Tucson Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

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Tucson Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Slip-and-fall accidents can lead to serious injuries. If you fell and were injured because of the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation to pay you for your losses. Businesses, employers and stores all have the duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for people who are lawfully visiting. If you fall and are injured, you should first see a doctor and then consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer.

At Lamber Goodnow, our experienced team of lawyers helps our clients who have been injured in fall accidents. We may investigate what led up to your injury, assess liability and negotiate with the defendants and insurance companies that are involved in order to recover monetary compensation in an amount that may fairly compensate you.

What are slip-and-fall accidents?

Slip and fall accidents fall under an area of tort law called premises liability. These falls can happen in a variety of settings, including:

  • Grocery and retail stores
  • Malls and shopping centers
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Stadiums
  • Cruise ships
  • Bars
  • Public property

In addition, private individuals have the duty to protect guests on their property from hazards that might be located there. For example, failing to maintain a handrail on a staircase could result in a catastrophic injury to a visitor.
What you can do if you have been injured

When someone else’s negligence causes you to be injured, you have the right to seek the recovery of damages to pay for your lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses that you may have incurred. Falls can be very serious, and older adults and children are especially at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as much as 30 percent of adults who fall suffer serious injuries as a result such as head trauma or fractures. The injuries that are received may lead to more serious problems. Older people who slip and fall heal less slowly because of mobility issues. In some cases, an older person’s fall may lead to his or her death. The CDC reports that 33,018 people were killed in accidental falls in 2014 alone.[1]

Before talking with an insurance representative about what happened to you, it is important that you first consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer. Contact us today at 520.477.7777.

Answers to your questions about slip and fall accidents

What is premises liability under Arizona law?
Premises liability encompasses an area of tort law under which a possessor or owner of real property may be liable for injuries to others who are on their property. Landowners or possessors owe different duties to people on their premises in Arizona depending on the statuses of the visitors.[2]

What duties of care are owed to invitees, licensees and trespassers?
The different statuses that people on the property of others might have include invitees, who are people who are present for a lawful business purpose, including customers; licensees, who are people who are invited guests; and trespassers, who are people who are unlawfully on the property. Owners or occupiers of real property owe different duties to each category of visitors. To invitees on the property such as meter readers, postal workers, customers and others who are there for business purposes, property owners or possessors owe a duty to discover, fix or warn them of the hazards about which they reasonably should foresee could cause injury to the invitees.[3] This duty may mean that the owner or occupier has a duty to inspect the premises regularly in order to identify and correct hazards. It does not mean that a property owner is an insurer the absolute safety of its invitees, however.[4]

In some circumstances, it is not enough for an invitee to simply show that a hazardous condition existed on the premises in order to prevail. In these instances, he or she must also prove that the property owner or possessor created the condition or had constructive or actual notice of the existence of the condition, but failed to warn invitees or to correct it. The invitee must prove the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • An unreasonably dangerous condition existed on the property.
  • The condition injured the invitee.
  • The business owner or its employees created the condition or the owner or employees knew about the condition and had enough time to warn about it but didn’t do so.
  • The condition was there for a long enough time that it should reasonably have been discovered.
  • The owner or employees failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm.[5]

Trespassers are people who are not lawfully present on the property of another.[6] Landowners or occupiers owe very few duties to trespassers in Arizona beyond refraining from intentionally injuring or setting traps for adult trespassers.[7] There is an exception under the law for trespassing children under a doctrine that is known as an attractive nuisance, however.

Adult licensees who are visiting the property of others are owed a duty of care by the landowners or possessors to be adequately warned about the existence of concealed dangers on the property that the owners should have reasonably known about.[8] Because children’s capacity to understand the extent of a risk that may be posed by a hazardous condition on the property that they are visiting, property owners owe heightened duties of care to warn them, and hazards that may otherwise be considered to be open and obvious for adults may be considered to be concealed for child guests.[9]

What is a slip-and-fall accident?
A slip-and-fall accident involves an incident that people suffer when they are on the property of others because of a defect, a dangerous condition or a slippery substance on the floor. These accidents may happen in restaurants or supermarkets when liquid or food is spilled and left on the floor. They may also happen when people track in rain on their shoes and the stores fail to mop it up or to provide floor mats. Some slip-and-fall accidents happen in parking lots or on sidewalks that have been poorly maintained.

How do you prove that a business had constructive notice of the condition of a floor or a sidewalk?
It is common for businesses to claim that they were unaware of the existence of a hazard, and it can be difficult to prove that a business owner or possessor had actual or constructive notice of its existence. Some hazards are considered to be so inherently noticeable that the owner should have constructive notice of their existence. For example, in the case of a sidewalk with broken asphalt, an Arizona court held that an apartment complex had constructive notice of its existence by its inherent nature. The plaintiff presented photographs showing other crumbled sidewalks elsewhere on the property, and the sidewalk’s condition showed that it had deteriorated over time, giving plenty of time for the property owner to discover it.[11]

If certain circumstances apply, a plaintiff may use the mode of operation rule to prove the landowner’s actual or constructive notice of the hazard. This involves situations in which the business owner has established a method of operation from which he or she could infer that dangerous conditions would regularly arise.[12]

Are landlords liable for injuries to licensees or invitees on their properties?
When an invitee or licensee is injured on a landlord’s property, the landlord’s liability may depend on whether the slip-and-fall accident happened in a common area or inside of a tenant’s residence. Landlords have a duty of care to warn their prospective tenants about conditions that they reasonably know or should know about on the premises and to correct them. Once the landlords have turned over the possession of the property to their tenants, the landlord may be released from liability.[13]

Our no-fee promise

If you have been injured or your loved one has suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident, it is important to get medical help as soon as possible. Then, you should speak to an experienced lawyer. When you choose to work with the personal injury lawyers at Lamber Goodnow, you’ll enjoy the benefit of our no-fee promise. We guarantee that our clients are not charged for any costs associated with the investigation of their cases or with the time that is spent on them until and unless we are able to recover monetary compensation for them through settlements or verdicts in their favor.

Our process

Slip-and-fall accidents are often complex. Getting the help of an attorney may be essential to your ability to recover damages in a reasonable amount. When we meet with you, we’ll investigate to understand how your injury happened and who might be liable. If we accept representation, we will work hard to recover the maximum amount of compensation to make you whole. We will thoroughly investigate your case, including getting copies of surveillance videos and medical records. We may also interview witnesses and review all safety procedures where your accident happened.

Contact us today

Contact our team today by calling us at 520.477.7777. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will not be charged anything for your consultation, and you do not have an obligation to retain our services. Call Lamber Goodnow today to learn about your rights and what to expect in the process.

Sources

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vital Statistics Reports, “Deaths – Final Data for 2014.” https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf.
[2] Bellezzo v. State, 174 Ariz. 548, 851 P.2d 847 (Ct. App. 1992).
[3] Robertson v. Sixpence Inns of America Inc., 163 Ariz. 539, 544, 789 P.2d 1040, 1045 (1990).
[4] Preuss v. Sambo’s, 130 Ariz. 288, 289, 635 P.2d 1210, 1211 (1981).
[5] Premises Liability Instruction No. 1, RAJI(4th).
[6] Barry v. Southern Pac. Co., 64 Ariz. 116, 166 P.2d 285 (1946).
[7] Spur Feeding Co. v. Fernandez, 106 Ariz. 143, 472 P.2d 12 (1970); Premises Liability Instruction No. 5, RAJI(4th); A.R.S. § 12-557.
[8] Shannon v. Butler Homes, Inc., 102 Ariz. 312, 316, 318, 428 P.2d 990, 994, 996 (1967).
[9] Shaw v. Petersen, 169 Ariz. 559, 821 P.2d 220 (Ct. App. 1991).
[10] A.R.S. §§ 12-820, et seq.
[11] Haynes v. Syntek Finance Corp., 184 Ariz. 332, 339, 909 P.2d 399, 406 (Ct. App. 1995).
[12] Chiara v. Fry’s Food Stores, 152 Ariz. 398, 733 P.2d 283 (1987).
[13] Piccola v. Woodall, 186 Ariz. 307, 921 P.2d 710 (Ct. App. 1996).

 

 

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