Slip and Fall Accident: The Legal Issues That Come With It

March 8, 2012, by Price Benowitz LLP

Slip and Fall Injuries are much more complex than what people would normally consider. Without seeking an experienced slip and fall lawyer to help you with your situation, you might not have the proper protection you need to get the compensation you deserve.

Not only are these injuries sometimes permanent injuries, they can also be very costly. There are many factors that go into proving that there was negligence on the premises where the injury occurred.

Slip and Fall Legal Issues According to Arizona Laws

Frequently, a property owner in premises liability claims will argue that the injured victim should have seen the hazardous condition that caused the slip and fall. This claim can be weak, considering that retailers often distract customers from watching their steps. Business or property owners use eye-catching advertising and packaging to encourage customers to focus on the products rather than on the floor.

Another important slip and fall legal issue involves the "status" of the visitor or customer on the property. Owner liability will depend on what type of visitor the injured person was when injured: invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

Invitee. If a property owner invites a person to enter the property, he or she may be liable for failure to have "reasonable care" in keeping the premises safe. Examples include supermarket and retail store customers and, in Arizona, guests of an apartment tenant or motel guest.

Licensee. A licensee is not a customer, employee or trespasser; does not have a contract with the property owner; and is allowed by the owner on the property. A social guest at a home is considered a licensee. The property owner is liable for injury to a licensee for "willful or wanton" injury, for hidden dangers, and if the guest is not adequately warned about dangers.

Trespasser. A trespasser enters someone else's property without permission, like a burglar or other unwanted guest. A business or property owner is least liable for the injury of a trespasser compared with the other categories of visitors. .

A trespasser is clearly defined, but figuring out whether the injured person was an invitee or licensee according to Arizona law can be difficult. The best thing for you to do if you are involved in a slip and fall injury in Arizona is to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney to help protect your rights.