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Arizona Slip-and-Fall Laws

Let’s say you’re shopping for groceries. A customer dropped a glass bottle full of liquid that employees didn’t clean up in a timely manner, nor did they put a sign up alerting patrons to the hazard. As you’re reaching for something on the top shelf, you slip and fall down, hitting your head on the floor and cutting your arm on the glass.

You’re rushed to the hospital, where you’re diagnosed with a mild concussion, and the laceration on your arm requires stitches. Suddenly you’re looking at thousands of dollars in medical bills and being out of work for a few days.

You shouldn’t be responsible for these damages, and the experienced Arizona slip-and-fall lawyers at Torgenson Law can help make sure your rights are protected.

What Injuries Are Common with Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

The most common result of such an accident is a broken bone. Hip fractures are especially common in elderly people who fall due to poor balance. Depending on the severity, a broken bone can take months to heal and can be accompanied by extreme pain and discomfort. In the worst cases, surgery may be required to repair the bone.

Soft tissue injuries are also fairly common in slip-and-fall accidents. Nerve damage is particularly agonizing because the effects of such an injury can be long-term. This type of injury can result in paralysis and even permanent disability. Other chronic soft tissue injuries can include knee, neck, and back pain. In extreme cases, these injuries can lead to disability or may require surgery.

If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll need to act fast to secure your rights and pursue compensation.

Slip-and-Fall Statute of Limitations

The slip-and-fall statute of limitations in Arizona is a law that sets a certain timeframe in which victims of slip-and-fall accidents must file a claim. The Arizona statute of limitations for slip-and-fall accidents is two years from the date of the incident, as outlined by Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542.

This means that the plaintiff must file the case within two years of the date they were injured. If the case is not filed within the two-year period, it is likely to be rejected, and the plaintiff may not receive compensation.

The statute of limitations for slip-and-fall accidents may be extended depending on the circumstances. For example, suppose the injured person is under the age of 18 or lacks the capacity to bring a claim. In that case, the statute of limitations for the accident may be extended until the individual is legally able to file a claim.

In addition, if the injured individual is unaware of the source of their injury or the responsible party’s identity, the statute of limitations for the accident may be paused until this information can be determined.

It is important that if you were involved in a slip-and-fall accident, you file a case within the two-year time frame. If you fail to do so, you may likely not receive compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a slip-and-fall accident, contact the Arizona slip-and-fall injury attorneys at Torgenson Law, who can help you understand your rights and advise you on your best course of action to receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

Comparative Negligence in Arizona Slip and Fall Cases

Comparative negligence is a legal concept used in Arizona in slip-and-fall cases to determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party involved in the incident. Comparative negligence is a type of “comparative fault,” which states that each party involved in a slip-and-fall accident can be assigned a percentage of fault. The total amount of fault apportioned to all parties involved must equal 100%.

If you go to court for your case, you can expect to hear arguments from the property owner similar to:

  • The dangerous property condition should have been obvious to you
  • The dangerous area was alerted to you by cones and signage
  • You weren’t inattentive to where you were walking
  • You weren’t wearing appropriate shoes or boots for the circumstances

Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-2505 states that when the plaintiff in a personal injury case, such as a slip-and-fall injury, is found to share partial blame for the accident, “the claimant’s action is not barred, but the full damages shall be reduced in proportion to the relative degree of the claimant’s fault which is a proximate cause of the injury or death, if any.”

What this generally means is that if you were injured from a slip-and-fall accident, you could still receive compensation even if the court finds you partially at fault for the accident. So, for example, if you were found 25% liable for the accident, any award granted will be reduced by 25%.

How Can Comparative Negligence Affect Your Slip-and-Fall Case?

The court may also consider the level of care each party took in the situation. If the plaintiff was aware of the hazard in the area and knew it was unsafe but failed to take proper steps to avoid the hazard, the court will typically find that the plaintiff was negligent in the incident. This can result in a further reduction in the amount of damages awarded.

On the other hand, the comparative negligence policy may even hold the defendant partially liable, despite the fact that the plaintiff may have been the principal cause of the fall. For example, if the defendant knew of the hazard but failed to fix it in a timely manner, the court may find them partially liable for the incident. This may include an award of damages even if the plaintiff was found to have been the most negligent party.

To ensure that comparative fault works in your favor in Arizona, you need to be familiar with the legal principles and take appropriate steps during a personal injury case. Since Arizona follows a pure comparative fault system, it means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover damages, albeit reduced by your percentage of fault.

To ensure you have the best care possible, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to demonstrate the other party’s negligence and minimize any contribution of negligence on your part. This involves taking photographs, collecting witness statements, obtaining police reports or accident records, and preserving any relevant documentation, such as medical reports or receipts for damages.

Next, consult with our personal injury attorneys in Arizona. They can evaluate the circumstances of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and provide sound legal advice tailored to your specific situation. Our attorneys will guide you through the legal process, gather additional evidence if necessary, and present a strong argument demonstrating the other party’s greater share of fault.

It is important to be cautious when discussing the accident or injury, especially with insurance adjusters or representatives of the other party involved. Anything you say can be used against you and potentially be twisted into an admission of fault. It is best to let your lawyer do the talking.

If You’ve Had a Slip-and-Fall Accident, Call Torgenson Law Today

At Torgenson Law, we understand that Arizona slip-and-fall laws can be confusing and even perplexing. Our attorneys work with accident victims to ensure they understand the process for obtaining compensation and help build the strongest case possible. Reach out to us online or call us today at 602-726-0747 to start on your path to recovery.

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