Phoenix Premises Liability Attorney
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Phoenix Premises Liability Attorney
A property owner has an obligation to ensure the safety of all those who are visiting his or her business or residence. If a property owner neglects to uphold this duty, he or she could be held liable for any accident that occurs.
At the Phillips Law Group, our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are dedicated to pursuing personal injury claims where a property owner’s negligence resulted in an injury or death. As one of the largest consumer law firms in Phoenix, our attorneys have decades of experience in representing victims of premises liability claims, including a slip-and-fall case that resulted in $2.25 million in damages. Our initial review of any personal injury claim is always free and we provide our services on a contingency fee basis, so you will not be charged any legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Am I Eligible for Compensation?
In order to determine if you have a case and are entitled to compensation, you must be able to prove a number of elements that are required in premises liability cases. These elements include:
- Duty of Care: It must be demonstrated that the defendant owned, occupied or leased the property, which would make that person responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all visitors. This is referred to as “duty of care.”
- Breach of Duty: Once you have established the defendant was the party responsible for providing a safe environment, you must prove that the he or she failed in that duty by neglecting to adequately maintain the property. A breach of duty occurs when the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to discover and correct a hazardous condition on his or her property, but neglected to do so.
- Causation of the Injury: You must be able to prove that the established breach of duty was the direct cause of the injury. This usually requires eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence and medical records to prove the injury did not exist before the accident.
- Damages: The final element that must be demonstrated in a premises liability claim is that the injury victim suffered damages as a result of the injury. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Proving all of the required elements of a premises liability claim can be difficult. Our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are experienced in investigating and building these types of cases and will guide you through the entire process.
How Much is My Claim Worth?
Determining how much your claim is worth depends on the circumstances surrounding your claim. Through a free consultation, our Phoenix premise liability attorneys will be able to determine how much your claim may be worth. Some common forms of compensation that are often awarded in personal injury cases include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Property damages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Damage to the victim’s reputation or image
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Arizona law prevents any caps on the damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit.
However, it is important to note that Arizona follows the rule comparative negligence, which means you may be entitled to less compensation if it can be demonstrated that your actions were partially responsible for the accident that caused your injury.
In order to be awarded full compensation in a personal injury case, you must prove that you are not guilty of any negligence that might have contributed to the accident.
In cases of a wrongful death, the court will award damages as it sees fit based on the circumstances of the case.
Property Owner Liability
In Arizona, a property owner may be held liable for an accident on his or her property if the owner:
- Was aware that dangerous conditions existed on his or her property, or the condition existed long enough that he or she should have known about it, yet neglected to correct the condition.
- Willfully or maliciously caused the conditions that led to the injury or death.
- Did not adequately warn guests or visitors about the dangerous condition that existed on the property.
In cases of premises liability involving a business, even if the owner had no knowledge that the dangerous condition existed, he or she may still be held liable if you are able to prove:
- The property owner practiced methods of operating the business that could reasonably anticipate that dangerous conditions would regularly occur.
- The property owner failed to prevent harm from occurring under those conditions.
The guidelines to proving negligence are strict in Arizona and require an attorney who is able to investigate and identify the cause of an accident on another’s property. Our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are well-versed in Arizona law and have the resources to investigate your claim.
Levels of Care for Visitors
Arizona law establishes different levels of care that property owners are required to provide to various types of visitors.
- Invitees: This includes visitors who are on the property for commercial reasons, such as a business customer, maintenance worker or solicitor. The property owner must provide an adequate warning of any dangerous conditions.
- Licensee: Considered to be anyone invited to the property as the owner’s guest, this can include a family member, friend or social visitor. In the event of an accident, a property owner is liable if he or she was aware of a dangerous condition but did not provide an adequate warning. The property owner is left to determine what a reasonable warning would be depending on the situation.
- Trespasser: A person who is on the property illegally or without the implied permission of the property’s owner. A trespasser can hold a property owner liable only if the property owner willfully or maliciously injured the trespasser.
- Children have a different set of standards when it comes to premises liability, which include:
- Child licensee: A property owner may be held liable for injuries suffered by a child guest if he or she was not provided adequate warning of the property’s dangerous conditions. The adequacy of this warning depends on the child’s level of intelligence, ability to appreciate such a warning and the extent in which the dangers were concealed on the property.
- Child Trespasser: The owner of the property can be held liable for an injury or the death of a child trespasser if he or she knew, or should have known, that children could trespass on the property, if there was a dangerous condition that children were especially susceptible to, if the child was of a young age and did not understand the risk of harm involved in trespassing, or if the property owner failed to use reasonable care in protecting children on his or her property.
Whether visiting a business or a friend’s home, people have a right to expect safety and security when on another’s property. Our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are dedicated to helping injured victims or families who lost a loved one due to a property owner’s negligence.
Contact our Phoenix premises liability attorneys to learn more in a free consultation.
Common Causes of Injuries on Premises
Premises liability accidents can be caused by a number of dangerous conditions, which can include:
- Equipment malfunctions
- Exposed wiring or broken lighting
- Dangerous accumulation of water into large or unseen puddles
- Lack of safety equipment, such as a railing or guarding on stairs and ledges
- Loose or broken floorboards
- Broken elevator or escalators
- Wet or oily surfaces
- Exposed sharp objects
- Lack of security, such as lighting, door locks or security cameras
These conditions can lead to serious injuries that may result in life-long complications that can accumulate massive medical bills while also preventing the victim from living a fulfilled life.
The Phoenix premises liability attorneys at the Phillips Law Group will identify the negligent party that is liable for the accident that resulted in your or your loved one’s injuries and suffering. We will help you recover from a traumatic accident and help hold the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
There are several types of claims that encompass premises liability. Each accident has the potential to cause serious injuries. Our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are experienced in handling a variety of types of claim, including:
Slip and Fall
An accident involving slip and fall injuries often occurs when the victim was not warned of slick, wet, icy or snow covered surfaces. If the wet surfaces became unsafe because of the property owner’s failure to correct the dangerous condition, he or she is liable for any accidents that occur. This can include failing to clean up a spill in a grocery store, among other things.
Construction areas are dangerous and are often the site of accidents that cause severe injuries. There are many federal and state regulations designed to ensure the safety of workers and the public. If a property owner does not equip the site with these features, he or she is liable for any accidents that result in injury or death. If a worker is injured, he or she should be able to recover compensation from workers’ compensation. However, there may be additional options for recovering compensation as well.
Property owners are legally required to ensure the safety of a property, especially if crimes have occurred in the area in the past. It is their responsibility to ensure visitors to the property do not become victims of rape, assault, drug crimes, abduction, robbery, murder or other crimes.
If the property is in a location with a reasonably foreseeable likelihood for crime, the owner should take appropriate measures to keep people safe while on their premises. This can include utilizing proper lighting, fences, barriers or adequate door locks.
Cases of negligent security can occur anywhere, including apartment buildings, hotels, shopping centers, bars, parking garages, night clubs, college campuses, amusement parks, workplaces and public buildings.
In Arizona, dog owners are strictly liable if their dog bites or attacks another person, regardless of if the owner was negligent or if the incident occurred while the victim was lawfully on the owner’s property. The owner is liable for any damages suffered by the bitten victim.
Swimming pool accidents
Landlords and property owners have an obligation to provide adequate protection to prevent swimming pool accidents from occurring, such as utilizing a guard rail, fence or barrier to prevent young children from entering a pool where they could drown. If these protections are not provided, and a swimming pool accident leads to a drowning or injury, the property owner or landlord can be held liable.
Amusement park accidents
Theme parks can be highly susceptible to accidents that result in head, neck and back injuries, as well as wrongful death. These are often attributed to poor property maintenance, such as mechanical failures and inadequate safety features on rides and attractions. You may be able to file a premises liability claim if inadequate maintenance or security directly caused your accident.
If an escalator or elevator has not been properly inspected or maintained or if needed repairs have been neglected, the accident victim or his or her family may be able to file a premises liability claim. Property owners who have an escalator/elevator on their property are required to properly maintain and comply with federal inspections.
Business owners, building management and residential property owners are required to provide adequate safety measures that prevent fire hazards or extinguish a fire once it has started. If a property owner neglects to provide proper safety measures, such as fire escapes, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, an adequate means of escape, clear pathways to exit doors, smoke monitors or fire alarms, he or she may be held liable for any injuries or deaths that result.
Exposure to toxic chemicals can result in deadly conditions and horrific injuries. An owner of a property that knowingly has toxic chemicals contained on the premises has a duty to prevent the public from being exposed to any fatal toxins. This could include buildings lined with asbestos, garages or machines that contain dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, toxic mold, agricultural areas or residences that possess deadly pesticides, or metals or paints that contain lead. Property owners have an obligation to ensure these deadly chemicals are properly contained and do not risk exposure to the public.
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More Information on Premises Liability Attorney
How to Prepare for a Premises Liability Lawsuit
To prepare for a premises liability lawsuit, you need to have documented proof that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of yours or your loved one’s injury. There are certain elements of a premises liability claim that you will need to have documented to have a successful lawsuit.
Was there an unsafe condition on the property?
An unsafe condition can include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Damaged sidewalk
- Broken pavement
- Dangerous debris
- Accumulation of ice and snow
- Exposed electrical wire
- Malfunctioning equipment
The property owner must have caused or failed to correct the hazardous conditions that led to the property becoming unreasonably safe.
Was the property owner notified of the unsafe conditions?
You must be able to prove that the property owner was notified or aware of the hazardous conditions within a reasonable amount of time to correct the danger.
This may be one of the most difficult aspects of a premises liability case to prove, as there may not be any physical evidence that supports this claim. However, eyewitness testimonies and incident reports may provide insight into the accident’s timeline and help determine the property owner’s knowledge of the conditions.
Did the property owner warn others of the unsafe conditions?
Property owners are required to provide a warning of any known unsafe conditions that may cause an injury. This may include a caution sign in a store warning shoppers of a wet spot on the floor or a barrier that prevents pedestrians from walking onto an unstable pavement.
If the property owner did not attempt to provide any sort of warning to guests or visitors about a dangerous condition on the property, he or she may be held liable for negligence.
Did the property owner attempt to correct the unsafe conditions?
Property owners are obligated to fix or correct any unsafe conditions on their establishment in a reasonable amount of time. If the hazardous condition has not been corrected in a time deemed reasonable, the property owner can be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Those who are filing a premises liability claim are encouraged to gather any evidence that may support their claim. This includes:
- Physical evidence, such as photographs or video recordings that detail the accident.
- Contact information for witnesses to the accident or to the property owner being informed about the presence of unsafe conditions.
- Evidence of the injury caused by the accident. This can be medical records, accident reports, medical bills, or clothing or items that were on you at the time of the accident.
- Proof that the injury did not exist before the accident.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes Â§ 12-542, you have two years from the date the accident occurred or from when you first discovered the injury to file a personal injury claim. There is also a two-year statute of limitations for filing claims for property damage.
Proving a premises liability claim requires a Phoenix premises liability attorney who has experience collecting evidence and conducting in-depth investigations. Our attorneys will pursue your claim with relentless diligence.
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Why Hire Our Attorneys?
If you are filing a premises liability claim because you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property, hiring the right attorney will be vital to the success of your claim. The Phillip’s Law Group’s Phoenix premises liability attorneys have decades of experience in personal injury law and understand the dedication it takes to pursue a claim against a negligent property owner.
Our staff is comprised of attorneys who have well-established reputations within the legal community as strong advocates of the rights of injury victims. Our founding partner, Jeffrey L. Phillips, is a member of the Leaders Forum of the American Association of Justice and a premier member of the American Academy of Trial Attorneys. He has represented personal injury victims throughout the state of Arizona and the U.S. and continues to provide the Phoenix community with professional and dedicated legal assistance.
Our Phoenix location is conveniently located within three miles of both the Maricopa County Courthouseand the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office. Our Phoenix premises liability attorneys are familiar with both of these legal institutions and will be able to assist you with any help you may need when filing a claim.
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Injured on Someone Else’s Property? Contact Our Trusted Firm for Legal Help
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident due to a property owner’s negligence, contact our Phoenix premises liability attorneys to file a claim. Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys provide their services on a contingency fee basis and the initial consultation for new clients is free.
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