By holding business & land owners accountable for the safety of their premises, guests on the property can avoid permanent injuries, burns, and even wrongful death. When an accident does happen, usually because of the negligence of a manager, employee, or owner then it’s important to hire a lawyer in order to prove who was at fault. If you have sustained serious injuries after visiting a business, being near a construction zone, or on government property then you should consider hiring legal assistance today.
What You Need To Know About Premises Liability Cases in Arizona
When a person enters a property, it is with a reasonable expectation that there will be no hazards that endanger safety. However, accidents may occur on a homeowner’s or business’s premises that can cause serious injury or even death. When questions of negligence arise in regard to the accident, a premises liability lawsuit may be filed to hold the owner of the property accountable for their failure to prevent the injury.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is part of a category of personal injury law. Premises liability statutes require owners to maintain their property in a manner that ensures that anyone working on, or coming to, the property is not injured by unsafe conditions. Most premises liability cases involve negligence, such as claiming the owner knew, or should have known, that certain conditions posed a hazardous situation for anyone coming onto the property. A number of conditions apply to premises liability cases, such as the status of the person coming to the property, which may affect the liability of the owner. Three different categories of presence on the property are recognized under premises liability law:
- Invitees – These are people who have express or implied permission to be on the property. The property owners have a responsible to maintain property to prevent injury for this category of visitor.
- Licensees – Licensees are those people who come to the property for their own purposes, who have the express or implied permission to be there, such as salesmen. The property owner generally only has to warn the visitor of potentially hazardous conditions.
- Trespassers – A trespasser is someone who does not have permission to be on the property. The property owner does not have the legal responsibility to warn the person of unsafe conditions. However, if the property has a swimming pool and the trespasser is a child, there is legal responsibility to take reasonable care to prevent harm to the child.
Common Premises Liability Cases
A variety of injuries fall under the category of premises liability, such as:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Inadequate maintenance of premises
- Defective conditions on the property
- Ice and snow accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Water leaks or flooding accidents
- Toxic fumes or chemicals
- Dog bites while on the premises
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park accidents
What Qualifies for A Premises Liability Claim?
In order for an injury or death to qualify for premises liability lawsuit, it must have occurred on the premises of the owner. Your case is facilitated if the hazardous condition was evident for a period of time so that the owner should have known about it and should have taken reasonable care to correct it. However, if the hazard was clearly evident and the visitor should have taken action to avoid it, it may also affect the case. Injuries must be well documented by qualified medical professionals. Statements from witnesses to the accident are also helpful to a premises liability case.
Premises Liability vs. Personal Liability
Premises liability falls under the category of personal injury law. However, personal liability generally covers accidents and injuries that occur on residential property. Premises liability covers accidents and injuries that occur on property that is used for business or for public use.
Slip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of premises liability lawsuits. These accidents may occur as a result of electrical cords left in the open, wet flooring from snowmelt or plumbing leaks, staircases that are defective or poorly-maintained, unsecured rugs, loose thresholds or broken flooring or sidewalks. When these accidents happen, it is important to follow certain steps to ensure a successful review of your case. Here are a few mistakes that people often make when they are involved in a slip-and-fall accident:
- Avoid giving a statement about the accident to the owner’s insurance company or representative. The statement can be used against you in court to prove your liability in the accident.
- Don’t assume you are unhurt. Seek medical attention immediately to avoid a delay in getting treatment for an injury caused by the accident.
- Don’t avoid follow-up medical visits. This avoidance can be seen as a sign no serious injury occurred.
- Take photos of the area in which you were injured. Smartphones make it easy to capture the hazards that are present at the time of the accident.
- Keep notes about your injuries and treatment.
- Consult a premises liability lawyer to discuss your case.
Settlements for Premises Liability Cases
By law, the state of Arizona does not allow caps on the amount of settlements for injury cases covered under premises liability. The amount of the settlement is determined by the extent of the injury and the need for ongoing care due to disability caused by the injury. Also, Arizona does not have a serious injury threshold for cases. However, it does adhere to the comparative fault doctrine, which can take into account how much the actions of the injured party contributed to the accident. This consideration can limit the amount of settlement for the injuries.
An accident that occurs on a property can lead to long-term disability, loss of wages and other issues that are eligible for financial compensation. If you are involved in an accident or injury on someone’s property, contact a premises liability lawyer in Mesa, Arizona to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Call Personal Injury Attorney Jared Everton at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.