owner would know—or at least should have known—about it. But supposing that the step was broken shortly before somebody walked on it, the owner’s knowledge of the defect would be harder to establish.
Did your own carelessness contribute to the accident?
A guest’s own behavior impacts the extent to which a property owner is liable for an injury that occurs on their property.
Let’s say that there is a broken step on a staircase, but you are on the phone on the way up the stairs and not paying attention. It could be argued that your own negligence contributed to the accident. Note, however, that this doesn’t preclude you from recovering money in a premises liability case. So long as the property owner bears some responsibility for the accident, you can still recover.
Hopefully these examples give you a better idea of the issues that arise in a typical slip-and-fall case. As you can see, liability is a complicated issue, and it can get even more complicated when the property owner is different than the property occupier (i.e. a landlord/tenant situation).
Beyond Slip and Falls
“Slip and fall” and “premises liability” are often used interchangeably because many premises liability cases involve slips, trips and falls. Premises liability, however, is a broad area of the law that covers all sorts of injuries.
Assaults, batteries and other violent crimes are acts potentially covered by premises liability law. For instance, if a maintenance worker hired by an apartment complex has a violent history and ends up assaulting somebody at the building, it may be argued that the complex did not implement reasonable security measures. Such a scenario might unfold at a number of locations, including sports stadiums, shopping malls, parking lots/garages and office buildings.
Legal Help From an Experienced Arizona Premises Liability Lawyer
Many premises liability cases come down to one party’s word against the other’s. After an accident you’ll be contacted by the other person’s insurance company and possibly their lawyer…shouldn’t you have somebody who’s looking out for your interests?
The Resendez Injury Law Group puts the “personal” in personal injury law. We look out for our clients’ best interests and do everything possible to make sure they are fairly compensated for accidents that weren’t their fault. You’ll always have a direct line to an attorney and receive open and honest counsel.
For personalized, competent, and experienced legal representation, call or contact us today.
From our Phoenix offices we serve clients in Peoria, Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Surprise, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Queen Creek and all other areas of Arizona including Flagstaff, Yuma and Gila Bend.