In Arizona, property owners are obliged to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. A property owner’s duty to a visitor varies depending on the purpose for the visitor being on the property. If you are injured as a result of a dangerous property condition and suspect that another party’s negligence is to blame for the condition, you may be able to recover damages by bringing a premises liability lawsuit. Dangerous conditions can include broken stairs, slippery floors, falling objects, rotting beams, missing railings, and uneven surfaces. After being injured on someone else’s property, you should consult Phoenix premises liability lawyer Freddy Saavedra about whether you have grounds to bring a lawsuit.
Premises Liability Law
Your reason for being on another party’s property will determine your rights. Visitors on a property may be invitees, licensees, or trespassers. If you were invited to the property for reasons of business, you are an invitee; you would be an invitee, for example, at a mall or grocery store. Property owners owe the highest duty to invitees. They can be held responsible to invitees if they knew about a dangerous condition but did not make repairs or provide any warnings about it. Moreover, they can be held responsible for constructive notice of a dangerous condition. Showing constructive notice usually means that you will need to show that a dangerous condition existed for long enough that the property owner should have been aware of it and fixed it. Potentially dangerous conditions that could cause injuries include dangerous pets, inadequate security, defective furniture, holes in floors, unwashed floors, unstable objects, bad lighting, broken locks, and malfunctioning elevators or escalators. A premises liability attorney can help Phoenix residents hold a property owner accountable for any of these conditions.
If you were on the property for social reasons, you would be considered a licensee. Property owners are supposed to warn licensees of non-obvious dangers of which they are aware. If you do not have any actual or implied permission to be on someone else’s property, you are a trespasser. Usually, Arizona property owners are not liable for injuries to trespassers, unless they set a trap or otherwise act deliberately to cause an injury.
However, there are special rules to protect children. A higher duty of care is owed to a child trespasser. A property owner can be held liable for injuries to a child who is attracted by something on their property and is later injured by it. For example, a child who falls into a neighbor’s unprotected swimming pool could be seriously or even fatally injured. The neighbor would need to take reasonable steps to protect children who they know might be attracted to the pool. Guests who are children should be given more warnings about dangerous conditions than adult guests are, since they may not understand the gravity of potential dangers. Our Phoenix premises liability attorney can help assert the rights of injured children.
Recovering Damages from a Property Owner
Premises liability cases are often complicated. A business may have consulted with an attorney about how to protect themselves in case a visitor is injured. They may have policies that require recording over surveillance footage on a periodic basis, which means that vital evidence of how long a dangerous condition existed on their property may be erased in a short period of time. It is important to call an attorney right away to find out whether you can recover damages.
After an accident on someone else’s property, it may be worth documenting anything that you think caused your injuries. For example, if you tripped and fell in a badly landscaped area, you should take photographs. If you were injured in a falling elevator, you should take photos and document what happened and anything that you noticed. If you hear a witness to your accident, such as a store employee, discuss the cause of the accident, you should try to get their contact information and note down what was said.
Hire an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer in Phoenix
If you have been injured on somebody else’s property in Arizona, you should talk to a seasoned attorney. Freddy Saavedra represents people injured by dangerous property conditions in Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 753-8917 or complete our online form.