Property owners and property managers in Phoenix have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of any person visiting their residence or business, and if there is a dangerous condition on the property, the property owner is required to provide visitors with adequate warnings about the condition. When a Phoenix property owner violates this duty of care and an accident occurs, known as a premises liability accident, the owner can be held liable for any injuries or damages resulting from the accident. At Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC, our Phoenix premises liability lawyers are committed to pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claims on behalf of individuals who suffer injuries or the loved ones of individuals who are killed because of the negligence of a property owner or property manager. Contact our Phoenix personal injury law firm today to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the property owner responsible for your injuries and losses.
Knowledgeable Phoenix Premises Liability Attorneys
Any time property owners or property managers ignore safety or security issues on their property or fail to take appropriate action to address potentially dangerous conditions, they can be held liable for any injuries victims sustain under a legal principle known as premises liability. Proving negligence in a Phoenix premises liability accident case requires assistance from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, one who can investigate the circumstances of the accident and the duty of care the property owner owed you as a guest or visitor, and prove that the owner’s negligence, inadequate property maintenance or insufficient security resulted in your accident.
Our legal team at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC knows what to look for when proving a Phoenix premises liability case, including loose handrails, cracked sidewalks, unmarked wet floors, unsecured dogs and other hallmarks of a poorly maintained property. Knowing your rights and how best to proceed after a Phoenix premises liability accident can be extremely difficult, especially if you have suffered serious injuries in the accident. Our lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC are well-versed in Phoenix premises liability law and we have the skill and expertise necessary to identify the person or party who is at fault for the accident and help you hold that person or party accountable for your injuries, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
A Phoenix premises liability accident is an accident that takes place due to a property owner’s failure to maintain safe premises for guests, customers or visitors. The most common type of premises liability accident is a slip and fall accident, which occurs when a person slips and falls on another person’s property because of a hazardous condition that exists on the property. However, there are many different types of premises liability accidents in Phoenix, some of which include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Accidents and drownings at swimming pools
- Hotel and resort accidents
- Dog bite accidents
- Falling merchandise
- Inadequate security
- Golf course accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
Injuries Resulting from Premises Liability Accidents
When you visit another person’s property, the last thing you expect is to suffer a catastrophic or potentially life-threatening injury. Unfortunately, premises liability accidents often result in traumatic injury and these types of accidents can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, which means your entire life can change in a split second. Some of the most common injuries resulting from premises liability accidents in Phoenix include the following:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Dog bite injuries
- Burn injuries
Many of these injuries require emergency medical care and are serious enough to result in life-long complications requiring costly, ongoing treatment. On top of that, the injuries you suffer in a Phoenix premises liability accident may prevent you from returning to work for a period of time or possibly even permanently, which can result in a devastating loss of income.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Injuries
Premises liability accidents can result in debilitating physical injuries, as well as severe emotional pain and suffering, among other damages, and in order to successfully recover compensation for the injuries resulting from a premises liability accident, you will need documented proof that the property owner’s negligence was the cause of your injuries. Premises liability accidents in Phoenix typically occur because of hazardous conditions on the property in question, such as wet or slippery floors, malfunctioning elevators, exposed sharp objects, exposed wiring, equipment malfunctions, lack of appropriate lighting, exposure to dangerous materials, damaged sidewalks, accumulation of snow or ice, or dangerous debris. If you have been seriously injured in a Phoenix premises liability accident caused by one or more of these hazardous conditions, you may be able to recover compensation from the negligent property owner for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Claims
There is a strict time limit in Arizona when it comes to filing a premises liability lawsuit and if you fail to file a claim before the legal deadline, you could lose your right to compensation. The statute of limitations that applies to premises liability accidents in Phoenix is the same as the larger statute that applies to all personal injury claims. Under this statute, you generally have two years to file a claim against the property owner or property manager whose negligence caused your accident. However, if the owner or manager responsible for the property on which the premises liability accident occurred is a government or public entity, you may have a much shorter deadline to file a claim, possibly as little as 180 days.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
In Phoenix, a property owner can be held liable for injuries resulting from an accident that took place on his or her property if: the owner knew or should have known that a hazardous condition existed and neglected to correct the condition, willfully or maliciously caused the condition that led to the victim’s injuries or death, and/or failed to adequately warn visitors or guests about the hazardous condition present on the property. Even if the property owner was not aware of the existence of the hazardous condition, he or she may still be legally liable to pay damages to an injured victim if the victim can show that the owner: operated the business in such a way that he or she should have reasonably anticipated that hazardous conditions would regularly occur, and negligently failed to prevent harm from occurring under those hazardous conditions. In order to prove negligence in your Phoenix premises liability case, you must establish the following elements:
- Duty of care – The property owner owns, occupies or leases the property where the accident occurs, which means he or she is responsible for maintaining a safe environment;
- Breach of duty – The property owner violated the duty of care by failing to properly maintain the property (i.e. the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to identify and address a hazardous condition on the property, but failed to do so);
- Causation – By violating the duty of care, the property owner directly caused your injuries; and
- Damages – As a result of the injuries, you suffered compensable damages.
Comparative Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
Under Arizona law, there is no cap on the damages you can recover in a Phoenix premises liability lawsuit against a negligent property owner. However, Arizona is a comparative negligence state, which means the total damages you are entitled to in your premises liability case can be significantly reduced if the court determines that your actions contributed in part to the accident that caused your injuries. For instance, if the property owner argues that the dangerous condition on the property should have been obvious to you, or that your footwear was inappropriate given the circumstances, and you are therefore found partially at fault for your injuries, your damages award will be reduced by a percentage equal to your share of negligence with regard to the accident.
Levels of Care for Visitors in Phoenix
Under Arizona law, property owners owe a duty of care to visitors who are on the property lawfully, a duty that does not apply to individuals who trespass or break into private property illegally. The following are the three main types of lawful and unlawful “visitors” in Phoenix premises liability cases:
- Invitees – Lawful visitors given express or implied permission to enter the property to conduct a business transaction, sometimes referred to as “business visitors.”
- Licensees – Lawful visitors who are on the property for their own benefit or enjoyment, such as social guests.
- Trespassers – Individuals who are on the property unlawfully or without the implied permission of the property owner. A trespasser can only hold a property owner liable for injuries sustained on the property if the injuries were inflicted by the property owner willfully or maliciously.
The only situation in which a property owner in Phoenix would owe a legal duty of care to a trespasser would be if the trespasser is a child. A property owner can be held liable for any injury to a child trespasser under the following circumstances:
- If the owner knew or should have known that children could trespass on the property,
- If there was an attractive nuisance that a child would be particularly susceptible to (i.e. a tire swing, unfenced swimming pool or trees for climbing),
- If the child was too young to fully appreciate the risks associated with trespassing, or
- If the owner failed to use reasonable care in protecting children on his or her property from harm.
How We Can Help
When a Phoenix property owner is negligent and fails to keep his or her property free of dangerous conditions, the consequences can be devastating and possibly even fatal for guests or customers who visit the property under the expectation that the property is reasonably safe. And under premises liability laws in Arizona, property owners can be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that occur because of their failure to maintain a safe and secure property. Filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim following a premises liability accident in Phoenix can be time-consuming and emotionally draining, especially for accident victims or their loved ones. Our knowledgeable attorneys are familiar with Arizona premises liability law and our experience representing clients with premises liability claims in Phoenix and the surrounding area means we are well-equipped to handle your case. Our legal team is committed to helping you and your family recover the financial compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages, and we will aggressively protect your rights and your best interests, whether that means negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company or taking your case to trial.
Contact Our Phoenix Premises Liability Attorneys Today
Whether you are visiting another person’s home, a restaurant, an amusement park or a commercial business, any time you are lawfully on another person’s property, you have the right to expect a safe environment free from known hazards, and if you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one due to a property owner’s negligence, it is imperative that you know your rights under Arizona premises liability law. If you or a loved one was injured on another person’s property and you plan to file a premises liability claim, finding the right personal injury attorney to represent your claim is the key to recovering the compensation you deserve. Our capable and competent lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys, PLLC have extensive experience protecting the rights of clients injured in Phoenix premises liability accidents and we will go above and beyond to help you recoup the maximum recovery for your medical expenses and other damages. Contact our reputable attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your legal options in the aftermath of a Phoenix premises liability accident.