Being injured while walking down the sidewalks of Phoenix is never a pleasant experience. If your injuries were serious, you most likley have mounting medical costs and are missing time from work. In many cases, the city is responsible for your injuries but there are some elements that must exist in order to be compensated for your expenses.
Typical Accident Injuries
There are a multitude of injuries that can come from slipping on the sidewalk. In personal injury case filings in the U.S. the most commonly reported injuries are:
- Closed Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Fractures With Or Without Paralysis
- Broken Bones
- Facial Lacerations And Fractures
- Internal Organ Damage
The most common cause of serious injuries or death in slip and fall cases is traumatic brain injury. This is the result of the victims head striking the pavement or other hard object during the fall.
Who Is At Fault?
In order to obtain a monetary award in a personal injury case, you must be able to prove who was negligent and caused you to get hurt. If the sidewalk is maintained by a private property or business owner, you may be able to sue them for your accident related expenses. When the city or county is responsible for sidewalk maintenance and care, you may be able to pursue them in court. However, every successful slip and fall case hinges upon being able to prove negligence or carelessness. Simply tripping and falling is not enough to prove this. However, everything changes if you fell because a piece of sidewalk was loose and caused you to fall.
Statute Of Limitations
You must adhere to the Arizona statute of limitations when filing your claim in court. In this state, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit against a negligent property or business owner. However, you have far less time to file a lawsuit against the city or county. Filing against a government agency must be done no more than 180 days after your accident. Failure to file within this time period means your case will not be heard.
Damages And Expenses
The damages you may be awarded in a personal injury case varies according to the details surrounding the accident. However, the following are some common things accident victims are compensated for:
- Pain And Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Lost Wages
- Unpaid Medical Expenses
- Future Lost Wages If The Accident Disabled You
- Therapy Costs
- The Cost Of Ongoing Home Health Care
When it comes to the calculation of your expenses and lost wages, it is imperative to be accurate. Failing to calculate these costs effectively can reduce the amount you receive if you win your case. Because this is so important, it is best handled by an attorney who has experience in these kinds of cases.
What To Do After An Accident
While your head may be spinning right after an accident, there are a few things you can do to improve your case if you need to file a lawsuit. Some things that may bolster your case are:
- Taking Pictures Of The Crumbling Sidewalk Where You Fell
- Documenting Your Injuries With Photos
- Obtaining The Names Of All Eyewitnesses
- Keeping All Medical Records
- Saving Receipts For Expenses You Paid
- Consult A Personal Injury Attorney
Do You Need A Lawyer?
Taking on the city or county where you were hurt requires the experience of a personal injury lawyer. Not only will your lawyer protect your interests, he may also help you win your case by proving the government did not exercise due care when it comes the sidewalk maintenance. Most lawyers in this field work on a contingency basis, which means if you lose your case you don’t pay. When speaking to a lawyer, be sure to ask if he charges for investigation or other resources to avoid surprise charges.
If you were hurt on a Phoenix sidewalk and think the city or county may be responsible, contact a lawyer today to discuss your case. After reviewing all of the facts, your lawyer will let you know the best way to move ahead. While winning a monetary settlement cannot return you to good health, it may give you the money to care for yourself both during and after recovery.