Arizona Personal Injury Law: Don’t Let your Fall Slip Through the Cracks
Arizona personal injury law applies to almost every kind of bodily injury imaginable. Brain injuries, broken bones, cuts, bruises, and so on. If you’ve been hurt by someone else’s carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Only an experienced Arizona Personal Injury attorney can provide you the help you need to assert your rights.
Most slip and fall cases occur when someone doesn’t take proper care of their property. If the person responsible for a property doesn’t maintain it, be it a private home, a supermarket, or a public street the law allows a process to find the owner liable for your injuries and damages. There are many different rules in “premises liability” law in Arizona. A recovery could well depend upon what you were doing on the property before you got hurt. Were you allowed to be there? Arizona law treats your status very differently. Were you an “invitee”, a “licensee” or a “trespasser?” Do you know? In some cases, two people with the same injuries caused in the same way by the same dangerous property can get very different results in the legal system, depending on whether the law treats them as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. An experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer knows these rules and can help to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
A common defense to premises liability cases is to blame the injured victim: They fell because they were inattentive, clumsy or doing something unexpected. Keep in mind however that the person responsible for a property always has a certain responsibility to keep it “reasonably safe” for others.
For example: In a famously reported slip and fall case from the 19th century, a drunk man was staggering down the street in a California town, and fell down a manhole that had been left uncovered. The man was badly hurt, and sued the people responsible for maintaining the street. The defendants claimed that even though they did leave the road in an unsafe condition, the accident was really the man’s fault for being drunk. The court disagreed, writing “A drunken man is as much entitled to a safe street as a sober one, and much more in need of it.” In other words, it didn’t matter that the man didn’t do all that he could have done to avoid being injured–the point was that the street wasn’t safe.
In Arizona personal injury law today, the same largely holds true. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this doesn’t mean your own behavior doesn’t sometimes affect your rights. Slip and fall cases are decided on a comparative fault standard, which means that the jury will have to decide how much of the event was the landowners fault, and how much was the victim’s own fault.
It’s easy to dismiss a fall as a minor accident, but the injuries can sometimes be anything but minor. We represented a very nice woman a few years ago who fell on a slippery sidewalk and sustained a life-altering brain injury. Anyone who has watched a professional basketball game knows that even supremely conditioned athletes sometimes come down awkwardly and suffer injuries to joints and ligaments that can keep them off the court for weeks or months.
“Premises liability” falls can result in serious injury. Contrary to myth, a landowner is not “automatically liable” to you just because you fall on his property. You will have to establish a very precise set of facts to prove the landowner to be liable, and for this, no one can better help than an experienced Arizona personal injury lawyer. To speak with an experienced, local personal injury attorney, please call Zachar Law Firm at (602) 494-4800 or visit our website at www.zacharassociates.com.