In April I slipped on food/water on the ground at a local casino here in arizona...i did fall and caused injury. I went to the hospital for the injuries. And now the casino is admitting fault. Ive been working with a rep from the casino who seems to be procrastinating. i need to know if I can handle this on my own or if its in my best interest in contacting a lawyer to assist me.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I know nothing about tribal law (except when it comes to custody and adoptions etc) or AZ law. However, a competent attorney in your area will.
It is always in your best interest to contact a competent attorney in your area to discuss any legal issue. Most times it is free to get some advice and learn a little about whatever the subject is. Most of us are nice people that want to help others and spend a lot of time dealing with difficult issues the rest of our neighbors hopefully will never have to think about.
An attorney may get you more money maybe not. If he is competent and well recommended he/she will tell you if it is worth his time and your money.
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
You likely can handle this case on your own. It sounds like you have a fairly small case with no permanent injuries. If that is true, you can attempt to handle the case yourself and save the one-third (or around there) fee you would have to pay a lawyer.
If your only problem so far is the rep procrastinating, I'd suggest being a bit more assertive. Call the rep more frequently for updates. Eventually they'll get your claim resolved.
However, you may want to consult with a lawyer in your area. Most good lawyers will give you a free consultation and may give you some suggestions on how to handle this case yourself. I'd suggest looking for lawyers who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) or the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association (AzTLA). These are plaintiff lawyers who deal with these kind of cases all the time.
It is in your best interest to consult or hire an Arizona personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about the applicable negligence and premises liability law, the strategies and tactics the casino uses when handling these types of claims, the best ways to estimate your past and future damages accurately based on your medical records and other evidence available to you, and the most effective ways to negotiate with the casino.
If you are dealing with a Native American tribe--and you certainly are if you're talking about a casino in Arizona--it behooves you to hire an attorney who is well versed in American Indian law. This is a very specialized and complicated area of the law, and also every tribe is a little bit different in terms of their statutes and generally how they deal with these issues. If they have contracted out their casino management to a non-tribal company--such as Harrah's--then you may get "lucky" in that you would be dealing with a private company rather than a sovereign nation, which is essentially what tribes are. If you are negotiating with the tribe directly and particularly if the "rep" with whom you are dealing is native, it will be more of an uphill battle to recover for your damages. Frankly, from past experience, I am a bit surprised that the casino is admitting any fault whatsoever. But, hey, if they are willing to work with you on a reasonable settlement, that is the best possible scenario (way better than trying to go to trial in a tribal court and deal with the "sovereign immunity" defense). And I wouldn't worry a great deal about the "procrastinating." There's a little thing called "Indian time," which just means that typically things move slower and people take more time to make decisions within a tribe or Indian reservation. Wishing you the best of luck.
This post should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.<br /> <a href="http://www.joanbundylaw.com" target="_blank">Joan M. Bundy, Attorney at Law, Casa Grande, Arizona</a> |