Phoenix Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall is part of an area of law known as premises liability. Premises liability covers what happens when someone is hurt on someone else’s property. This property can be private property or public property. A simple example of private property is your neighbor’s home. Let’s say that your neighbor invites you and your family over for a barbeque in their backyard. Their home and their backyard are both private property. Another example of private property is a grocery store. When you go to the grocery store, you’re on private property. An illustration of public property is a sidewalk that the city is required to maintain or a city-owned park.
The Elements of a Slip and Fall
To have a valid slip and fall claim, you must be able to prove that all of the legal elements existed. This isn’t always easy in a slip and fall. If you’re hurt because of one, you should call a Phoenix slip and fall lawyer. They can help you determine if your claim meets the elements. If it does, they can help you learn more about your legal rights.
The first element is duty. The other party must have a duty toward you to maintain the property in a way that keeps people from harm. The other party must also have owned, controlled, or operated the premises where the slip and fall happened. It’s important to note that the other party is only required to take reasonable measures to keep the property safe.
The second element is notice. The other party knew or should have known that the hazard existed and that it could cause an injury. This is one of the most important elements. It can require the Phoenix slip and fall lawyer to call upon expert witnesses to discuss safety, inspection, maintenance, and prevention strategies. Your lawyer must be able to prove that the other party deviated from reasonable standards that contributed to the creation of the hazard. Sometimes, it is proven that the other party knew about the hazard and ignored it. There are times where the property owner knows about the hazard but says that they didn’t. There are also times where the property owner knows and just doesn’t bother to inform others that the hazard exists. For example, you’ve seen a wet floor sign in a grocery store. It could be that they mopped up a carton of broken eggs. Maybe an employee was simply cleaning the floor. The warning sign serves as a form of notice that the floor is wet and could be hazardous.
The third element is that a dangerous condition existed. Although you were hurt, your Phoenix slip and fall lawyer must still prove that there was a dangerous condition. The lawyer must also prove that the other party knew or should have known about the condition. A common defense to this particular element is that the plaintiff in the case did not use the premises in the way in which it was intended or expected.
The fourth and final element is damages. You must be able to prove that you suffered injuries as a result of the slip and fall. This isn’t always easy to prove. It is important that you get immediate medical care if you’re involved in this sort of accident. Records of your treatment must show that your injuries were, indeed, caused by the accident. If you’re claiming lost wages, you must also be able to prove that your time lost from work was caused by your injuries from the accident.
Common Injuries from Slip and Falls
A slip and fall injury can be minor or serious in nature. The most common injuries associated with these accidents include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as a twisted ankle or sprained wrist
- Torn muscles or ligaments
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries, including concussions, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lacerations and bruising
How You Can Help Protect Your Possible Claim
As you’ve learned, these claims aren’t easy to prove even though they may seem simple. Here’s how you can help your claim. The following can help a Phoenix slip and fall lawyer who is reviewing your potential claim:
- Take photos of the accident scene. Make sure that you include at least one picture that shows the cause of your slip and fall.
- Write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed what happened.
- If you’re visiting a restaurant, retail establishment, or other business, ask for an accident or incident report to be created. Get a copy of it. If they say they cannot create one, call the police. Although the accident happened on private property, the police can respond and create an informational report. You can get the report number from the responding officer.
- Keep all of your medical bills and receipts related to what you pay so that your injury may be treated. Make copies of this information.
This information can be used by a lawyer to help support your claim of a slip and fall. To learn more about these sorts of accidents and to find out if you have a valid claim, contact a Phoenix slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can after the accident.