Slip and Fall Cases
No doubt at some point you have been walking in your local Safeway, Fry’s or Walmart and you have seen the classic yellow caution sign with silhouette of someone falling. The purpose of this sign is to warn customers that there is something on the floor that creates a dangerous condition that could cause someone to slip and fall. There are instances though where the store owner/management does not warn of the dangerous condition. This could be because the owner/manager is not aware of the condition, which could be due to a failure to properly inspect the aisles to make sure there is no water or some other substance that may pose a danger. Or it could be that the owner/manager is aware but has not yet taken steps to prevent the dangerous condition. This the most common type of slip and fall cases.
In Arizona, in slip and fall cases, the property owner’s level of responsibility to warn and protect from these conditions depends on the nature of the relationship between it/he/she and the visitor. In the example above, the store owner owes the customer a duty to take reasonable care to make sure the property is free from a dangerous condition. This includes warning of a known dangerous condition and/or taking reasonable steps to inspect the property to make sure it is free from any dangerous conditions, or taking reasonable measures to repair or correct the dangerous condition.
When some one is injured in slip and fall cases, it can be a difficult task to establish that the property owner knew of the condition and failed to warn its customers or that the owner failed to take reasonable steps such as routine aisle inspections. If you or someone you know does slip and fall there are a few things you can do that may go along way in proving the owner’s responsibility. First, make sure you complete an incident report and request a copy. Second, ask if there is any video which may have captured the fall and ask that the preserve it. Third, if you can or someone you with you can, use a cellphone to take pictures of the area that you fell. These three steps can go a long way in helping prove your slip and fall case.