New technology helps document slip & falls

Arizona residents know a slip and fall accident in a retail store can cause significant disruption to daily life. A recently released report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau reveals over 2000 slip and fall accidents occurred in 2011. That number is a 12 percent increase from 2010.

New laser technology in retail stores

New 3D laser technology is proving useful in documenting scenes where slip and fall accidents occur. The security and loss department of a retail store normally assists when a customer slips and falls. They help determine if the customer is injured and may take photos or draw a diagram of the scene.

If the customer attempts to hold the store liable, it may be a couple of months before a lawsuit is filed. The integrity of an accident scene is more than disrupted months after it occurs. Therefore early and accurate documentation is important, and the new 3D technology allows asset protection departments to record a scene more efficiently than before. The new technology is also important because asset protection employees are typically not adequately trained to accurately capture the scene of a slip and fall.

The new laser technology is a combination of a scanner and software such as VisualStatement or AutoCAD. It enables asset protection employees to scan the scene, register the data, and transmit it back to the home office the same day the accident occurs.

Asset protection employees are given thorough training on a regional or store-by-store level before using the technology. The use of the technology does not require special law enforcement knowledge and the entire scene does not need to be recreated. This makes the process easy for employees to learn.

Data gathered from using the technology, combined with training, satisfies the current legal standard for scientific evidence and expert testimony. This makes the technology extremely beneficial to large retail chains concerned about cost points and that want a system that creates data admissible in court.

Slip and fall remedies

Slip and fall accidents are common in Arizona. An individual who sustains injuries from a slip and fall accident at a retail store because the area was not kept reasonably safe may file a claim for compensation.

Arizona law requires a showing that the person possessing the property where the accident occurs acted negligently. Stores often attempt to deny liability for the accident by claiming the injured individual should have seen the condition or that it was plainly visible. However, if the property possessor was aware of the condition that resulted in the accident and did nothing to remedy it, they may be liable if the condition causes harm to a visitor.

Stores may attempt to settle the situation by offering to pay medical bills before a lawsuit is filed. However, compensation for additional items such as pain and suffering or loss of earnings may also be available through the legal system.

An individual injured in a slip and fall accident can benefit from an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney can protect a fall victim's legal rights and provide guidance through the legal process.

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