Serious injuries can occur on public or private property (stores, business offices, restaurants, parking lots, public and private sidewalks, homes). They arise in different ways – slipping on substances that should not have been on the floor; tripping on trip-hazards such as uneven flooring or heaved portions of concrete slabs on sidewalks or entryways; slipping on extremely smooth tile or improper flooring materials installed in high foot traffic areas; tripping on improperly installed utility fixtures in parking lots or public walking areas; holes in parking lots and public walk areas. These are “premises liability” cases in Arizona.

These injuries often occur because the owner, operator or manager of the premises was negligent or at fault in either creating an unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises, allowing it to remain unchecked and unremedied, failing to periodically inspect the premises and make repairs or failing to warn the public of the dangerous condition. If no legal action is taken and the owner of the premises does not remedy or remove the dangerous condition, or does not change a dangerous way of doing business, then others will be injured.

Time Is Of The Essence In Securing Legal Representation

Injuries from these types of accidents are usually serious because the victim, who is going about his/her normal business at a public place, is not expecting to encounter the hazard. The victim is “ambushed” by the unforeseen substance on the floor or by the trip hazard. The falls are sudden, swift and violent. Common injuries in these types of falls are broken bones, twisted and torn knee ligaments (ACLs, MCLs), back and spine injuries and often head injuries from the head striking the ground.

If you have been seriously injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, it is critical that you seek the advice of experienced litigation counsel as quickly as possible. Of all personal injury cases, premises liability cases are among the most difficult to prosecute and win because of the many legal defense available to the owner of the premises. Knowing this, insurance companies and their attorneys routinely deny these claims and do not offer settlements in premises liability cases without a fight.

To get a settlement offer or a successful verdict at trial, you will need a skilled, experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in Arizona premises liability law and who knows how to investigate the accident, collect the evidence and develop your case to neutralize all of the possible defenses and who is willing to file a lawsuit and take the case to trial. Experts may be needed to inspect the site condition before the evidence disappears; store video may have to be secured.

A lot of skilled work has to be done quickly to neutralize the defenses. Faced with this daunting task, a lot of personal injury attorneys will not take a premises liability case. Fortunately, Terry J. Fong is not one of those attorneys. He has accepted many premises liability cases for clients who have been turned away by many other personal injury attorneys. He has successfully obtained settlements for these clients through diligent, knowledgeable and tenacious representation, in negotiations and litigation. In his 30-plus years of litigation experience, lawyer Terry J. Fong and his Gilbert, Arizona, law firm have developed an expertise and intricate knowledge of premises liability Law. They have successfully prosecuted injury claims for clients injured in national stores, shopping centers, restaurants, office buildings, public areas such as airports and public parking lots and sidewalks.

If you are injured on public or private premises, these are the minimum steps you need to take to preserve your case for evaluation:

  • Insist that the store or premises owner/manager make an incident report; if anything is inaccurately stated, make changes to it.
  • If you are asked to sign the incident report that someone else wrote, review it carefully and correct inaccuracies before you sign it; if you are in too much pain to properly review the report, then don’t sign it.
  • Ask for a copy of the incident report.
  • Take down as many witnesses’ names and contact information as possible (other shoppers, store employees).
  • Take some photos of the condition that caused your fall (the premises owner will remove the condition quickly).
  • If you tripped on an uneven walking surface (such as a heaved portion of flooring or concrete slab), take a measurement of the difference in elevation between the surfaces that caused your trip.
  • Consult with your doctor as soon as possible to document your injury.
  • If the insurance company for the store/premises calls, do not give a recorded statement. You have the right to request no recording.
  • Contact an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible for a case evaluation.

Premises liability cases are difficult, but they can be won with hard work and knowledge of the law. The Gilbert, Arizona, law firm of Terry J. Fong Law Group will gladly evaluate your slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall case for you. The consultation is free. If we accept your case, our fee is a contingent fee (percentage) and will be paid at the end of the case from the settlement. If we do not recover a settlement, then you owe no fee.

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