Step One: Proving the Defendant Knew or Should Have Known
First, someone who is injured in a slip and fall must prove the defendant (the landowner or occupier of the land) knew or should have known the condition existed. If the person who slips on something cannot show that the defendant had an opportunity to recognize the hazard and fix it, the defendant is not responsible.
Step Two: It Must Have Been an Unreasonably Dangerous Condition
Not everything that causes a fall is an unreasonably dangerous condition. Sometimes, a fall is caused by something that is not beleived by most to be something that would cause a fall. Thus, Arizona law requires the person who fell to prove that the defendant knew or should have known of an unreasonably dangerous condition.
Step Three: The Unreasonably Dangerous Must Have Caused the Injury
The person who was hurt must be able to prove that they suffered an injury that was directly caused by the fall, itself. For instance, if someone undergoes back surgery after a serious fall, this - alone - is not enough to prevail in the case. Instead, it must be proven that the back surgery was a direct result (casued by) the unreasonably dangerous condition that caused the fall.
Step Four: Damages
How much compensation is fair compensation? This is a complicated question in Arizona personal injury law, including injury lawsuits arising from a slip and fall on property. There is no "schedule" that shows how much compensation will be considered fair in a personal injury case, as there may be in workers compnesation injuries. The damages must be proven, and they include lost wages, medical expenses, future lost wages (diminished earning capacity) and future medical bills. This also includes general damages such as pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and so fother.
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