Steps to Take After an Injury on Another’s Property
If you suffered an injury on someone else’s property, the owner may be liable because he or she failed to uphold a duty of care that was owed to you.
It is important to talk to a licensed attorney about the situation. He or she can help determine what to do next and whether there may be legal options for pursuing compensation for damages.
Below, learn more about premises liability claims and why it can be beneficial to have an attorney managing the claim for you. These cases can be complex and involve numerous factors that may need careful consideration.
Elements of a Premises Liability Claim
If you have a case and hire our attorneys to pursue it, we must prove several things to have a valid case. First, we need evidence the at-fault party owned, occupied or leased the property where you were injured. Once we establish ownership, we need to show the owner failed to keep the property in a safe condition for its intended use.
Proving a property was unsafe or had a dangerous condition is not enough. You must also show the unsafe condition resulted from negligence, which is a complex issue in a premises liability claim.
Negligence refers to the failure to uphold a duty to use reasonable care to keep the property safe for visitors. However, the definition of reasonable care can vary based on the legal classification of the injury victim at the time of the accident.
Legal Status of the Visitor on the Property
Generally, there are three types of visitors to a property, based on their relationship with the owner and their reason for being on the property.
You may not have heard the term invitee before, but you have likely been an invitee at some point. An invitee is often someone on the property for shopping or some other commercial reason. An invitee is on the property for the commercial benefit of the owner. A visitor on public property is also considered an invitee.
Property owners have a duty to make the property reasonably safe for invitees. The definition of reasonably safe depends on the situation. For example, the property owner may need to keep adequate security to help prevent visitors from being assaulted.
These are people entering property for their own purpose and have express or implied permission to enter. One of the most common examples of a licensee is a guest you invited to your house. Salesmen are another example of a licensee.
Generally, property owners are only required to warn licensees about conditions that unreasonably endanger their safety. This requirement does not apply if the owner is unaware of the condition or the licensee is likely to discover the problem.
They have no right to be on the property. Generally, property owners do not owe any duty of care to trespassers, except for a duty to avoid willfully trying to harm the trespasser. However, property owners owe child trespassers a duty to use reasonable to care to help prevent children from suffering an injury from an artificial condition, such as a swimming pool.
Insurance Claims for Premises Injuries
If you suffered an injury on another’s property, you may be able to pursue compensation through an insurance claim. For example, if you were injured at a friend’s house, you may be able to file a claim with his or her homeowner’s insurance policy. If the injury happened in a retail store, you may be able to file a claim with the property owner’s liability insurance policy.
Your attorney can examine the insurance policies that may apply to the property to determine if they may provide compensation for your injury. This includes reviewing policy limits and exclusions. For example, if you were injured by reckless or intentional behavior, it may not be covered by insurance.
If the insurance policy does not cover the full cost of your damages, your lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit to recover the rest of your damages. A lawsuit may also be necessary if the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation.
Insurance companies often try to offer the least possible amount of compensation for claims. They may also look for ways to discredit victims or deny the claim altogether.
That is why they contact victims quickly to attempt to get them to agree to a settlement or make a recorded statement that helps discredit them and reduce the value of their claim. They know victims are vulnerable and may be tempted to take money that is offered.
Dangerous Conditions That Could Lead to Premises Liability Claims
There are many conditions on a property that could be dangerous and put visitors at risk for injury. If you were injured by one of these conditions, you may have a premises liability claim:
- Broken or unstable railing on a staircase
- Falling merchandise from store shelves
- Gaps or cracks in sidewalk or asphalt
- Bad lighting, particularly on uneven or bumpy terrain
- Violations of building codes
- Leaks that make floors wet or slippery
- Poor maintenance of an elevator or escalator
- Broken or defective furniture
- Loose carpeting or floor tiles
- Extension cords that are hidden from view
- Lack of security guards
- Failing to keep a dog behind a fence or on a leash
These and other conditions could cause slip and fall injuries or put visitors at risk for assault because of negligent security.
Injuries in premises liability claims may include the following:
- Spinal cord damage
- Sprains, such as sprained ankles, knees or wrists
- Broken bones
- Head injuries, including brain injuries
- Severe bruising or lacerations
If you suffered these or any other injuries, you may be able to file a claim.
Contact Phillips Law Group to Discuss Your Claim
Proving a property owner is liable for a visitor’s injury can be complicated. A comprehensive investigation needs to be undertaken to gather evidence and determine if a legal duty was breached by the property owner.
The licensed Phoenix premises liability lawyers at Phillips Law Group are prepared to review your situation in a free, no-obligation legal consultation. If we find you have a case, there is no upfront fee for having us represent you.
Call Phillips Law Group today at 1-800-706-3000 . No upfront fees or obligations.
Sophia H is very helpful.
I tried a few previous law firms and none would take my car accident case with confidence they could get my anything. Phillips law group took my case and although it took around 4 years to get this case settled as I was in treatment, they never let up with insurance adjusters and they got me as much money as possible. They worked hard for me and advocated for me. Shoutout to key individuals who worked my case nonstop of the years, Robert Ross & Jasmine, you are AMAZING!
My paralegal , Caroline , was on top of her game - very responsive and always answered any questions I had and in a timely manner . My attorney Rob ,was the best attorney I ever had . He explained everything in great detail and had a great sense or humor . He really knows how to bring light To tough , unfortunate situations - I would absolutely recommend them at anyone -
Sophia H. at Phillips Law Group has been an absolute joy to work with -quick, responsive, and professional in every interaction. Her breadth of knowledge, from administration to IT to finance, is nothing short of impressive.
I want to thank attorneys Tim and Robert and the paralegal Bethany for all they had done on my case. They were all empathetic, knowledgeable and professional. All my questions were answered, emails returned in a timely matter, and promises fulfilled. I recommend Phillips Law Group if you need help with your injury case.
Phillips law group has an amazing staff and i recommend them to everyone.
I was recently served court documents that I was being sued from an accident that happened years ago. For someone who has never been through something like this and not familiar with the court lingo or where to even begin, it was very frustrating and stressful. I reached out to a family member who knew Tracy Laskos and the great reputation of Phillips Law Group and within the hours of the initial call for help, I had a direct number to Lead Attorney Nassar. Nassar heard my case and almost instantly put me at ease by explaining the process and how easy it was to handle. Nassar spoke to me like he was a friend, not like I was a client. I am so grateful to Tracy, Nasar and of course my cousin Stephanie for helping out and giving me the direction that I needed to get through this situation. I plan on referring my friends, family and patients that are in need of a personal injury Attorney to Phillips Law Group. Thank you!!
Juan Roque has been integral with my legal needs. Communication has been easy. He conveys information I can easily understand without a lot of "Legal Fluff" jargon. I will certainly do business with Phillips Legal team again and refer them to my friends and family.
Phillips Law Group has a proven track record of success. Juan Roque, in particular, is integral to that. He works with integrity, compassion, and an undefeated optimism that makes him a valuable asset.
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group