Glendale Slip & Fall Accident Attorney
Slip and Falls
You may be surprised to hear premises liability attorneys say this, but the fact of the matter is that slip and fall cases can be difficult to win. Here at Breyer Law Offices, we believe in being totally honest with our clients from the very beginning. You may have been injured in a slip and fall accident that was caused by a negligent property owner. But in proving your premises liability claim, there are going to be many challengers involved that will need to be addressed. For that reason, hiring a top injury lawyer is critical to a successful case.
When a slip and fall accident does happen, one of the first issues that must be dealt with is figuring out who is responsible for the fall. Many people just automatically assume that since they fell on someone else's property, that that property owner is responsible for medical bills. That's not necessarily true, though. The property owner doesn't have to insure against anything bad happening on their property under Arizona law.
However, there are many cases where a property owner does act negligently and as a result, caused someone to slip and fall. In these cases, though, you must be able to prove that the property owner's bad behavior resulted in your accident. So, in other words, you can't just show that you slipped and fell on someone else's property.
Another issue to be dealt with in many slip and fall cases is whether or not there is more than one person responsible for the accident. Here's an example. Say you were walking in a store's parking lot and you slipped and fell because of a big pothole. You are able to prove that the store owner or owner of the property knew that this dangerous condition existed and knew it could lead to a serious injury, but didn't do anything to fix it. But regardless of this information, the store owner or property owner, along with their insurance company, will argue that you weren't paying attention and if you had been, you would have noticed the huge pothole. In essence, they want you to shoulder part of the responsibility for your injuries. This is called comparative fault.
What's Comparative Fault?
Comparative fault is the fault that is attributed to the injured victim. If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident due to your own reckless behavior, negligence, or carelessness, then some of the fault for the accident could rest with you. For instance, using the above example, if you were medicated or intoxicated, then the insurance company will argue that you are partly to blame. In other cases of comparative fault, the insurance company will try to prove that you didn't take reasonable precautions, you were distracted, or that you ignored warning signs.
Does Comparative Fault Effect My Glendale Slip and Fall Case?
It can if the insurance company can prove that you are partly to blame for the slip and fall accident. Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means that you are responsible for your share of the injury. Because of this law, in many slip and fall cases, you'll see property owners - and their insurance companies - who are clearly at fault in creating a dangerous condition try to argue that if you'd simply paid more attention, then the accident wouldn't have happened.
But if the property owner knew about the dangerous condition - and knew that it could cause a serious injury - but feels that you, the injured victim, are also partly to blame, then how does that work in terms of the compensation you can receive?
Anyone who had a hand in causing the accident is responsible for their exact percentage of fault. For instance, if it's found that the property owner was 75% responsible for the accident that caused your injury and that you are 25% responsible, then you will receive 75% of the compensation you would have received if the property owner had been found solely responsible.
If this sounds tricky, it is. These slip and fall cases can get pretty complicated. That's why it's so important to hire an attorney who is experienced with premises liability cases. In most slip and fall cases we've seen, the property owner and the insurance company has tried to put at least some of the blame for the accident on the victim. They have tried to argue that the victim wasn't paying attention or that they should have been more careful in looking where they were going. Therefore, the victim is partly to blame for their own injuries. But a skilled lawyer knows how to focus the blame where it should be - on the negligent party. Even just reducing the injured victim's comparative fault from 25% to 15% can make a huge difference in terms of the amount of compensation awarded.
Are People Usually Injured Badly in Slip and Fall Cases?
One of the things that is most surprising about slip and fall cases is how badly the victim is injured. Most don't expect someone who simply slips and falls to be injured that seriously. But that's simply not the case. In fact, we've seen many clients who have been very badly injured in a slip and fall case. Either they weren't prepared for the fall, they fell in an awkward way, or they fell on their back, or hit their head, causing severe injuries. There have even been slip and trip accidents where the victim died from the injuries they sustained.
Property owners have a duty to ensure that their properties are safe. They also have a duty to fix a dangerous condition should one become apparent. But if that property owner acts in a negligent manner and lets the dangerous condition continue to exist - knowing full well it could cause a serious injury - then that owner must be held accountable for their actions. To do so though, you must hire an experienced Glendale injury attorney - one who will fight to protect your rights and help to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
If you've suffered from serious injuries as a result of a slip and fall in AZ, please contact the Glendale slip & fall accident lawyers at Breyer Law Offices. We can review your case, let you know whether you have a valid claim and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today for more information and a free, no-obligation case consultation. Call or complete and submit a Simple Case Form.