Can You Sue a Business for a Slip-and-Fall in Arkansas?

A "Caution: Wet Floor" sign on business premises.

A serious slip and fall injury can turn your life upside down in the blink of an eye. Sadly, such accidents account for over 1 million emergency room visits annually across the United States.

An exceptionally bad fall can permanently impact your life. If you sustained a traumatic fall in a place of business in Arkansas, you may be wondering whether you can pursue compensation by filing a slip and fall claim against the business owner.

Falling in a public place does not automatically warrant pursuing a legal claim. However, if you can prove that you suffered an injury due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you may have valid grounds on which to sue.

In this post, we will discuss the concept of premises liability under Arkansas law and how this impacts slip-and-fall accident claims. We will then consider what evidence will aid your claim and how a personal injury attorney can help a fall victim build a case.

Establishing Negligence and Liability After Falling in a Place of Business

For there to be grounds to sue the property owner or file an insurance claim after a fall, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the owner or his or her representative.

Slip and fall claims generally fall under premises liability laws. In the State of Arkansas, both public and private property owners have the legal obligation to ensure that their premises are reasonably maintained and safe for visitors.

When a dangerous situation arises, it is the property owner or manager’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to remedy the problem without delay. Until the issue is resolved, customers and other members of the public must be warned of the potentially hazardous situation.

After falling in a place of business, to establish negligence against the property or business owner, you will need to prove:

  • That there was an unsafe condition that existed on the premises
  • That the business owner or management was aware – or should have been aware – that the unsafe condition existed
  • That the business owner or management failed to remedy – or put up proper warning signs of – the unsafe condition in a timely manner
  • That you fell and were injured as a result of the business owner or management failing to act to correct the unsafe condition

Oftentimes, slip-and-fall accident claims are less than straightforward. Although the business or property owner legally owed you a duty of care, it may be more challenging than you realize to prove the property owner’s fault after a slip and fall injury. 

When facing complications in seeking compensation after falling, an Arkansas slip and fall lawyer can help you establish the circumstances that led up to your fall. This will enable you to show liability and build a strong foundation for a successful slip and fall lawsuit.

The Value of Convincing Evidence in Slip and Fall Cases

In order to successfully pursue a slip and fall lawsuit, you should gather as much compelling evidence against the negligent property owner as you possibly can.

Document the incident thoroughly. No piece of evidence is too small – and the more evidence you have, the more solid your case will be.

Document and retain the following:

  • The location where the fall injury occurred
  • The time and date of the accident
  • Accident or incident reports
  • The cause of the accident, such as a wet floor, broken handrails, or debris in the aisle 
  • Eyewitness statements and contact information
  • Surveillance footage revealing how the accident happened and the resulting injuries
  • Photos or videos at the scene of the fall that document the dangerous condition 
  • Photos of your fall injuries, such as bruises, lacerations, or broken bones
  • Medical records related to any treatment for your injuries
  • Medical bills or medical expenses stemming from your slip and fall injuries
  • Proof of lost wages as a result of having to miss work after the accident
  • Any applicable workers’ compensation insurance or disability forms
  • The shoes and clothing you wore, in the condition they were in after the fall
  • Receipts of any out-of-pocket expenses connected with the fall injury case

It is wise to save any evidence you have collected for the full duration of your slip and fall case. Presenting evidence of the property owner’s negligence, as well as proof of your injuries and damages, will significantly strengthen your case.

How Arkansas Comparative Fault Laws May Impact a Slip and Fall Claim

Arkansas is a modified comparative negligence state. Under this law, a business may not be held liable for your fall injuries and other losses if your own actions mainly caused the slip-and-fall.

After a fall accident in Arkansas, you will need to prove that you were 49 percent or less at fault for the incident to recover damages. 

For instance, say you were texting while walking through the grocery store and thus failed to see a wet floor sign. An ordinary person is expected to take reasonable care to avoid any dangerous situation he or she may come upon, if at all possible. Therefore, in such cases, the business may not be solely liable for your resulting fall injuries. 

Nevertheless, even if you are partly to blame for your fall injury, you may still have a legitimate claim against the business or property owner. That said, insurance adjusters will almost certainly endeavor to use the comparative negligence statute to deny or weaken your case. An experienced Arkansas slip and fall attorney can evaluate the strength of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall Claim

It is no simple task to collect evidence after a slip and fall injury. Further, organizing the evidence and assessing the real cost of damages in order to negotiate a settlement or take the case to court can be stressful and time-consuming. 

A lawyer can do much of the footwork for you so that you can focus on your recovery. Your slip and fall attorney can conduct his or her own investigation into the incident, interview witnesses, and gather evidence that you would not be able to attain on your own. 

A lawyer experienced in Arkansas premises liability law will have the know-how required to establish that a property owner was negligent. Moreover, your lawyer will work with you to assign a fair compensation amount for your losses.

Your lawyer will interact with insurance companies and others for you, ensuring that you are not taken advantage of or pressured into an unfair settlement agreement. Additionally, he or she will make sure that all paperwork is filed in a timely manner so no important deadlines are missed. Your lawyer will also argue your case at trial if an acceptable resolution cannot be reached beforehand.

Get Advice From an Experienced Arkansas Slip and Fall Attorney

After an unexpected slip-and-fall accident, filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against an Arkansas business may seem an impossible feat. 

There is no reason to try to do this single-handedly. The empathetic personal injury lawyers of Minton Law Firm are well-equipped to help you through every step of the claims process.

It is not uncommon for claims involving premises liability law to involve difficult insurance negotiations. As a former insurance adjuster himself, our lead attorney Justin Minton knows the intricacies of the insurance industry. Justin is especially qualified to handle any challenges that may come up in a negotiation, and he has made sure his legal team members are also prepared to handle such disputes.

The Minton legal team believes that property owners should be held responsible when they fail to reasonably maintain their premises. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident in an Arkansas business, we want to hear your story.

Get the help you deserve today. Call the Minton Law Firm at 855-Xadjuster or complete our contact form to schedule a free legal consultation.

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