Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/slip and fall

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Question
I fell yesterday in a major chain store --as I lay on the floor in pain I looked around to see what it was that I slipped on--it was a small puddle of colored liquid soap and there were no bottles of soap on the floor or open bottles around in the aisle.  As I lie there on the floor a few store workers heard me asking for help and took pictures of me on the floor--my leg was so painful and I did not think I could get up--they got me a cart to raise myself up and a wheel chair to sit in.  Anyway--the doctor said it would take 6 to 8 weeks for my hamstring muscle to heel ..I can't bend down to pick anything up or sit  on certain seats like the toilet without lots of pain even taking ibuprofen 800 mg 3 x a day.  I have not given any statement and wanted an attorney to handle this in the Arizona area as I do not trust insurance companies--and I have read that this particular store doesn't take responsibility for their negligence--I take care of a very elderly parent who now I will be kind of useless to for awhile---I am kind of depressed about this whole thing--Arizona is a bad State since an organization called A L E C was born here and is very active and it seems almost makes attorneys taking muscle injury cases moot--I can't afford to be in pain and incapacitated for very long!!!  Help

Answer
Marie,

I am sorry to hear about your fall and injury. I hope you are able to make a full and fast recovery.

You say that this incident occurred in Arizona. I practice law in New York and am not expert on the laws of Arizona. I recommend that you contact a local personal injury attorney who has experience with slip and fall cases in stores. If you need help finding an attorney, your county bar association should be able to help you with a referral. The initial consultation should be free. Your local attorney should be able to guide you on the best way to proceed.

I can offer some general information based on the laws of New York. To prevail in a slip and fall case in New York, you need to prove that the store either caused the hazardous condition - in this case the slippery liquid on the floor – or knew about it (or should have known about it) and failed to clean it up or take action. You then need to prove that you suffered injuries from the fall and to put a value on those injuries. New York allows for comparative liability – meaning a jury can decide that both the plaintiff and the defendant share responsibility for the fall. Some states – Arizona may be one – do not allow for comparative liability, making the burden of proof much higher. You can see why I urge you to speak to a local attorney as soon as possible.

I wish you well in your recovery.

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Carol L. Schlitt

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I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience handling car accident and motor vehicle cases, slip and fill cases, medical malpractice, premises liability, pedestrian and bicycle accidents and personal injury cases. I have been named Municipal Attorney of the Year in New York City and had my cases listed among Top Ten Verdicts in New York. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association, and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk.

Experience

I am a New York personal injury attorney with over 20 years experience. I previously served as Associate Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department and was named New York Municipal Attorney of the Year. I served as Lead Trial Counsel for Manhattan Law firm of Acito and Klein. I have led my solo law practice for over ten years focused on personal injury and medical malpractice awards. My cases have been listed among the Top Trial Verdicts. I publish the leading legal blog, New York Law Thoughts. I am active in the New York Trial Lawyers Association and the Bar Associations of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Suffolk and I serve as a judge in the national collegiate moot court competition. I am admitted to practice in New York and the Federal District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts.

Organizations
• American Trial Lawyers Association • New York State Bar Association • New York State Trial Lawyers Association • Bronx Bar Association • Brooklyn Bar Association • Suffolk County Bar Association • Holy Cross Alumni Lawyer’s Guild • St. John's University Alumni Association • National Association for Female Executives

Publications
My writings have appeared in Newsday, The Long Islander, the Times of Huntington and the legal blog, New York Law Thoughts.

Education/Credentials
I received my undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated from St. John’s University Law School. I have taken graduate courses at New York University.

Awards and Honors
• Named Municipal Attorney of the Year • Cases listed among the Top Ten Verdicts in New York State • My blog, New York Law Thoughts, has been listed as one of the leading U.S. Law Blogs

Past/Present Clients
I have had hundreds of clients over my 20 plus years as an attorney. All of my current clients are individuals living in the New York metropolitan area (Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester). I can provide references upon request.

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