Slips and falls are like any other instance of another party’s carelessness, the same as any other accident. When someone else is to blame for your injuries, a court can order that they pay for them. First, you need to prove that they are at fault. Doing so is not always an easy process, but it could benefit from an experienced Tucson slip and fall lawyer.
The attorneys at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers take on slip and fall claims against many different parties, including major corporations. Never minimize your losses from a slip and fall injury, as you have the right to compensation if another party was at fault. You can contact us for a free case evaluation as soon as you can.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Our Tucson, AZ, slip and fall lawyers see four generalized categories of slip and fall accidents:
- Tripping and falling down: when there is something in the walkway that you fall over. For example, a stack of books in a walkway that is normally clear. Also, where there is actually something that you catch your foot on a power cord that runs between two cubicles.
- Stepping and falling into a hole: where you step into a hole that should not be there, such as a missing manhole cover or utility cover on the sidewalk.
- Slipping and falling: when you slip and fall because the floor is wet or greasy, and there are no warning signs posted anywhere.
If you believe you suffered losses due to one of these kinds of accidents, look to A.R.S. § 12-542. You’ll have two years from the day your accident occurs to bring your losses to the attention of a civil court. Try to file a slip and fall accident complaint outside of that deadline, and you won’t be able to bring your suit against the allegedly-liable party.
For a free legal consultation with a slip and fall accidents lawyer serving Tucson, call 866-499-8989
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most slip and fall accidents occur in a business setting. It is these negligent business or property owners who cause the dangerous condition that has hurt you. Therefore, these cases are known as premise liability cases. We regularly see the following hazardous conditions:
- Damaged walkways, driveways, or paths leading to the business. This includes sidewalks that have shifted and potholes in any of these areas.
- Unmarked danger zones. This includes failing to post wet floor signs, notifying the public of uneven pavement or flooring, or other dangerous areas to walk in.
- Improperly maintained stairways. This includes missing or broken handrails and failure to put slip-resistant coverings on the stairs.
- Inadequate or missing lighting in walk areas and stairwells.
- Failure to remove snow and ice and treat ground accordingly to prevent it from becoming slippery.
- Failure to keep walkways free from debris or clutter that makes it difficult to maneuver
Tucson Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Near Me 866-499-8989
How to Determine Liability in a Tucson Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall cases are like any other personal injury case. The standard for judging whether someone else is responsible is negligence. It is applied slightly differently in a slip and fall case. The usual four-part test of negligence applies to slip and fall claims.
You must prove that:
- The other party owed you the duty of care
- They breached that duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You were injured
- You would not have sustained an injury had it not been for the acts or omissions of the other party
Breaking Down Unreasonable Behavior
The law considers an individual twist in a slip and fall case to be unreasonable conduct. Generally, there are two ways that a defendant could act unreasonably:
- The defendant caused the dangerous conditions themselves.
- Someone else caused the dangerous condition, and the defendant did not remedy it within a reasonable amount of time or did not warn the public about it.
You must use the evidence available to you to indicate that the party named in your complaint engaged in unreasonable behavior. Slip and fall lawyers in Tucson, AZ, can help you break down the information you have available to you.
Negligence doesn’t Cause Every Accident
While negligence can be a driving factor behind many of today’s personal injury accidents, it’s not the only cause that lets you take a slip and fall case to court. Owners who deliberately ignore or fail to mark unsafe parts of their property can be accused of malicious intent.
With that in mind, let our team scope out the scene of an accident for untended dangers. Old cracks in the sidewalk, unmarked spills, and even deliberately-dangerous obstacles can all allow you to request compensation for your losses.
Do note, too, that placing a wet floor sign is often not enough to get a store owner out of a lawsuit. Most stores require that owners place these warnings within a reasonable amount of time. Placing a warning sign too late – or even after an accident – can only hasten a court’s accusations of negligence along.
Your Relationship With a Property Can Impact Your Slip and Fall Case
You have a unique relationship with every property you visit. Arizona specifically divides the individuals on other people’s property into three categories. Here, you can either be an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Your role subsequently determines what legal rights you have in the face of a slip and fall or premises liability accident.
Your right to a suit and compensation can break down as follows:
- Invitees have been given explicit permission to conduct a business transaction on someone’s property. The property’s owner subsequently owes them a comprehensive duty of care.
- Licensees come onto another person’s property for their own enjoyment, not for business. Property owners must maintain their property for a licensee’s sake but do not have an obligation to warn licensees of dangers
- Trespassers do not benefit from a duty of care in Arizona and can instead face criminal charges for knowingly entering someone else’s property without permission, as established by R.S. § 13-1502. That said, property owners may not use undue force against trespassers. Those who do can face civil charges.
There are exceptions to the aforementioned rules, though. Child trespassers, for example, are not held to as strict a standard as their adult counterparts. If a person’s property falls under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, children and their guardians may file slip and fall suits as though the child was an invitee.
If you’re not sure where you stand in terms of your categorization, discuss your case with one of our attorneys. We can then determine how your role on someone else’s property impacts your right to a civil suit.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Who to Name Liable in Your Slip and Fall Complaint
Establishing liability in a slip and fall accident allows you to name an institution or individual liable for your losses. These possible defendants can include:
- The landlord who owns the property your accident occurred on
- The store that leases the property from the landlord, if they have assumed full control of the property
- The owner of the home where you fell
- The city, if you fell because of damaged sidewalks
Filing a suit against these parties allows you to pursue post-accident compensation to contend with your bills. That said, filing against a corporation allows you to request a larger settlement than filing against a small business might. With that in mind, let us build a story from the evidence at the scene of your accident to more effectively establish accident liability.
Suing the City of Tucson: What to Expect From Your Complaint
There are certain circumstances under which the city of Tucson may be liable for your slip and fall accident. If you are on public property when your accident occurs, take note of the following:
- Are there signs warning you of impending danger?
- How long has it been since the area was visited by an inspector and/or repaired?
If the city has neglected a patch of land for a considerable amount of time, and if that land is not marked, you can circumvent a public official’s qualified immunity and file a civil suit. A.R.S. § 12-821.01, however, dictates that you’ll only have 180 days to act after your accident.
We can step in if you’re caught up in your recovery and make sure your paperwork reaches the right hands before time runs out.
Contending With an Insurance Company After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a slip and fall accident, you’re left to contend with an insurance company. Whether it is a homeowners’ or a business insurance policy, the practices of the insurance company will still be the same. They do not like to pay out money, as any support they offer you reduces their bottom line. As such, they will make it as hard as possible for you to get your money.
Insurance companies will often offer you a settlement that comes in far below what your accident may be worth. Tucson, AZ, slip and fall attorneys can weigh this offer against our own calculations and help you reject this initial offer. In turn, you can retain your right to legal action and more efficiently fight for comprehensive compensation.
Never assume that your slip and fall injuries are minor. This is a myth that insurance companies want you to believe. Even if your physical losses don’t seem significant, we can combine them with your non-economic losses to understand your accident’s full value.
How to Fight an Insurance Company
Tucson slip and fall cases are not always the easiest claims to prove. The insurance company takes a very skeptical view towards these claims because they can. Thus, they will take a “prove it” attitude towards your claim, and they will not hesitate to deny it if they feel that evidence does not sufficiently back it up.
The fact that you fell is not enough to merit damages. Instead, you must show that the defendant did something wrong. In other words, you must quickly identify the cause of the fall. Without knowing why you fell, you cannot receive compensation. Guesswork does not work in your case.
How the Insurance Company Lowballs Your Settlement Offer
Your insurance company often responds to your initial complaint by throwing a few crumbs of financial support your way. We can help you review these offers line by line to determine if they fairly compensate you for your economic losses. If you want more than that, you need to fight for it.
You have the legal right to reject the low settlement offers that come your way by submitting a demand of your own. If an insurance provider does not want to meet your demand, you can take your request to trial. An insurance provider will serve as a defendant as members of the public determine to what compensation your injuries entitle you.
If your case goes to trial, we can manage mid-process negotiations while also presenting evidence of your losses for the applicable parties to consider. Should the need arise, we can turn up the legal pressure on your behalf.
Compiling Evidence for Your Slip and Fall Case
Slip and fall evidence does not have a long shelf life after your accident. If you do not gather it practically right away, it could be lost forever, costing you the chance to prove your claim. The evidence you can use to back up your claim can include:
- Photographs or video footage of the dangerous condition that caused your injury
- Security camera footage of the scene before your accident
- Witness statements and testimony from people who saw the accident
- Accident reports
- Maintenance logs of the area where the accident happened
Be prepared to respond if a defendant tries to shift blame for your losses onto you. Despite your wealth of evidence, they may still claim that you bear some of the liability for your accident. Alternatively, they may argue that it was your lack of awareness that resulted in your losses.
It’s a Tucson slip and fall accident attorney’s job to refute these claims. When we bring forward evidence of your losses, we do so with the intent of creating a coherent narrative of fault. We can as readily use the evidence on hand to establish your case’s economic value as we can challenge the defense’s attempt to shift the blame.
Comparative Negligence in Arizona’s Slip and Fall Accidents
Fault isn’t as straightforward in Arizona as it is in other states. Arizona operates on a generous understanding of comparative negligence. Even if you bear responsibility for over 50% of the fault in your accident, you can still pursue compensation for your losses.
That said, your estimated compensation will take a hit as a result of your fault. Courts reduce comparative negligence settlements by the percentage of fault it’s said you contributed to your accident.
For example, say you stand to receive $200,000 for a slip and fall accident. However, the defendant argues that you are 50% at fault for your losses. Even if you win your case, you’ll only receive $100,000 for your losses.
Your Compensation in a Tucson Slip and Fall Case
Your slip and fall damages should pay you for everything that you have lost in the accident, including the money out of your pocket and your loss of health. With the help of a slip and fall attorney in Tucson, you could receive compensation for the following in a slip and fall claim:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages or opportunities for work
- Inability to perform the activities and enjoy your daily life
- Pain and suffering
There are some parts of your claim that are more subjective to value than others. For example, the insurance company will always underestimate your pain and suffering. After all, they are not in your shoes and have no idea what you are living with daily. Pain and suffering is one particular area where you need an attorney to fight.
When to Hire Zanes Law Personal Injury Lawyers
The Zanes Law slip and fall attorneys in Tucson, AZ, fight for clients injured by the negligence of property owners and business owners. When you come to us, we can:
Assess Fault in Your Case
Location impacts fault in a slip and fall accident. When you work with a Zanes Law personal injury lawyer, you leave it to us to determine what your role on the property in question was. Your role determines your rights and subsequently impacts what compensation to which you may be entitled.
We will not file your case in court until we know what circumstances led to your fall. This way, we can present the evidence found at the scene of your accident with a comprehensive understanding of your circumstances, your losses, and other parties’ relationships to the incident.
Help You Contend With Your Injuries
Your slip and fall accident can land you in the hospital for an extended period of time. You may even have a disabling injury to contend with. Should you lose your job due to these injuries, your slip and fall accident can upend your life.
We may not have medical experience, but we know how to take some of the post-accident stress off of your plate. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, we can begin researching the circumstances that led to your accident. We’ll keep you updated as investigations progress and can even file your complaint while you’re still in recovery.
All the while, we can keep track of the expenses related to your accident. When filing a slip and fall complaint, you may include all your medical expenses in your estimated compensation. By tracking these costs, we can ensure that you have the opportunity to fight for the financial support you need to recover.
Have a Combined 80 Years of Experience
Our personal injury lawyers have served Tucson and the surrounding counties for a combined 80 years. This experience has made us familiar with all manner of personal injury cases, not to mention the judicial staff currently serving in your community. If you want to fight for compensation, our team can bring know-how and courtroom familiarity to your case.
Discuss the Possible Results of Your Case With Our Attorneys
Zanes Law Injury Lawyers have a reputation for toughness. Insurance agencies don’t like to contend with us because they know they’ll have to fight to deny you your essential compensation. Over the years, we’ve won our clients:
- $215,000 settlements
- $225,000 settlements
- $100,000 settlements
- $150,000 settlements
When you put your personal injury case in the hands of Tucson, AZ, slip and fall accident lawyers, you give yourself the best chance to fight for post-accident financial compensation. You can contact us to learn more about our services and to begin building your case’s claim.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Increase the Odds of Winning My Slip and Fall Case?
How you choose to present the facts of your slip and fall cases changes how a court perceives your losses. If you want a better chance of winning your case, you should:
- Take immediate legal action to preserve on-the-scene evidence
- Receive prompt medical care for your injuries
- Hire an exceptional slip and fall lawyer in Tucson, AZ
The sooner you have an attorney on your team, the sooner you can submit a comprehensive slip and fall complaint to your local county clerk. We can gather evidence to support your claim while you’re still receiving medical care for your injuries. We can also keep an insurance agency from taking liberties at your expense.
Will Proving a Code Violation Help My Slip and Fall Case?
Proving a building code violation in your slip and fall case can certainly be strong evidence and help your case. However, it is not enough on its own to be evidence of negligence. One thing that may be particularly helpful is showing that the building’s owner has a long pattern of code violations. This is a pattern of behavior that can give some extra credibility to your arguments.
However, you will still need to prove that unreasonable actions led to your accident. Your claim will be particularly interested in how the property was at the exact time of the accident. If law enforcement shows up right after the fall and issues a citation based on what they saw when filling out the accident report, it can be proof for your case.
How do Tucson Slip and Fall Lawyers Make a Case Easier to Win?
Slip and fall cases are some of the most difficult personal injury cases for injured parties to win. That should not keep you from filing a lawsuit, though. If the facts are in your favor, you may have the grounds to fight for the financial support you deserve.
The biggest hurdle that accident victims need to overcome is a lack of objective evidence proving their claim. Once you have this evidence, it is far easier to show that the defendant acted unreasonably in your case.
That said, it is not always easy to get this evidence. The defendant may know that they have potential liability and can take steps to destroy evidence. The best thing that a lawyer can do for your case is to act quickly to assemble the proof that you need to demonstrate what happened to cause your accident.
What Happens If the Insurance Company doesn’t Believe My Injury Claims?
Many slip and fall injuries happen to the neck and back. Accident victims commonly suffer whiplash from these falls when their head snaps forward. However, soft tissue injuries may not always show up on paper the same as fractures. Insurance companies do not always believe neck and back injuries claims because they associate them with false slip and fall claims.
When you are the one who has suffered an injury, your injuries are very real to you. You hope that some evidence of your injury shows up in a medical provider’s notes or scans.
Insurance companies are big on objective evidence. Still, if they do not believe you, a lawsuit is the best way to show that you have been injured through the testimony of your doctor and friends and family who observed you after the fall.
How Can I Prove Causation in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The final element of the four-part negligence test in a personal injury case is causation, meaning that you must have evidence that the defendant’s actions caused your injuries. Insurance companies try to argue that your injuries happened another way. This is an argument that they employ when you have neck or back injuries.
As a claimant, the key question is, would you have suffered injuries but for the defendant’s actions? For example, if a certain box was not in the middle of the aisle, would your back not have suffered damage. Even if you had a pre-existing condition, you can show that the injury would not have become worse had it not been for the fall.
Another question to ask is whether the dangerous condition caused by the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in what the accident victim is now facing.
What Happens If the Accident Occurs on Residential Property?
First, you will need to figure out who was responsible for the accident. If the accident occurred in an apartment or condominium complex, it is not always clear whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for the accident.
If the tenant had complete control over the premises, the landlord might not be legally responsible for the injuries. The best-case scenario is to sue the landlord because they have a larger insurance policy.
Usually, the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in good working order and providing maintenance. However, there are some situations in which the landlord has done everything that they can, and it is the tenant who is responsible. For example, the tenant can leave something outside their door, and the landlord will not have enough time to do anything about it.
Can I Sue the Government in a Slip and Fall Case?
Some accidents can happen on Tucson city sidewalks or government property. Sovereign immunity for the government does not include immunity from these types of negligence lawsuits when the government failed to maintain its property.
There are different rules in effect when suing the government. You have far less time to file a lawsuit against the government. While the normal statute of limitations is two years in a personal injury case, you have only 180 days to sue the government. In addition, you need to file a notice of the claim that provides specific facts that demonstrate your legal right to financial support.
What If I Am Partially to Blame for My Injuries?
A property owner may attempt to claim that you were negligent or unreasonable while on their property, thus contributing to your accident. Being partially to blame for your injuries doesn’t rob you of the opportunity to pursue a claim, though.
Instead, the comparative negligence laws in Arizona allow slip and fall accident victims to receive some settlement money, so long as they were less than 100% to blame. This means that slip and fall victims can receive a settlement, even if they were walking too quickly down a store aisle or they were on their phone when they fell.
Your lawyer can tell you whether you have a possible case after reviewing the facts of your accident. The insurance company may be very quick to point the finger at you, and your lawyer will need to work to show that you were not as much to blame as they claim.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Case Worth?
The settlement check you can receive for your slip and fall losses varies based on your accident’s damages. Two people can slip and fall in the same area, and obtain completely different awards after suffering different injuries or living different lives.
For example, a 25-year-old who has an active lifestyle can suffer more damages when they are seriously injured. They may lose many things that they enjoy. Someone who works in a physical job and cannot perform their duties will have more damages than someone who sits at a desk and might be more able to work with a bone fracture or back injury.
Your lawyer will need to prove your damages for you to receive them. Insurance companies will not draw any inferences in your favor when it comes to what they pay you. In fact, it is quite the opposite, and if it is not extremely clear to them on paper, they will refuse to pay.
What Happens If My Slip and Fall Accident Occurs at a Friend’s House?
If you suffered an injury at the house of a friend or family member, you might be hesitant to file a claim against them, thinking that you will cost them money. You may be worried about the relationship or think that you are harming your friend.
In fact, it is their homeowner’s insurance that will be the one paying the money. If anything, the only negative consequence that the responsible person will suffer is their insurance rates going higher.
The only way that your friend or family member can be personally liable for your losses is if the claim is worth more than the policy limits. That is rare. If you do not file a claim because you are concerned about upsetting a friend, the person who loses the most is you because you have medical bills and damages for which you will not be receiving compensation.
What Happens If My Slip and Fall Accident Occurs at Work?
In most cases, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit for a slip and fall that happened at work. If your employer is the responsible party, you cannot sue them in a personal injury case except under the most limited of circumstances.
The only way that you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a work injury is if a third party caused it. This third party cannot be one of your coworkers.
Otherwise, your sole remedy for a work injury is the workers’ compensation system. This leads to a lower compensation amount because you do not receive full lost wages or payment for pain and suffering. Zanes Law Injury Lawyers can also help you with your workers’ compensation case, especially if someone denies your claim or you need to negotiate a settlement.
How Long does It Take a Slip and Fall Case to Resolve?
The amount of time it takes your slip and fall case to resolve depends on the efforts you put into building your argument. The longer you take to investigate and obtain evidence to support your claim, the longer your case will be.
That said, you’re not the only party controlling your case’s speed. Insurance companies can stall if they don’t want to contend with your complaint after you’ve filed it. So too can they force you to go through the appeals process after they deny your initial claim. This is when your slip and fall attorney will need to go to work to fight for your legal rights.
With all these cogs in motion, it becomes difficult to set a specific timeline for your slip and fall case. If you’re concerned about the amount of time your case may take, discuss the circumstances of your losses with our attorneys. We can keep you updated throughout the legal process and ensure you understand what’s going on in your case whenever you like.