After having suffered an injury on another person’s property, it may be in your best interest to discuss your options with a personal injury attorney. If a property owner’s negligence led to your injuries, you could have a viable claim for monetary damages.
Before you file an injury lawsuit, it is worth noting that Arizona state law could greatly impact your potential recovery. For a better understanding of the strength of your claim, discuss your case with a seasoned Phoenix premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
In determining whether a property owner is liable for a plaintiff’s damages, the court will consider the relationship the victim had with the property. While a landowner owes some visitors a duty to keep the premises safe, that duty does not extend to everyone. A Phoenix premises liability attorney could work to persuade the court that their client deserved the highest standard of care from the property owner.
The duty a property owner owes to an injury victim depends on which of the three classes of visitor they fall into: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is a visitor that enters the property lawfully and for the benefit of the landowner. Invitees include business customers and clients, meaning the invitation to enter the premises can be express or implied. While typically related to business, there is the possibility of an implied invitation to a private residence. A property owner owes an invitee the duty to take reasonable care to protect against hazards and warn an invitee of unsafe conditions.
A licensee is a visitor that enters the property lawfully, but for their own purposes. The most common type of licensee is a social guest. The duty a property owner owes to a licensee is less than that of an invitee. A property owner need only warn a licensee of potential hazards on the property.
A trespasser is a visitor that enters a Phoenix property without permission. In most cases, a property owner owes no duty to a trespasser. However, there are exceptions to this rule. One example of an exception involves child trespassers that are drawn to the property by an attractive nuisance. Contact a Phoenix premises liability attorney to discuss how these exceptions might impact your case.
A common tactic among defendants in a premises liability case is an attempt to shift the blame for an accident to the injury victim. These claims are common because, when successful, they can greatly reduce the amount of damages awarded in a premises liability case.
Arizona Statute 12-2505 outlines the state’s comparative negligence law. The statute will not bar the claim of a plaintiff that was partially at fault for an accident. However, the statute does reduce the damages awarded to a plaintiff in proportion to their fault in the accident. In other words, a plaintiff that is partially at fault for their own injuries will have their damages reduced by a jury.
Even if you have a strong claim for damages, you could lose out on your potential recovery if you do not act quickly. Arizona law places a time limit on the filing of an injury suit, and the court will bar your claim if you do not file it on time. For help with the important legal deadlines in your case, contact a Phoenix premises liability lawyer right away.